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.


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 both 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 new 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 information from the assessment, along with other sources of information, informs teacher planning, to ensure that all students achieve their potential at Atherton High School.

“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 highlight and define key words, to support their learning.

Remembering key vocabulary, its use and meaning is supported strongly through retrieval practice at the start of all lessons, Word Walls and other methods of recall.

As a school we also support reading with:

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

“From seeing the head teacher playing football with the children on the yard, to staff sitting with pupils at lunchtime, everyone works together and there’s a strong feeling of belonging to part of something bigger than just a school”

Mrs Doyle