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Developing Literacy & Reading



At Sir Harry Smith, we are invested in developing the literacy and reading skills of every child at our school. We seek to identify any gaps in literacy quickly and to provide suitable support. We also aim to encourage all students to have the opportunity to develop a lifelong love of reading.

Why are we interested in developing literacy and reading?

Research shows that 1 in 4 students begin secondary school with lower-than-expected reading ability. With fundamental reading gaps still visible, we are seeing a deficit in academic success due to students being unable to engage with their learning in an effective manner. It is our ambition as Sir Harry Smith to close the reading gap at every possible moment during a student’s journey through their education with us.

Our vision

It is our vision at Sir Harry Smith for every child to develop their love of reading, and for every child to be supported to read at a level in which they can access the curriculum successfully. We achieve this by regularly reviewing our literacy and reading strategy and developing robust action and professional development plans to support all children to develop their reading. We are committed to keeping up to date with current research into effective support for reading and supporting students who are behind with their reading. We use a number of approaches to make sure your child receives the best education.


Lexonik programmes

Sir Harry Smith has subscribed to the Lexonik programme which has already become a fundamental part of our curriculum for students in year 7, 8 and 9. Research shows that reading is one of the most important skills a student can learn; not only does it help raise literacy standards amongst all students but will also hopefully promote a lifelong love of reading.

Lexonik is an award-winning company who work with teachers globally to raise the attainment of children based on decades of research and experience in phonology, literacy and dyslexia. The Lexonik programmes give teachers and students the skills to make dramatic improvements in reading, spelling and vocabulary.

For more information of the Lexonik programmes please see here

‘Remarkable Readers’


'Remarkable Readers’ give students in years 7 and 8 an opportunity to choose books to read aloud 1:1 with a teacher or in small groups during library lessons. This regular reading opportunity allows for the development of their literacy skills across the curriculum, to build confidence and engagement in reading, and provides an opportunity for progress in comprehension and fluency to be checked.

Shadow Yoto Carnegie Award – an international reading for pleasure initiative

The Carnegie medal is one of the UK’s longest running and best-loved children’s book awards for an outstanding book written for children and voted by librarians.  The shadowing scheme engages thousands of young people in reading the books on the shortlist via reading groups in schools alongside dedicated educational reading resources. Students at Sir Harry Smith vote for their favourite books to win the ‘Shadowers’ Choice Awards’ and watch the awards ceremony in the library.

For more information on the shadow Yoto Carnegie Medal please see here

Useful links

For more information on our reading strategy please see the link below.


For more information on our reading action plan please see the link below.


For more information on our professional development plan please see the link below.


For more information on literacy within curriculum planning please click here


For more information on supporting literacy at home please see the link below.


For more information on the Library Resource Centre please click here