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Reading at Gilberts

We prioritise reading

At Gilberts, we prioritise reading, aiming for all students to be able to read fluently. This in turn enables our students to access the full broad curriculum on offer, to experience the world around them with confidence and to achieve their full potential as they progress through their education.

Whole Class Guided Reading is a feature of our English lessons, with teachers modelling fluent reading and the full range of reading skills being taught. At Gilberts, all our staff are teachers of reading, considering how to use a range of engaging and challenging texts within their lessons. Our teachers will be undertaking CPD (Continuing Professional Development) throughout this year to ensure that they are well-equipped to teach reading across the curriculum.

We foster a love of reading

We want our students to experience the new cultures, adventures, information and imaginative worlds reading brings. In form time, tutors choose a novel to share with their forms.

5AL The Parent Agency by David Baddiel
5DG Ivan the Terrible by Anne Fine
Shiny Pippin and the Impossible Door by Harry Heape
5NH A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
5SJ Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
6EH The World's Worst Children 2 by David Walliams
6NG Boyface and the Power of Three and a Bit by James Campbell
6SH Toad Rage by Maurice Gleitzman
7EF Students read their own books. They also discuss current affairs via "The Day" website and have a current affairs quiz on Thursdays.
7FL The Explorer by Katherine Rundell
7PM Articles from "The Day" website
7SF The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne
8MT Boys Don't Knit (In Public) by T.S. Easton
8SD Orangeboy by Patrice Lawrence

 Sometimes, they read articles from the online newspaper ‘The Day’ and discuss the issues they raise.

Our library buzzes with students every lunch and break time as our school librarian and Year 8 library leaders help students select new books to read for pleasure. Even our school dog Inca loves books! Key Stage 2 students spend at least one lesson a fortnight in the library, exploring the wide range of stories and information books available to borrow. All of our students take part in the Gilberts Reading Challenge which encourages them to read a wide range of texts.

To help engage our students with reading, we visit Waterstones bookshop to meet with their children’s book buyer and select new books for our school library. We also have worked with Leighton Buzzard library to create a programme for selected Key Stage 3 pupils, introducing them to the resources available to them in their local community. 

In March 2020, we will be dedicating a week to reading:

Monday 2nd March Peter J. Murray (author) will be visiting Key Stage 2
Tuesday 3rd March Peter J. Murray (author) will be visiting Key Stage 3
Wednesday 4th March Book day – all lessons will have a book-theme; we will also be hosting a Book Café event for students and their parents after school.
Thursday 5th March World Book Day – we will be dressing up as our favourite book characters
Friday 6th March Students v Staff Book Quiz during assembly

We plan for and measure progress in reading

Our curriculum plans for the teaching of reading skills using a wide variety of texts. Opportunities are created for pupils to practise reading widely and often, with fluency and comprehension appropriate to their age. Progress is measured through activities in lessons and hearing children read individually and within small groups. PiXL assessments in Key Stage 2 are used to help identify gaps in understanding and to inform precision-based teaching as is the Simple View of Reading in all year groups.

We are developing our reading resources

Where students have gaps in their understanding of phonics, we have a newly-purchased phonics reading scheme aimed at middle school students which matches the sounds students know. These are used as part of phonics catch-up intervention lessons. We have also begun to build books that engage older students whose reading age is below their chronological age. Additionally, we are in the process of purchasing a new banded reading scheme for Year 5 pupils as well as updating the books available in the library for free-readers.

We are committed to supporting students to catch up quickly

Where students are reading below age-related expectations, we provide a range of intervention strategies. Some students have daily intervention lessons, particularly where phonics need to be re-visited. Other students are read with on a one-to-one basis during assembly/form time or part of a weekly intervention group with a trained teacher. All of our teachers know who these students are and consider how to help support their reading in their lessons.


Contact Us

Vandyke Road, Leighton Buzzard,
Bedfordshire LU7 3FU

Telephone: 01525 372266
Absence Line: 01525 552001