What is the Castle Manor Year of Reading?

At Castle Manor Academy, we have recognised the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic and the impact that this has had on our students access to and engagement with reading. We understand the value of being a fluent and confident reader, and how it can improve the long-term success and life chances of every student. This is why we have planned and will deliver a range of opportunities, strategies and support throughout 2021, in our Year of Reading.  

Why is reading important?

For many of our learners, the journey from phonics (being able to sound out letters and groups of letters to form words) to fluency is well on the way by the time that they leave Primary school. A significant proportion of our students (in 30 % of a year group) arrive at Castle Manor without reaching the expected standard for reading. This may be due to a wide variety of reasons that could include recently learning English as a second language or managing to cope with a special educational need that makes reading a bit more difficult. Other students may just need a bit more time and support to practise their reading skills and gain the confidence needed to read fluently and to understand what they have read.  


At secondary school, being able to read and understand text is an important skill that is needed every day. From reading fiction and non-fiction texts, to being independent with Home Learning and personal organisation, we need to support our students to navigate their time with us. This means that we need to look at a whole school approach to reading that supports every student, regardless of their starting point.  

What are we doing as a school to develop every student as a confident reader?

We are proud of our school's reading offer, that covers a whole range of activities and approaches including:

  • An English Curriculum that is challenging and diverse, developing every student into a more confident reader 

  • A tutor time reading programme in Years 7-9 where every student hears their tutor read from a fantastic range of texts, learning new vocabulary as they go
  • Interventions for students who have specific literacy needs, and who might need extra support to catch up

  • Challenges and House Competitions that all of our students can access
  • Access to the PLC (our library) both in person and online via AccessIT where students can browse and borrow books, and take part in a range of activities

  • Further professional development for our team of teachers and support staff in supporting students at every point in their reading journey

Throughout this year, we will be updating parents/carers through our Reading Link Newsletter, via our Twitter feed and via this page.