“The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.”

Ludwig Wittgenstein


At Redruth School, we recognise and reinforce that reading is the master key through our daily literacy lessons and the school curriculum. Our vision is to make every student a confident and competent handler of language so they can ‘expect the best’.

Literacy curriculum intent

Redruth is proud to be a reading school. We understand that the ability to read and respond to a wide range of texts is crucial to help ensure academic success and positive personal development. Our strong reading culture exposes students to an expanse of fiction and non-fiction, developing cultural capital and instilling a shared responsibility that encourages and celebrates reading for pleasure and progress.

In order to be confident and competent readers, students must:

  • read independently and for pleasure
  • have the skills to tackle texts across the curriculum at Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4 and beyond
  • have the literacy skills to engage with the texts they will encounter in life

Literacy lessons

Every student in Redruth School enjoys a 30-minute daily literacy lesson. Our literacy sets are grouped according to reading ability using the NGRT scaled average scores (SAS).

· Key Stage 3 Students with SAS above 100: 1 day of independent reading; 3 days of ‘Read Aloud’, and 1 day of critical reading using The Day.

· Key Stage 3 Students with SAS 86-99: 2 days of Accelerated Reader (AR) independent reading; 3 days of ‘Read Aloud’. Teachers monitor student engagement and progress using AR book quizzes and Star tests.

· Key Stage 3 Students with SAS below 85: 2 days of AR independent reading and one-to-one reading time; 3 days of Lexia Core 5 or Power Up literacy intervention.

· Year 10 Students with SAS below 89: daily Lexia Power Up literacy intervention.

· Year 10 Students with SAS above 90: 2 days of ‘academic reading’ focusing on vocabulary, critical thinking and writing. 3 lessons of ‘Read Aloud’.

Students who arrive at Redruth School with significant barriers to reading will be supported by the SEND department. Struggling readers are given the support they need to make accelerated progress so they can access the full curriculum. Our reading support programme is outlined below:


The facts about reading

1. 1 out of 5 children can't read at their school level by the time they reach 11 years of age

2. 18% of children aged 15 cannot read proficiently

3. Children that read 20 minutes every day or more can read upward of two million words a year!

4. Children that read for only five minutes every day take in just 282,000 words every year

5. Regular reading has been shown to lower stress levels by as much as 68%

6. In 2020, only 23% of 0-17s read for pleasure ‘daily or nearly every day’, down from 26% in 2019 and 38% in 2012.

Did you know literacy is linked to life expectancy?

People with poor literacy skills are more likely to be unemployed, have low incomes and poor health behaviours, which in turn can be linked to lower life expectancy.

1. Employment: People with poor literacy skills earn 12% less than those with good literacy

2. Health: 43% of working-age adults in England don’t have the literacy skills they need to understand and make use of everyday health information

3. Life expectancy is shortened by a staggering 26 years for children growing up in areas with the most serious literacy problems!

We are very proud of our state of the art library facilities which supports students on their reading journey. For more information please click here:

Learning Resource Centre

Read aloud literacy

Independent reading lessons

Critical thinking reading lessons


How can I support literacy at home?

Reading for pleasure is possibly the single-most important activity your child can do to improve achievement in school. Research has shown that reading helps cognitive development; a recent Institute of Education study revealed that students who read at home do ‘significantly better’ across the curriculum – including 9.9% better in maths – than students who don’t read. Linked to this is the fact that reading is the best way to improve vocabulary, essential for success in every subject.

Reading also has social and emotional benefits. It increases self-esteem and studies show that students who read are more empathetic. Growing up is tough -- reading can help young people explore complex problems from the safe fictional world of a book.

The problem, of course, is convincing young people of the importance and joy of reading. Here are some suggestions:

  • find books with a connection to something they love. If they are football fans, look for footie fiction for teens – try Booked by Kwame Alexander; Football School Star Players by Bellos; or Dan Freedman or Tom Palmer’s books. If they like military/action/war, then try the Dog Tag series by CA London or Andy McNab’s teen books. If they like to watch Youtubers, try Zoella’s book club. And if they are into gaming, try fast-paced chapter books or ‘choose your own adventure’ stories. (Tip: try teen/YA author Alex Scarrow’s books – he was a professional video-game developer before he turned to writing; or Jeff Norton’s MetaWars series, billed as ‘a video game you can read’).
  • ask for a ‘Recommended Reads’ list: we have lists broken down by genre for Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4. We also have lists to suit particular interests; if your child likes animals, for example, ask for our new ‘animal fiction’ booklist with books to suit all ages. Other booklists include ideas for those that enjoy: dystopian fiction; tear jerkers; difficult issues; and thrillers.
  • any type of reading is helpful, so try graphic novels. Graphic novel versions of The Recruit by Muchamore, Silverfin by Higson and Stormbreaker by Horowitz are popular. Likewise, it is absolutely fine to read Wimpy Kid books if this is what sparks the interest of your reluctant reader.
  • try Barrington Stoke books: these are produced with tinted pages, special fonts and spacing, thicker paper and editing to reduce comprehension barriers and/or issues resulting from dyslexia.
  • visit the library with your child when you go into town. Ask your child to meet you in the library and then take your time selecting a book to read yourself.
  • try a ‘phone free’ hour.
  • be enthusiastic about what they are reading: ask them to describe a character or to read aloud an exciting bit. You might read a teen/YA book yourself; the plot-driven nature of many of these books means they are relatively easy reads – perfect after a day at work.
  • let your children see you reading for pleasure, and talk about what you read and how you choose books.
  • if you have younger children, ask your older (reluctant reader) child to read aloud to them. This is a big confidence booster and it helps with sibling bonding. Michael Morpurgo is a particularly good shared read, as his books have something for everyone; I highly recommend Kensuke’s Kingdom for sibling read-alouds.
  • continue to read aloud to your children (even if they are fluent readers). Choose books together that they probably wouldn’t read on their own.
  • offer incentives: sometimes incentives work to kick start the reading habit. For example, a reward could be given for reading a certain number of books over the summer holidays.
  • find the book version of a movie: Stormbreaker, Eragon, Harry Potter, The Book Thief, I am Number Four, The Princess Diaries, The Chronicles of Narnia, Percy Jackson, The Hunger Games, Divergent, Maze Runner, Fault in Our Stars, Twilight and Inkheart and Wonder are all films based on children/YA books. Both of you can read the book, watch the movie together -- then discuss the differences.
  • have them pick up a device – an e-reader! Then check with your local library about borrowing e-books or try the Kindle daily deal.
  • try audio books: libraries have free, downloadable audio books plus Audible has a wide range of teen books. Many teens like the idea of being able to do something active while listening to a book. By listening to an audio book, your teen will pick up new vocabulary, hear complex sentence structures and engage with stories.
  • listening to audio books as a family is another good idea. Sharing a story together is a fabulous way to bond.
  • visit a bookshop and allow your child to select a book of their choice. The visually appealing marketing and layout of best-selling books can attract even reluctant readers.
  • try biographies/autobiographies that interest your child. Recent student favourites have been Maddie Diaries by Ziegler & The Greatest (Muhammed Ali) by Walter Dean Myers.
  • non-fiction books linked to a child’s interests are a great way to spark a desire to read.
  • gentle encouragement works best.

Dads and reading -Dan Freedman

What does your ZPD mean?

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