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Reading At Alt Bridge

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

-Dr. Seuss

Reading is a priority at Alt Bridge School.  We believe that all students should be able to read, and if they can’t, should be taught to.  We also want to develop a love of reading for our learners.

We recognise that reading is an essential skill which enables our students to access the full curriculum.

  • Develop essential thinking skills
  • Improve comprehension
  • Improve memory skills
  • Improve writing skills
  • Acquire more knowledge
  • Develop social and emotional understanding and awareness
  • Improve concentration and attention
  • Develop imagination
  • Understand more about the world’s cultures, people and places
  • Relax and engage in a pleasurable activity

Our approach to reading includes universal, targeted and specialist levels of provision.




English curriculum

Accelerated reader

MyON online library

Whole school library and other library spaces

Accessible and high quality texts

Recommended reads in all subjects

Reading strategy for all subjects

Phonics and reading skills development sessions three times per week

Regular reading support intervention in class

That Spelling Thing

Literacy support sessions


Additional phonics


That Reading Thing 1:1 or group programme

Dyslexia assessment and tuition

Reading ages

We test reading ages once a term using STAR reader.

All teachers are aware of the reading ages of the students that they teach and use this information to inform their planning and to ensure that the correct support is in place.

Following initial baseline assessments and using certain thresholds, learners are grouped so that they receive a more personalised approach to teaching reading.


Students whose reading age is below a certain threshold will receive specialist phonics lessons using the Lexonik Leap reading programme (three 25 minute sessions per week).

Some students will be taught specific reading skills including vocabulary development, comprehension skills and developing fluency (three 25 minute sessions per week).

For other learners, the priority will be around expanding vocabulary and accessing challenging texts in order to develop a love of reading.


Students whose reading age continues to fall below a certain threshold will be supported with 1:1 intervention sessions, using a specialist linguistic phonics approach called ‘That Reading Thing’.

Reading in forms

Students will be read to by form teachers three times a week.  The focus of these sessions is on engagement and enjoyment of the text and fluidity of reading.  Being read to by form teachers will allow students to hear expression of words and the correct intonation.  We follow a similar approach (Faster Reading) in our English lessons. 

Books have been chosen for enjoyment and the texts are different from those studied in English lessons. 

Term 1

Year 7
Year 7
Year 8
Year 8
Year 9
Year 9
Year 10
Year 10
Year 11
Year 11
Post 16
Post 16

Term 2

Year 7
Year 7
Year 8
Year 8
Year 9
Year 9
Year 10
Year 10
Year 11
Year 11
Post 16
Post 16

The school library also stocks a diverse range of fiction and non-fiction texts suitable for all of our students.

Ruler Reading

All students are encouraged to engage in the texts that they read.  Students have been provided with reading rulers so that they can follow along each line as they listen to the text.

We hope that by providing opportunities to read more frequently and by reading a varied range of texts, students will improve their reading ages.  This in turn will mean greater access and enjoyment from the curriculum.

Libraries at Alt Bridge

We are various library provisions at Alt Bridge which include;

  • Our main library Shakespeare’s Corner
  • Our community library
  • Our form mini-libraries
  • Our subject mini-libraries
  • MyOn our online library

We are extremely proud of our main library at Alt Bridge. New in 2021, our library has been named by one of our students as ‘Shakespeare’s Corner’ in recognition of our partnership with the local Shakespeare North Playhouse in Knowsley. Our library books are all logged onto our electronic library system, enabling students to borrow and return books via this digital recording method. Our school library assistant Ms Smith-Whelan works with our post-16 student librarians and other key staff to maintain our library and resource new and high-quality literature for our students.

All library books are logged according to our Accelerated Reader scheme colours so students are able to locate phonetically decodable books for their ability range. In 2022, we are providing a brand new community library for our staff, students and parents/carers to access. We provide a café-style environment conducive with reading for pleasure and relaxation. We look forward to welcoming parents and carers to also use this library.

One of our reading corners

Our main school library

 Our community library

Subject specific recommended reads

Clusters are embedding reading into their curriculum areas and as such, have produced some recommended reads for each subject.

These can be found under each cluster and subject area.

Support for Dyslexia

At Alt Bridge, we have members of staff who are trained to the level of specialist dyslexia teachers who can offer advice regarding dyslexia and associated needs. We also have members of support staff who are trained via the British Dyslexia Association. We now also commission a specialist dyslexia teacher to provide tuition and support to students with the most significant needs on a weekly basis in school and work with this service to also arrange dyslexia assessments, where they may be required.

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