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Barclay Academy

Barclay Academy


Barclay Academy employs a multi-layered approach to promote a love of reading and to improve literacy levels amongst all our students. We understand the importance of a pupil being able to read well and its correlation with their success in life. Our approach evolves and develops pupils' reading skills, whilst ensuring they have exposure to a wide breadth of texts both in the classroom and when reading for pleasure.


We endeavour to ensure we close any gaps where a pupil's chronological age is higher than their reading age. We test pupils in term 1 and term 6 using the New Group Reading Tests and send the data home to parents to open conversations around the importance of reading. We have a robust intervention programme where pupils are selected to be put on to a range of targeted programmes to help close any gaps, including Lexia, Arrow, Fresh Start and Rapid Plus. 


We have a well-stocked library with an experienced librarian who helps pupils select the right reading materials for the pupil's age and interests. Books are constantly being added to keep the library updated and we are able to order in books that pupils request. We communicate new additions to pupils via posters round the school.  Our library has a range of displays that promote reading around specific topics, non-fiction and books over pupils suggest. Staff also have their chosen book on their doors to open discussions with pupils around recommended reads. Pupils have one timetabled 50-minute lesson per week where they can read for pleasure. Within these lessons we hold competitions to help motivate pupils to read more with prizes such as a trip to Harry Potter Studios. Our sixth form pupils support with these sessions and hear their peers read on a rotational basis. We are proud of the reading culture we have established at Barclay, with pupils being consistently exposed to challenging academic texts in the classroom alongside a culture of reading for pleasure outside of it. 

Reading strategies in place:

  • Targeted interventions across KS3 and KS4 to close gaps; Arrow, Lexia, Rapid Plus and Fresh Start
  • Read aloud as a whole school teaching strategy
  • Challenging reading-based curriculum (average reading age 17) but comprehension questions used to check understanding. Adapted to suit class needs 
  • Specific reading lessons in the library- 50 minutes per week
  • DEAR in tutor time
  • Library with a wide range of genres open before, during and after school
  • Sixth form library
  • Sixth form helpers in library lessons
  • Competitions as incentive
  • World Book Day- whole school focus
  • Library displays and feedback
  • Reading Cloud
  • English tutor for intervention work
  • Reading posters on staff doors
  • New to the library posters
  • Bi- weekly newsletter focus