Reading and Academic Vocabulary

Reading Challenges

Reading Lessons

In English, all KS3 students have one reading lesson per month. This lesson is designed to develop students’ reading comprehension, speed and to expand their vocabulary.

Each reading lesson starts with a comprehension task. The purpose of this is to:

  1. Improve your reading speed. At first, your teacher will read the texts. Towards the end of the year, you will be reading independently;
  2. Open you up to a range of challenging extracts – which in turn teaches you to be more confident with new vocabulary, writing styles and text types;
  3. Check if you have understood – have you really read for the meaning of the text?

During this lesson, KS3 students will also be equipped with strategies to use when faced with reading a new book. This will help them engage with the text and get the most out of their time reading. We talk the student through how to be independent readers by:

  • Predicting – look at the title and any other information you have;
  • Reading and clarifying any difficult vocabulary (question what could happen next / previously);
  • Summarising what you have read.


Bronze, Silver and Gold Reading Awards

Students will also be given time to write in their reading log (found in their planners). They are encouraged to read regularly, with reading awards available.

You can pick up the postcards from your English Teacher.

Bronze award – a commendation.
Silver award – a commendation and entered into a prize draw for a book voucher.
Gold award – a commendation, entry into a prize draw for a book token of a higher value and your name on the wall of fame in the library.


At Penistone Grammar School, we believe in the importance of reading and its impact on academic attainment.

Upon arrival at PGS, all students have their reading ability and age assessed to help inform intervention and enrichment, and to stretch and challenge them in lessons and beyond.

We understand the role of reading and focus on equipping our students to be confident and fluent readers to allow them to develop and improve in every subject and ensure that our students are supported to do so.

We currently run intervention reading enhancement sessions with Y7 students each half-term. Students are encouraged to read for pleasure in sessions after-school and we monitor the progress of their reading over 6-8 weeks. Previous students undertaking the programme have made significant improvements in reading, comprehension and attitudes to reading. We are excited to offer this programme.

More information regarding the Accelerated Reader programme can be found on the Renaissance website:

During lockdown, we will be running this intervention with some Y7 & Y8 students who are currently accessing on-site provision. When we return to school, we look forward to offering this opportunity to more students.

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