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South East Essex Academy Trust (SEEAT)

The Deanes



Our curriculum at The Deanes aims to cater for the individual strengths and needs of every student, enabling each one of them to make outstanding progress and allowing them to achieve their goals.

We believe that developing skills in literacy is about learning to use language to express, explore and communicate our thoughts, ideas and feelings with others. We do this through speaking, listening, reading and writing, and getting better at literacy means making progress in each of these areas.  

Reading and literacy skills  open doors and allow our students to access all aspects of the curriculum, whilst improving oracy, communication and problem-solving skills

We owe it to our students to give them the very best literacy skills in order to improve their chances in life, and to enable them to succeed in whatever path they choose.


It is proven through the studies of psychologist Keith Stanovich that children who learn to read in the first three years of their education become fluent readers. They read more, learn more vocabulary which then enables them to read more and comprehend more advanced texts and so they advance further. The children who fail to learn to read, read less, are less fluent, have a poorer vocabulary, comprehend less and the gap just keeps on growing. It is the principle of ‘The rich get richer and the poor get poorer’This is why is essential that all children are offered a structured reading programme.

Whole School Strategies


Each year group has one tutor session dedicated to reading each week.  This session is delivered by form tutors who have received training on reading techniques and strategies. Each session lasts 20 minutes and adhere to the following structure.


Consolidation of what has been previously read

In addition to this year 7 and 8 students have a booklet of supporting activities (each aiming to last  5 minutes) which encourages  them to reflect on what has been read.


Teacher led reading of the book. Teacher to model good reading practice through strategic questioning to reinforce and develop understanding 


Summary of what has been read. Questioning to be used for further prediction.

Year 7 and 8 are provided age appropriate books from the Book Buzz reading list. Year 9 and 10 are provided with one fiction text and one non fiction text.  This compliments the Ethics curriculum and reflection tasks are provided by the Ethics subject leader to ensure students have fully comprehended the contextual and ethical  issues within the books they are reading.  In Year 11, the expectation is for students to read appropriate revision and subject specific materials or to read a book of their choice.

DAILY D.E.A.R. (Drop everything and read)

All KS3 students have a daily 20 minute D.E.A.R. session that takes place during one of their lessons. This is run on a rotational basis.

Students should all have a reading book with them at all times, one that they have chosen to read either from home or from the school library. Our focus  is to encourage students to read for pleasure during these sessions. 

Reading in English

The texts studied in English are specifically chosen to ensure that students are exposed to and inspired to read widely, and deeply, to explore a range of cultures, experiences and opinions that stem from a wide range of social, cultural and political concepts. This will support them to not only form their own opinions of the world in which they live, but to develop their empathy skills, to make sure they are aware of the opinions of others and accept those perspectives. 





City of Ghosts  - Victoria Schwab

Max Kowalaski - Susie Day

Talking to Alaska - Annal Woltz

Crater Lake - Jennifer Killick


  • The Theft of Thor’s Hammer
  • Balder.
  • The Morrigan by Lora O’Brien
  • Isis and Osiris
  • The Primal Sister’s story
  • Odysseus and Cyclops

Benjamin Zephaniah:

  • The London Breed
  • The British
  • The men from Jamaica are settling down
  • No Problem


  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Charles Dickens (extracts)

  • Bleak House
  • Oliver Twist
  • Great Expectations
  • A Christmas Carol
  • The life of Stephen Laurence by Verna Allette Wilkins.
  • George Floyd resources for children
  • Talking Turkeys - Benjamin Zephaniah
  • A complete guide to fairies and magical beings - Cassandra Fasson.
  • The library of unrequited love - Sophie Divry
  • The Dragon Grammar Book - Diane Mae
  • The Girl’s like spaghetti - Lynne Truss


Check Mates - Stewart Foster

Little Bird Flies - Karen McCombie

The Haven - Simon Lelic

A  Darkness of Dragons - S.A Patrick

Arthur Conan Doyle:

  • The Speckled Band

Gothic Classics (extracts)

  • Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde
  • Dracula - Bram Stocker

Gothic Short Stories

  • The Tell Tale Heart - Edgar Allan Poe
  • The Monkey’s Paw - W.W Jacobs

Susan Hill:

  • The Woman in Black 


  • Macbeth

Wilfred Owen:

  • Anthem for a Doomed Youth.
  • Disabled.
  • Dulce et Decorum est.

Siegfried Sassoon:

  • Suicide in the Trenches.
  • Hero.
  • Porphyria’s lover - Browning
  • Jane Eyre - Bronte.
  • THe Hound of the Baskervilles - Arthur Conan Doyle.
  • Twilight  - Stephenie Meyer.
  • THe Raven - Edgar Allen Poe
  • Article on The Woman in Black
  • Saving Hamlet - Molly Booth.
  • Enter Three Witches - Caroline B. Cooney.
  • Private Peaceful - Michael Morpurgo.
  • Article on WW1 literature


The Boy who Harnessed the Wind - William Kamkwamba

Lord of the Flies - William Golding

Circus literature (extracts):

  • The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern
  • The Palace of Curiosities - Rosie Garland
  • Lion Boy - Zizou Corder

Roald Dahl short stories:

  • Lamb to the Slaughter.
  • The Landlady

Mildred D Taylor:

  • Roll of Thunder Hear my Cry


The Tempest 


Oranges are not the only fruit - Jeanette Winterson

I am Malala - Malala Yousafzai

Charles Dickens

  • A Christmas Carol


  • Macbeth

J.B Priestley

  • An Inspector Calls

Reading Interventions

Accelerated Reader

Year Group(s) or Key Stage

7 and 8


All students


Students focus on increasing their reading ability through practice and individualised tasks.  Each piece of work is personalised to the student through the use of the Accelerated Reader programme.  For lower ability students, these sessions enable a time to focus on gaining key reading skills and raising their reading age.  An increased reading age ensures access across the whole curriculum, so a raised reading age ensures progress in other subjects.


Star tests: Sat 3 times a year to provide a chronological reading age for students.

Accelerated Reading Quizzes: Sat by students when a book is finished - test students comprehension of what they have read and provides a percentage score.


Dedicated weekly lesson taught by Miss Cussons and are structured so that students have 20 minutes independent reading time and 40 minutes directed teaching.


Year Group(s) or Key Stage

7 and 8


Year 7

Students with a GL reading comprehension stanine 1.

Year 8

Students with a GL reading comprehension stanine 2 or 3


Students work independently through the Lexia programme online but are supported by a key member of staff from the SEN department.  These small group sessions focus on increasing individual reading age whilst developing key spelling skills using phonics and phonic blends.  The Lexia programme has been specifically designed to assist those with specific learning needs, such as dyslexia, and therefore students are targeted based on their individual needs.


Tests at key points to monitor progress.


Dedicated weekly sessions facilitated by a trained LSA.

Reading Intervention

Year Group(s) or Key Stage

7 and 8


Year 7: Students with a GL reading comprehension stanine 2 and 3.

Year 8: Students with a GL reading comprehension stanine 1.


Sessions are designed to target key reading skills and areas identified as needing development from reading assessment data.  Students participate in group task activities and independent work, focussing on strengthening the 5 building blocks of reading; oral literacy, phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.  During the second half of each session, students participate in guided reading to target individual areas for development.  During this time, students read a shared book and read aloud to a member of staff, focussing on developing fluency and oral comprehension skills.  This also promotes confidence, and develops reading with expression.


Termly GL Reading test 


Weekly one hour sessions on a ten week cycle

(At the end of each intervention cycle, all individuals are to be reassessed and may continue to receive the intervention for longer periods of time if necessary.)

Precision Reading

Year Group(s) or Key Stage

7 and 8


Identified students enrolled on the reading intervention programme.


Precision teaching is a structured teaching method designed to improve accuracy and fluency of reading and spelling.  These short, intensive sessions are carried out daily and are designed to ensure students can read and spell high frequency words to automaticity.  The sessions focus on skill, fluency and maintenance.  Precision teaching is an effective method in moving content to the long term memory, and is a technique often recommended by Educational Psychologists.


Termly GL Reading test 


Daily 10 minute sessions during tutor time delivered by Mr Cause - English Mentor.

Comprehension Intervention

Year Group(s) or Key Stage

7, 8 & 9


MPA students identified as achieving Below expected progress in English..


Students work in small groups with a trained Academic Mentor. 

These small group sessions focus on information retrieval and increasing complex inference skills in both fiction and non fiction texts.

Students will increase their confidence in interacting with complex texts and will also develop their vocabulary skills as an emphasis is placed on more complex language and sentence structure as well as authorial intent. 


Termly GL Reading test


Weekly 20 minute sessions during tutor time.

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