Reading at Madeley

At Madeley, every teacher is a teacher of reading.

We understand that without this fundamental skill, children’s opportunities will be limited. They may struggle to fully access the broad and challenging curriculum we provide and ultimately, this could affect their life chances.

The National Literacy Trust’s research into young people’s reading in 2023 revealed that fewer than 3 in 10 youngsters aged 8 to 18 said that they read daily, and this number has been decreasing each year since 2005.  

We want to help transform this statistic and encourage all Madeley students to foster a love of reading for enjoyment, for accuracy and for a future full of opportunities.


Our Reading Strategy

Reading and the curriculum

  • Students are expected and encouraged to read aloud during lessons to practise pronouncing new words, key terminology and master fluency. We aim to build every child’s confidence reading in class.
  • Teachers model expert reading during lessons and inspire everyone to take pride in their reading.
  • Teachers plan reading materials into their curriculum and lesson resources so that students are provided with regular opportunities to practise comprehension and retrieval skills, developing personal reading resilience.
  • All teachers have access to and use students’ reading ages to ensure that materials are appropriately selected to match and challenge all reading abilities.
  • Teachers make reading skills explicit during lessons so that all students learn the importance and application of them across the curriculum.
  • Tier 2 and Tier 3 vocabulary instruction is planned into all curriculum areas to enrich reading for meaning.
  • Years 7-10 engage in Form Time ‘Buzz Words’ which align with the vocabulary taught in English, Maths and Science and embed the definitions of some of the most important words in the curriculum.

Reading for accuracy

  • KS3 students use the Sparx Reader platform to practise reading for accuracy. Parents can log in through the Sparx Maths Portal to track their child’s reading. Find out more here:
  • Sparx Reader selects a small library of books for each student based on their reading level, and tests them regularly with retrieval and comprehension questions to track how accurately they are reading. Teachers can see reading frequency, speed and accuracy, enabling them to reward and intervene where appropriate.
  • We have high expectations of reading and expect all KS3 students to complete an hour’s worth of accurate reading at home each week – that’s 600 Sparx Reader Points.
  • We prioritise and support reading in Form Time with a daily 10 minute Sparx Reader focus and expectation that students earn an additional 200 Sparx Reader Points across a week.
  • Year 10 engage in a separate reading programme during form time, which focuses on excerpts from a range of ‘Influential Excerpts’ from fiction and non-fiction. Retrieval and comprehension questions are discussed, answered and checked to hone accuracy.

Reading for enjoyment

  • Teachers celebrate reading by sharing the books they’re reading with students and encourage open conversations and recommended reads. We want all students to have high aspirations for their own reading.
  • A new Friday lunchtime ‘Book Club’ has recently launched in the Library led by Year 11 Senior Prefects; a place to read quietly, enjoy talking about books and share ideas.
  • Fortnightly reading lessons at KS3 focus on the joy of reading for pleasure. We invest in new titles as often as possible to inspire students and make meaningful links to our curriculum. During these lessons, we read real paperback books and leave the screens behind! Here is a selection of what we currently have on our bookshelves:

Celebrating Reading

We take every opportunity to praise and celebrate reading progress and success both within lessons and as part of the wider school community.

  • Students are rewarded on Class Charts for ‘Reading Aloud’ in class and earn points for every Sparx Reader Homework task completed at 100%; Bonus Points for Super Star Sparx Readers who go above and beyond their set task.
  • Celebration assemblies take place at the end of each term and certificates presented to those who are making excellent progress, engaging with all reading tasks set and reading beyond expectations.
  • Weekly updates are shared in Form Time naming and celebrating the best teaching and form groups for their reading achievements for Sparx Reader, as well as individuals who are demonstrating high aspirations and achieving beyond the expected tasks set.

Reading Support

  • For students who may require more support with their reading, particularly fluency and comprehension, we offer a Sparx Reader Club which runs every Wednesday lunchtime. This is also a quiet place to catch up with Reading Homework.
  • Students whose reading age is significantly below their chronological age are tested further for a more thorough diagnosis of their reading needs.
  • For our emerging readers, our trained TAs deliver the Read, Write Inc. Fresh Start Phonics programme during form time to small groups; a bespoke programme which focuses on mastering the building blocks of sounds to blend and decode words. You can find an overview here:
  • The IXL programme Is also offered to students whose reading age and reading skills are below their chronological age, and risks being a significant barrier to their engagement in the wider curriculum. This is a tailored online programme for areas of weaknesses pertinent to individuals, ranging from homophones and vocabulary to shades of meaning and context clues. You can find an overview here: