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Campsmount Academy

Campsmount Academy

Reading and Literacy at Campsmount Academy

The development of reading and literacy is a key priority for the academy. It is our belief that it is a basic requirement that all students leave school with the ability to read fluently, accurately and with confidence.


  • It is imperative that all students can read at the expected standard for their age before they leave school.
  • To support students (with a particular focus on boys, SEN and disadvantaged pupils), staff must use their data strategically intervening with under-performing students in a timely and effective manner, whilst simultaneously stretching higher performing students.
  • Reading and vocabulary instruction must be at the heart of teacher practice. All aspects of The High Five Reciprocal Reading Strategy should be evident in lessons, where reading material is integral to lesson design.
  • The exposure, active planning and teaching of enriching academic texts must take place to effectively equip students for their GCSE examinations and later life.
  • Reading for pleasure is the responsibility of all staff. Greater informal book talk, students viewing staff as readers, being able to confidently recommend books and engage with parents and governors about reading practice is also crucial in sustaining an effective reading culture across the academy.
  • Staff should refer to ‘Reading Snippet CPD’ for further clarification of research-led practices relating to reading and literacy.

At Campsmount Academy, we adopt a number of strategies to support students with their reading.

1. The Campsmount Reading Spine and Form Time Reading

The following texts are read during Pre-Lesson Learning and form part of the Campsmount Reading Spine. These novels explore issues like homelessness, adolescence, autism, loss and racism. Due to the Trust's participation with the Open University, many of these novels are on their recommended reading lists as texts that also promote reading for pleasure in Science, Maths, History and Geography.


2. Literacy Assessment Online 

At the beginning of the academic year, students’ reading ability is tested on software provided by Literacy Assessment Online. These tests will take place at key intervals across the academic year as detailed on the whole school calendar. The information generated from the software will be crucial in deciding which pathway our students follow, as described in the diagram below:

3. The Literature-Led Curriculum 

Reading and literacy plans are in place in all subjects and sit alongside long-term curriculum maps, identifying keystone vocabulary and opportunities for wider reading. Reading and key vocabulary for schemes of work are identified and actively and explicitly taught throughout a scheme of work. Research states that students should be exposed to vocabulary repeatedly and through a range of strategies to support retention. It is the responsibility of all teachers to include these strategies in lessons. Directors of Faculty and Heads of Department must ensure that they are embedded in curriculum design. The Director of English will support, monitor and quality assure the strategies described in curriculum intents and the implementation of these strategies with the view of measuring impact during key intervals across the academic year.

4. Drop Everything and Read Days

All departments will take part in DEAR Days and World Book Day activities, alongside calendared whole school literacy events.

5. The High Five Reciprocal Reading Strategy 

All lessons should be structured around The High Five Reciprocal Reading   Strategy. This is a metacognitive strategy that is key to supporting students and their ability to decode and comprehend a text. These strategies should be evident every lesson with all elements of the strategy apparent in teaching practice, where appropriate, and particularly when reading key extracts, case studies and exam questions. To use one aspect in isolation, deconstructs the strategy and is less effective. 

6. Non Secondary Ready PiXL support and Lexia Reading Strategies

Non-Secondary Ready students in years 7-9 are selected to take part in the PiXL NOW Reading intervention during Pre-Lesson Learning once a week. This intervention focuses on improving students’ reading fluency, decoding and comprehension skills.

Lexia Power Up Literacy is also offered to Non-Secondary Ready students as a timetabled lesson every week. It is a type of software designed to assist in the rapid acquisition of reading and literacy skills in an engaging and consistent way.

The software ensures teachers and students are supported in the following areas to allow goals to be met:

  • Assessment without Testing: real time, actionable data is provided as pupils work independently. This informs planning and evidences the effectiveness of the intervention, allowing resources to be allocated appropriately.
  • The Auto Placement feature, allows large groups of students to be levelled at the correct starting point within the programme. This is achieved by the student independently taking a short user-friendly assessment.
  • Independent personalised learning: using Intelligent Branching technology adapts to offer additional support wherever a student struggles. Teachers are informed, and appropriate paper-based activities are suggested from within the system if instruction is required.
  • Recording: Progress reports are provided at school, class or individual level to help track the effectiveness of your reading curriculum and direct targeted instruction. Lexia provides a set of consistent measures between classes or even clusters of schools.
  • Students enjoy using the programme due to its interactive nature and ‘game’ centred activities. They also like to see the personal progress they are making.
  • The programme allows students to be tracked effectively so that progress can be easily measured.