Vision and Aims

At Great Sankey we want every student to leave school as an articulate and resilient member of society. Reading plays a crucial role in supporting students’ learning and development and their understanding of the subjects they are studying. We, therefore, dedicate significant time and resources, to expand their vocabulary and improve their reading skills. Staff use the most effective and up to date techniques to remove barriers to learning, promote the benefits and pleasure of reading and help students maximise their reading and literacy skills.


GL tests are used to assess the reading ability of all our students. Students with lower scores are screened further to diagnose weaknesses in reading for us to target support and intervention.


For those students who initially find reading more of a challenge, we use the Thinking Reading programme to further delve into specific difficulties facing individuals and provide additional one-to-one support to aid students in making rapid gains where decoding is an area for development. Reading Laboratory has been added as a package to support weaker readers where comprehension is identified as an area for development.

Reading across the curriculum

We recognise that by attending to the literacy demands of their subjects, teachers increase their students’ chance of success in their subjects. Through Years 7 to 11, students are systematically exposed to academic vocabulary and reading academic texts and time is spent on developing sophisticated and mature language skills. Our Knowledge Organiser quizzes and PDR vocabulary tests ensure students regularly revisit vocabulary, building up their knowledge and use of essential academic terms and more refined and complex words. Our curriculum encourages students to read texts independently with text experience gained through independent reading providing a critical source of language knowledge.

Engagement with reading

Year 7 and 8 students participate in our Accelerated Reader scheme to enable students to read books which are appropriate to their own individual abilities and needs and every class in Year 7 and 8 has regular library lessons to promote the benefits and pleasure of reading. Drop Everything And Read is incorporated into Key Stage 3 PDR sessions to promote the pleasure of reading as is Class reader in Key Stages 3 and 4 where form tutors read novels to their forms. In 2020 we launched our annual Literary Festival. This provides students across the school with opportunities to share a love of reading and cultural experiences through visiting authors and theatre groups