Reading and Academic Vocabulary

Learn to Read, Read to Learn

Penistone Grammar School: a school that reads, learns and achieves

Got a question?

The Reading and Academic Vocabulary team (Mrs Marrow, Mrs Wilson and Mr Wright) are available to answer enquires via our dedicated email inbox:

Our Library Blog can also be found at

The @PGSALCLibrary Twitter feed is the best place to find our latest tips and announcements. Follow us for the latest information!

For more general Penistone Grammar School updates, you can also follow our main account: @PGSALC

Our Intentions

We truly believe reading is the key to learning.

To complement reading we also focus on improving students’ capacity to know, understand and use academic vocabulary. The more extensive a reader’s vocabulary, the more equipped they will be to understand and learn new information.

Our curriculum framework is underpinned by both reading and academic vocabulary. The ambition at PGS is:

We are an evidence-informed school, continuously researching the latest theories, strategies and techniques to help your child, both at home and in school.

According to the Department for Education, since 2017 students have faced ‘more demanding’ GCSE examinations, with an average reading age of almost 17 needed to access GCSE papers. This is problematic for the significant minority of students with a low reading age. A recent report (Read All About It) suggests that 20% of all 15-year-olds have a reading age of 11 or below. Considering this, encouraging a love of reading and building a strong academic vocabulary has never been more important to your child’s future success. By increasing their love of reading, writing and words, we equip them with the skills to make their dreams reality.

The benefits of reading are not only academic. Reading can also strengthen an individual’s mood, happiness, ability to empathise with others and be used as a tool to improve mental health. Reducing screen time before bed and replacing your phone with a book can help create a better routine and lead to an improved night’s sleep. It has also been shown to reduce stress levels by up to 68%. Therefore, reading is something that should be part of all our lives!

We believe the link between home and school is vital to encouraging students to read more.

Within school, we have an array of initiatives to encourage the use of academic vocabulary and reading:

  • Etymology
  • Register and Read
  • Accelerated Reader Programme
  • Tier 2 and Tier 3 vocabulary use in lessons
  • English reading lessons
  • The Library Blog.

Additionally, we set individual reading and house competitions to incentivise positive reading habits. During their time with us, students will also be encouraged to read at home. We will help you support their reading journey by giving you reading suggestions and questions to ask them.

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