Reading is the gateway skill that makes all other learning possible  ~Barack Obama


There is a growing body of evidence which illustrates the importance of reading for pleasure for both educational purposes as well as personal development and that evidence suggests that there is a positive relationship between reading frequency, reading enjoyment and attainment (DFE, 2012)

At St. Sampson’s reading is a fundamental part of school life. Students are given the opportunity to read in many areas, and we ensure that all students leave us with the critical reading skills they will need for successful, happy lives.

Reading in lessons:

Students are taught new content in their lessons using frequent exposure to high quality texts in all their academic subjects. They are taught to read, speak and write using academic vocabulary (tier 2 words) – students regularly ‘read like’ historians, geographers and literary scholars.  They are guided to summarise, question, clarify and predict in their reading of appropriate academic texts.

Reading for pleasure

Reading for pleasure opens up new worlds for children. It gives them the opportunity to use their imagination to explore new ideas, visit new places and meet new characters. Interestingly, reading for pleasure also improves children’s well-being and empathy. It helps them to understand their own identity, and gives them an insight into the world and the views of others.

Reading Passport

All students from Years 7 through to 11 have a reading passport to record the individual books they have read.  The passports encourage the reading of a variety of text types.   These are issued in students English lessons and monitored by their subject teacher.

Reading Support

We want to ensure that no child ever leaves St Sampson’s without the critical reading skills they need to navigate the wider world. Any student who is struggling with literacy is given targeted support. Sometimes this is through small group interventions and encouragement from the library, peer reading pairs using reading ambassadors from Key Stage Four to support fluency in Years 7 and 8.  Sometimes support is available through a range of one-to-one reading intervention sessions with staff trained in synthetic phonics. We work closely with external partners, such as GL Assessment and Thinking Reading (an industry leading reading program), in order to ensure that our students get the absolute best experience possible.


Students in KS3 have a daily 20 minute slot to Drop Everything And Read (D.E.A.R.). During this time, they can choose to read a book they enjoy. This is to encourage a love of reading for pleasure.   Students are expected to carry their own private reading book with them every day, these can be exchanged in the library before, during and after school.


Bedrock Vocabulary is an online reading curriculum.  Selected students have their own online account with sessions taking place within their English lesson.  Each session takes 20 minutes, with an initial ‘Alpha test’ to determine a starting point for the student.  After completing, students take a post test. If they achieve below 60%, they repeat the learning steps and take the test again.

Bedrock has nine blocks, with a range of reading content including fiction and non-fiction.  Bedrock gives students exposure to new and ambitious vocabulary.

How Bedrock Works