Reading School

“A child who reads will be an adult who thinks.”
Ewura-Abena Ahwoi

Whatever journey life takes, a love of learning will never hold you back. At Atherton High School, we encourage all our students to read within curriculum time, during extended learning or at home.

The importance of reading is explicit in the structure of the school day with activities in form time, access to subject-specific texts in lessons and a school library that is open during free time.

Students are encouraged to spend time reading in the bespoke reading area or take books home to enjoy in their own space. The school also has a Learning Resource Centre where students have access to subject-specific reading to help with homework or inspire future careers!

All year 7 students will complete an online GL Reading Assessment which gives detailed information and data on reading age and comprehension skills. This results from the assessment, along with other sources of information, informs teacher planning, to ensure that all students achieve their potential at Atherton High School. All other year groups complete the New Group Reading Assessment which is also used to inform planning, and to track pupils’ ability and progress in reading and comprehension.

“Reading helps students gain knowledge which leads to better writing.” – Education Endowment Foundation.

Schemes of learning are designed at Atherton High School with vocabulary development as a focus in every subject, to explicitly teach tier 2 (high frequency words found in many subject areas) and tier 3 words (subject-specific vocabulary) to build exposure to academic language. Students also have access to Knowledge Organisers for every topic they study that explicitly highlights and defines keywords to support their learning.

Remembering key vocabulary, its use and meaning is supported strongly through retrieval practice at the start of all lessons, and throughout the curriculum journey.

DEAR (Drop Everything and Read)

Each morning we start our school day reading.

In DEAR time, we are currently reading:

Please click here to view the programme for Year 7 Year 7 – DEAR

Please click here to view the programme for Year 8 Year 8 – DEAR

Please click here to view the programme for Year 9 Year 9 – DEAR

Please click here to view the programme for Year 10 Year 10 – DEAR

In addition, to support a reading culture we have:

  • KS4 Reading Mentors.
  • All year 7 students have a reading book as part of their essential equipment.
  • Reading Rewards.
  • Student Librarians.
  • Calendared days to celebrate books and authors.
  • Bookbuzz Click here for information

Reading at Home

“Effective readers continually draw upon a complex wealth of prior knowledge about the world and language.” – Education Endowment Foundation.

At Atherton High School, we strive to build knowledge and vocabulary rich students through our curriculum, with a focus on reading within every subject. In addition to any reading students complete in curriculum time, any reading they do outside of the classroom will only strengthen this knowledge, build vocabulary further and support their confidence.


How can parents & carers encourage reading?

  • Create your own mini library – find somewhere within the home, or your child’s bedroom, to display their books and keep them safe.
  • Visit your local libraries – There is an abundance of books and other reading materials not that far away and it is all free!

Atherton Library

Leigh Library

Tyldesley Library

  • Read as a family – Talk to your child about the books you are reading or have read. Encourage older siblings to read to younger ones and it does not always have to be a book. Direct your child to interesting articles in the newspaper or a magazine, they could even read the ingredients list of your favourite recipe!
  • Contact us – If in doubt about what is suitable for your child to be reading, or you just want some advice.

Be positive, be encouraging and take time to read.


Here at Atherton we recognise and value the importance of reading to enhance both our literacy skills and knowledge of the world around us. Reading not only improves our word knowledge, spelling, understanding of punctuation (life skills), but it is also good for our emotional health and well-being. 

Who knows how the world will change for us and our young people, but one thing is certain, we will always need the skill of reading.

 Experiencing the pure joy of engaging our imagination in a good story or learning more about our world from a factual text is something we can do without leaving our chair. 

Keep Reading.

Mrs Denise Green