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Literacy at St Paul’s

Intent Statement

We believe that reading is integral to pupils’ understanding and appreciation of the world around them; it is a platform that allows our children to see beyond what they know, share in cultural experiences, and develop the vocabulary they need to effectively express themselves.

Research shows that pupils’ literacy and reading skills have a major impact on their futures, and we recognise the importance of children engaging with reading and read regularly; when reading opportunities increase, so does fluency and stamina, which in turn often increases their enjoyment of reading. Therefore, the link between pupils’ motivation to read and reading for pleasure is reciprocal.


We aim to increase the reading ages of our pupils so that the gap between their chronological age and their reading age diminishes. Our aim is based on three aspects of the Reading Strategy and impact is monitored through four testing windows over the course of the academic year, using Accelerated Reader:

  1. Intervention
  2. Reading for Pleasure
  3. Academic Reading and Vocabulary

We intervene systematically with our weaker readers by organising and providing a diverse programme of intervention.

Our current Intervention programmes are:

  • Lexia Power Up
  • BW3 (Reading Mentors from our local community)
  • National Tutor Trust (1:3 private tuition)
  • Year 11 Reading Mentors
  • Catch Up Literacy

*We are currently in the process of purchasing Read, Write Inc.

Reading for pleasure ensures that every student is encouraged to read in order to develop a love of reading. We believe that reading, and particularly reading for pleasure, has a direct impact on cognitive and social communicative development. It has been shown to improve health and wellbeing, as well as improving compassion and empathy for others. Our aim is to develop each student’s potential to the point where they are reading at, or above, their chronological age.

We have numerous opportunities to support with promoting a love for reading:

  • Bronze, Silver, Gold Reading Challenge
  • Competitions such as: ‘The Masked Reader’
  • Subject specific reading lists
  • Reading time each week during Form Time (Class Reads)
  • KS3 Home Learning Policy encompasses time to read for pleasure
  • myON works in harmony with Accelerated Reader allowing all of our KS3 students to continue to read and quiz as usual.
  • All our pupils have access to The Day, a daily newsletter for parents and guardians to read at home with children, helping to enrich learning with real-life knowledge and skills. Pupils will have the opportunity to read some high-quality journalism, allowing them to make their own connections between the academic syllabus and the thrilling and challenging arena that awaits them beyond school.
  • Timetable of LRC opening hours
  • Free use of the School’s LRC with books available to take home and read

Academic Reading and Vocabulary

We are committed to empowering students by widening their vocabulary. We understand the impact that vocabulary has on quality of work, progress, and the ability to express ideas and concepts. Each subject has published Knowledge Organisers and subject specific reading lists that allow students to speak and write as experts. Subject specific vocabulary is explicitly taught in lessons with subject specific vocabulary lists used in every subject.

At Key Stage 4, we have a designated form period each week centred on Literacy. Pupils are expected to read and talk about a wide variety of written texts and complete comprehension style tasks and retrieval activities to strengthen key literacy-based skills such as: inference, deduction, analysis and evaluation.

We have launched our Literacy Mats across the school to promote consistency with key knowledge skills that underpin reading and literacy across the curriculum. As well as this, we have developed a marking code used across all subjects to allow formative and summative assessment marking for Literacy.


The impact of the Literacy and Reading Strategy is monitored in various ways:

  • Calendared Quality Assurance cycle
  • Reading age data analysis – four times per year
  • Pupil Voice each week
  • Feedback from external providers
  • Staff feedback
  • Parental liaison and communication

Literacy Links

Summer Reading

We are delighted to launch our 2023 Summer Reading Bingo for all students here at Saint Paul’s Catholic High School.

Research shows that reading for pleasure has a significant impact on attainment across the curriculum, and reading during the summer will help to prevent what is known as the ‘summer slide’. Reading is also brilliant for boosting confidence, for developing empathy and for escaping into fictional worlds.

For details click


Accelerated Reader

The Day