Maplefields Academy

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Reading for Life

Reading at Maplefields:

Developing a whole school culture that nurtures a love of reading.


Intent: Every child to leave Maplefields as an independent individual able to access and understand written information.

At Maplefields, we believe that every child has a right to be able to access the world around them through the process of reading. Functional proficiency in reading is a vital life skill that our students need to acquire before moving into the complex avenues of news and information that proliferate adult life.

Beyond this, reading for pleasure provides an individual with cultural enrichment, companionship and intellectual challenge. It has a powerful influence on children’s cognitive development, especially in terms of their vocabulary. It is our goal as a school to provide an environment where the young people in our care can discover the simple joy of reading for themselves; sitting with a book, or listening to a story told by a trusted adult reading for pleasure. 

Reading is fundamental to education. Proficiency in reading, writing and spoken language is vital for pupils’ success. Through these, they develop communication skills for education and for working with others: in school, in training and at work.

Implementation: Reading at Maplefields is embedded within the fundamental structures of the school.

Reading Rich Environment

The school environment is one that celebrates and encourages reading. In each classroom there is a selection of age appropriate books available for the children and a space that is conducive to reading. Outside of this there are also areas such the Primary Library or the Secondary Reading Room, areas that are designated to the celebration of Reading. Quiet, calm and safe spaces to which students can escape to read independently, or aloud to a trusted adult, away from the pressures or their peers. In these spaces they can read in their own time and at their own pace, making progress as they do so.

Primary Phonics and Interventions


Read Write Inc. Phonics is a whole-school approach to phonics that provides comprehension, handwriting, spelling and composition to teach the children reading, writing and speaking fluently. Read Write Inc. is a highly structured, sequenced and systematic synthetic phonics programme, which builds the foundations of the child’s reading phoneme by phoneme, grapheme by grapheme. The children’s reading books always match the sounds they are working on and in this way the class learning is embedded before being built upon. If a student is on the phonics programme they will also follow the literacy plan to strengthen their individualised offer. This will be implemented through story time and during their independent activities during the phonics session.

For those in Primary that require significant phonic work the Primary reading interventions take place one to one with our reading ambassador. During these times they will repeat work using the sounds that they are working on to ensure the information moves from short term to long term memory. This is monitored closely throughout the year by completion of the Read, Write, Inc assessments and may change depending upon the most recent outcomes.    

Secondary Phonics and Interventions


For those students in Secondary that still require phonic work, its secondary counterpart Read Write Inc Fresh Start is used. For secondary students that have acquired their phonic toolbox but still struggle with their reading confidence and comprehension, the Rapid Reader (Pearson) program is used, with students reading 1:1 out loud to a trusted adult.

Interventions are identified through one of three pathways:

  1. Through the reading GL assessment
  2. Professional Judgments
  3. School assessment system (Earwig)

Students are then assigned an intervention that is appropriate to both their SEMH and learning needs.

Storytime in Primary and Secondary

There is a culture of Reading at Maplefields and it is a key part of form life. In Primary, the classes share story time on a daily basis; discussing and exploring the stories, themes and lessons that those stories contain. Meanwhile in Secondary, forms have one dedicated form time per week where students share a class read with their form tutor. Alongside this, students are encouraged to have their own reading books, which they can utilise during down time or if they are struggling to self-regulate and need to take some time and space for themselves. Furthermore, the students have a slotted time in the library every Monday to borrow a ‘Book of interest.’ The purpose of this book is to take home and enjoy looking at the book, using the book appropriately alongside looking after the book and parents/carers reading the book with their child.  All forms rooms celebrate reading. In every room there is a variety of suitable books available for the children to read and a space for them to do so.

Enriching Reading Experiences

Reading can be a powerful incentive and Maplefields offers students who are so inclined many opportunities to read more and access more books. Students can use our Maplepoints rewards system to purchase books or comics and outings to the library and the theatre help to embed the idea of Reading as a positive and enjoyable activity. Trips such as the annual Year 7 outing to Harry Potter World, as well as clubs such as the Warhammer and Role-Playing clubs, where students explore realms of imagination, allow students to access reading in a variety of ways, often without even being aware they are doing so. The Author spotlight is a termly focus where we broaden the students’ knowledge and awareness of a variety of authors through reading experiences.

Literacy Across the Curriculum


Across the school there is a focus on Literacy across the curriculum, with subject related reading present in all subjects and at all levels of the school. There is an identified vocabulary for each subject and key words and phrases highlighted for each topic area the student’s study. This language is present on displays and in the terminology used by the teachers during the lesson. More than this, during lessons this language is investigated and its etymology explored and explained. Children are rewarded for using ambitious vocabulary through the use of Maplepoints and language and words are celebrated. Exposure to this language increases the students’ word bank, which is a vital tool in allowing them to access opportunities in life after Maplefields.

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