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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 it 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


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.

Both Key Stages are provided with a tutor time reading book that is age appropriate and challenging.  Year 11 have a book taken from the GCSE reading list as set out by AQA.

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. 






The Kite Rider - Geraldine McCaughrean


Ghostly Companions - a collection of short stories.


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


  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Charles Dickens 

  • The Signalman


Arthur Conan Doyle:

  • The Speckled Band


Murder Mystery Poetry

  • The way through the woods - Rudyard Kipling
  • The Listeners - Walter De La Mare
  • Charlotte Dymond - Charles Causley
  • 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




Golden Apples - Raymond Bradbury

Roald Dahl

  • Lamb to the Slaughter


Gothic Classics (extracts)

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


Gothic Short Stories

  • The Tell Tale Heart - Edgar Allan Poe
  • The Monkey's Paw - W W Jacobs
  • Porphyria's Lover - Browning


Susan Hill

  • The Woman in Black



  • The Tempest


Cultural Poetry 

  • Checkin Out Me History - John Agard
  • Mother Tongue - Sujata Bhatt
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings - Maya Angelou
  • Presents From My Aunts in Pakistan - Moniza Alvi
  • 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



Martyn Pig - Kevin Brooks

Circus literature (extracts):

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



Dystopian Literature (extracts)

  • 1984 - George Orwell
  • The Drowned World - J G Ballard
  • The Road - Cormac McCarthy
  • Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro


John Steinbeck

  • Of Mice and Men


Shakespeare's Villains (extracts)

  • The Merchent of Venice
  • Macbeth
  • Romeo and Juliet
  • Much Aso About Nothing



Lord of the Flies - William Golding


Frankenstein - Mary Shelley


Dr Jekyll and Mister Hyde - Robert Louis Stevenson


All Quiet on the Western Front - Erich Maria Remarque

Charles Dickens

  • A Christmas Carol


  • Macbeth

J.B Priestley

  • An Inspector Calls

Reading Interventions

All KS3 students take part in one of three tiered literacy interventions.  These are timetabled weekly lessons.  Students' intervention is determined by the result of their termly GL Reading tests.

Bedrock Vocabulary

Year Group(s) or Key Stage

7, 8 and 9


Students with a GL score of 4 - 9


Students focus on increasing their reading ability through to the Bedrock Learning Platform which is an online programme that focuses on increasing fluency in literacy, grammar and vocabulary with the end objective of making all students enrolled more proficient and confident readers.


Each student has their own platform within the programme that takes them through teaching and quizzes centred on cross curricular fiction and non-fiction texts.



Monthly reports are produced that monitor and track their progress through the programme.


Dedicated weekly lesson taught by a member of staff and are structured so that students have 20 minutes independent reading time and 40 minutes directed teaching.


Year Group(s) or Key Stage

7,8 and 9


Students with a GL reading comprehension stanine 1.



Students work independently through the Lexia programme online but are supported by a one of our English Mentors, Mr Cause.  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 in developing students' phonological awareness and therefore students are targeted based on their individual needs.


Tests at key points to monitor progress.


Dedicated weekly sessions facilitated and monitored by Mr Cause.

small group Reading Intervention

Year Group(s) or Key Stage

7, 8 and 9


Students with a GL reading comprehension stanine 2 and 3.



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 testing 



Dedicated weekly sessions facilitated by a trained reading specialist.

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.

Literacy calendar


Literacy Calendar Autumn 2023 - Summer 2024.

There is so much going on in the world of literacy and at The Deanes we will celebrate one key event each half term.




Details and Links

School Activities


Non - Fiction November

This year, the theme for Non-Fiction November is Wonderful Water. To help celebrate all things non-fiction The Federation of Children’s Book Groups have compiled compelling book recommendations to explore with students from early years right through to KS3


Wonderful Water Book List




Year 7 Students will be invited to enter a competition run by The Federation of Children’s Book Groups to create a postcard of a watery location that is special to them, explaining why this place is so important.


Closing date: Monday 4th December 2023







Wicked Writing Challenge.















The Hugo Young Award

In partnership with acclaimed stage-musical Wicked, this persuasive writing competition for pupils aged 9 to 14 focuses on positive changes they would like to make for the environment.


Wicked Writers Competition details.




The Hugo Young Award is a political opinion writing competition for young people aged 16 - 25. The award was set up in memory of Hugo Young, a former political columnist at The Guardian and is designed to inspire aspiring young journalists.


Read the 2023 winning entry for the 16-18 age category.


The truth about regeneration


















More to follow when The Guardian update the details for 2024.



National Story Telling week













International Book Giving Day (Wednesday 14th February 2024)


A week-long celebration of stories – spoken or written – encouraging creativity and self-expression enabling children to tell their own stories.

How to make your own Podcast


This day is all about sharing the love of books #bookgivingday was Introduced first in the UK to support children’s reading in underfunded areas, now volunteers in over 44 countries around the world gift a book to a child to increase children’s access to books.

Have a look at the following link to read about the history of book giving and ways in which you can get involved

International Book Giving day

















Details to follow of The Deanes’ activities.


World Book Day





















World Poetry Day

World Book Day is one of the highlights in the literacy calendar.  We love the annual celebration of authors, illustrators, books and the joy of reading. We're already looking forward to celebrating World Book Day on Thursday 7 March 2024.


National Literacy Trust: World Book Day details.



Held every year on the 21st March, World Poetry Day celebrates one of humanity’s most treasured forms of cultural and linguistic expressions and identity. World Poetry Day is the occasion to honour poets, revive oral traditions for poetry recitals, promote the reading and writing and teaching of poetry. It aims to raise the visibility of poetry in the media.


Ways to get involved with World Poetry Day.



There will be a variety of competitions and activities taking place around the school with a variety of prizes available. This is always an exciting day in the school calendar.


World Book Night.


A national celebration of reading and books that takes place on 23 April every year. Events up and down the country run by individuals and organisations celebrate the difference that reading makes to people’s lives, and everyone from publishers to librarians, and local businesses to the general public can get involved.


Use the following link to find ways that you can get involved.


World Book Night: Get Involved



National Share a Story Month.



This is organised by The Federation of Children’s Book Groups to celebrate the power of storytelling and story sharing. Each year there is a specific theme.


How you can get involved..





National Writing Day


























National Crime reading Month

This is an annual celebration of the power of writing creatively, inspiring people of all ages and abilities to try writing for fun and self-expression.

It takes place each year in June, and provides a great opportunity to celebrate the reasons why young people write and to encourage everyone to find their own motivation and voice.

The National Literacy Trust.





Promotes the crime genre, both in fiction and non-fiction, and aims to get people talking about crime writing and more specifically to get them reading it!




























The library will have displays of teenage crime fiction and various writing competitions will be run in conjunction with the English Department.


Summer Reading Challenge

One of the biggest free events over the school holidays. The Summer Reading Challenge kicks off in July in England and aims to prevent the summer reading ‘dip’ that many children experience over the break. To find your nearest library running this year’s challenge, check out the official website:

The Summer Reading Challenge - get involved.





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