Kensington Aldridge Academy is a school that reads. We know that reading for pleasure is of primary importance because when you read often and with enthusiasm, you lay foundations that last for life. Reading is an important gateway to personal development, and to social, economic and civic life (Holden, 2004). It allows us to learn “about other people, about history and social studies, the langue arts, science, mathematics, and the other content subjects that must be mastered in school” (Lyon, 1997). As noted by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (2003), “people cannot be active or informed citizens unless they can read. Reading is a prerequisite for almost all cultural and social activities”.

There is no one size fits all approach to developing reading skills. We ensure that the individual reading needs of every student are catered for through the following approach:

• All students take a reading screening test on entry to the academy.

• Students with lower reading ages are subsequently tested using follow up assessment methods to diagnose their specific reading development needs.

• Students who initially require support, or who make slow progress over time, are be placed on the Lexia programme and work with an assigned member of staff.

• Students with English as an additional language or Special Educational Needs have their own reading groups and targeted support.

We can’t build a school of life long readers alone; our approach is systemic, reaching across home, school, our partnerships and the community.

All students at KAA participate in a 20 minute reading session twice a week during tutor time, we encourage students to be active users of the both the school library and public libraries in the borough, we expect every student to carry a reading book with them to school every day, and our rich curriculum encourages extensive reading of books and texts in different formats and genres. Through this deeply embedded reading culture our students will become life long readers.