Reading and Literacy at The Appleton School

“Today a reader, tomorrow a leader”

Developing a culture of reading

The written word holds great power, and reading is wholly transformative: being able to read well, both academically and for pleasure, empowers students, improves their Literacy and vocabulary, and enables them to learn about new ideas and experience new things; this can greatly impact on a young person’s future outcomes.

Every child deserves to be taught to read well. In order to foster a lasting love of reading, it is vital that we build a strong reading culture in our school. A reading culture is an environment where reading is championed, valued, respected, and encouraged, and at The Appleton School, we aim to promote this in a variety of ways.

Evidence suggests that students who read widely do better at school compared to young people who consider themselves “non-readers”. Reading positively affects progress in every area of the curriculum, and research demonstrates that people who read go on to earn more on average in adulthood: people read often as children and young adults are reported to earn on average 21% more than those who reported that they “rarely” read as children. Reading for pleasure is more likely to determine whether a child does well at school than their social or economic background. Reading is also exceptionally important when it comes to promoting wellbeing. Reading enhances our empathy and our ability to understand others and decreases feelings of loneliness. Reading increases relaxation, calmness, concentration, confidence and self-esteem, and encourages better sleep patterns. Studies show that young people and adults who read for 30 minutes a day are 28% less likely to report feeling depressed and are 20% more likely to report high levels of life satisfaction.

This is why, at The Appleton School, our goal is to develop a strong culture of reading.

Reading Provision

To support the development of reading at The Appleton School, the strategies below are part of our universal provision for all students:


To support the development of reading with students who we identify as needing additional support, the strategies below are part of our targeted provision:


School Library and Reading Machine:

Our school library has its own separate building where students can choose from a wide selection of books, including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, plays and graphic novels. Students are able to borrow books using the same fingerprint system as our canteen. Librarians are available during break time and lunch time to help students select a book that they might enjoy, and students can also purchase small items of stationery in this area. We have a number of comfy seats where students can enjoy reading for pleasure either independently or with friends.


We are delighted to have a new literary vending machine which takes pride of place in our main foyer. This forms part of our whole school rewards system. Upon reaching certain achievement milestones, students will be rewarded with a book token which they can use to select a free book of their choice from our machine.


Reading across the Curriculum:

Research shows that students who read every day are 28% more likely to over-achieve and exceed their target grades across the curriculum. Reading widely supports overall academic progress, however we have also carefully mapped our curriculum offering to generate a recommended reading list for every subject studied in Year 7 to Year 11 to reinforce the learning of our young people and to help challenge them to be more aspirational. Key Stage 5 reading lists are shared with students upon entry to the Sixth Form. We have also compiled a recommended reading list for reading for pleasure.

Cross Curricular Wider Reading List
KS3 reading list
KS4 reading list

Literacy across the Curriculum:

At The Appleton School, we believe that excellent Literacy skills underpin effective learning, and as such, feel that all teachers are teachers of Literacy, regardless of their subject specialisms. When a student has good levels of Literacy across the curriculum, this means that they have the capacity to:

  • read and understand passages of texts relating to a range of subject areas
  • construct texts relating to a range of subject areas
  • use tier 2 and tier 3 vocabulary relating to a range of subject areas, both orally and in writing
  • write in an academic manner
  • and think about, discuss, debate and interact with language used in a variety of contexts.

Excellent Literacy skills are necessary in order for our students to engage with all aspects of our curriculum, however they are also vital in the wider world: being able to read, write, speak and listen well are life skills that we feel passionate about arming all of our students with. Many strategies are used to explicitly support the development of Literacy across the curriculum.


Reading and Literacy calendar 2024/2025:


Linked Documents