‘Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body’

At Ark Academy, we prioritise reading in every classroom. By promoting reading across the full curriculum spectrum, we equip students to read fluently and comprehend texts in every subject discipline. It is crucial that we nurture fluent readers who can independently comprehend a wide range of texts for students to appreciate the central role of reading as the key to acquiring knowledge and setting them up for success in future learning. The skills involved in reading, comprehending and interpreting a text in the classroom – which involves self-reflection, discussion and navigating a divergence of opinions and interpretations – will also develop students’ empathy, tolerance and self-awareness.


Our reading across the curriculum strategy is founded upon the following five principles:

  1. Reading is the pathway to learning. Reading is the key to unlocking the curriculum for students. Students need to be trained to read as a historian, as a scientist, a geographer, a mathematician, so that they can build the stamina for reading challenging, academic texts in the future.
  2. Background knowledge matters. The reading pupils undertake in school is typically requires substantial background knowledge. Through pre-reading tasks, teachers equip students with the background knowledge to aid their reading and comprehension.
  3. Fluency aids comprehension. Reading with expression and accuracy contributes towards reading comprehension. Providing students with opportunities to read aloud in the classroom allows teachers to support students with developing fluency.
  4. Accountable Independent Reading is a tool for life. Teachers support students with effectively reading a text for meaning by providing students with questions/tasks that support students’ comprehension of a text, encourage more ‘active’ reading habits and equip students to tackle texts with independence later in life.
  5. We want all students to foster the habit of reading independently. Children’s reading ability determines how much they read so, as teachers, we are committed to delivering high quality reading provision; if we can improve the teaching of reading, then we are likely to increase our pupils’ reading ability and how much they read for pleasure and engage in our subject disciplines.


Our work on reading in the classroom is enhanced through our use of the reading canons. These form part of our significant commitment to reading as a life-long skill. Every department has chosen three books they recommend your child to read to broaden their passion and knowledge at an age appropriate way that supports their learning of the curriculum.

Click below for these in your child’s school Year.