18 June 2021

WoW – variable                                                                                                                      CPD Focus – Embedding Reading Warriors

                                                                                                         Using Reading Ages to Inform Teaching




  • Reading independently
  • Reading widely
  • Reading for pleasure
  • Spelling of subject-specific vocabulary
  • Use of WAGOLLs to model/scaffold (visualisers, mini-whiteboards)
  • Purposeful and structured communication with others









  • CPD Focus – Embedding explicit reading strategies and awarding Classcharts for them. Reading ages (available on Classcharts) need to be a point of reference when planning lessons.  Continue to use Reading Warriors (resources are saved here) and the Reading Quick Wins approaches (here) where possible.
  • REMINDER Study Groups – The feedback proforma is due in by the end of June to RLO (template here).
  • REMINDER: Setting work – please ensure that work is uploaded, as per department approach (i.e. Class Materials or Assignments), for every lesson so that isolating students can complete.
  • Dates for Diary:
    • Whole School CPD (PSHE) Wednesday 7th July (details TBC)
    • 13th July - New Staff Orientation day
    • 13th July @ 3:15-4pm – Study Group Celebration (details TBC).




 Feedback - Plan - Teach

Link to this term’s CPD focus – Embedding Reading Warriors, developing voice confidence

Key Priorities

  • Embedding Reading Warriors when appropriate (but making explicit the skills of clarification, questioning, prediction and summarising).
  • Giving students to opportunity to use their voices within your lessons (whether reading their work or from a text)
  • Promoting wider reading within your subjects and reading for pleasure


With just over a month until the summer holidays, there has been little time to pause and take stock of progress made over recent months.  As a school, reading has been a central focus and more than 1437 points have been awarded for Excellent Reading on Classcharts.  This month, middle leaders have been asked to evaluate how their departments are progressing with embedding active reading strategies within their departments.  Taking stock is useful.  Recognising where gains have been made is important – even if the gains are small. 

So, try putting some time aside to take stock and plan to move reading forwards even further.  Ask yourself: ‘how can I ensure that reading opportunities are planned into my curriculum in a purposeful way?’; ‘have I identified the key vocabulary that I would like students to learn in this unit?’; ‘am I able to tweak my approach so that I make use of the text and promote independent reading?’

Alex Quigley suggests the following instructions for allowing students to access difficult academic texts, rather than dumbing down the text that we allow students to read.

1. Male Thinking Icon – Free Download, PNG and VectorUndertake a ready reckoner – the teacher should select a manageable portion of the text (say, 200 words) and evaluate the complexity of that portion. Look at aspects such as: rare, academic vocabulary; language features (i.e. metaphors etc); sentence length; and the range of complex concepts or big ideas.

2. Free Activate Icon of Glyph style - Available in SVG, PNG, EPS, AI & Icon  fontsFree Connect Icon of Flat style - Available in SVG, PNG, EPS, AI & Icon  fontsConnect complex concepts and keystone vocabulary – for complex texts, it is important to pre- teach sophisticated concepts, such as particles and energy in Science, alongside explicitly identifying the related core vocabulary that is essential for communicating those concepts (i.e. atoms, molecules, ions etc).


3. Activate prior knowledge and relate – relate the new topic to previous ones.

4. Probe Interrogation Room Vector Images (73)and question – probing questions, via cold calling, should be directed at individual pupils to ascertain representative levels of knowledge for complex concepts and keystone vocabulary. So in History, for example, a probing question about the students’ knowledge of Tudor kings and queens can precede reading a source that evaluates the Wars of the Roses.


5. Plan for pauses – complex academic texts can place a high demand on students’ working memory.  Identify Pause Icon | Pretty Office 8 Iconset | Custom Icon Designspecific pauses in the text to check for understanding, with a small number of targeted questions to check for understanding before reading on.

Ignoring reading, would be foolish. Our curriculum necessitates students having secure academic reading ability in all subjects.  We all recognise the absolute significance of reading as a central lever in allowing students to progress. ‘We cannot and should not dumb down our text choices.  Instead, we need to pitch up.’ (Alex Quigley)


Useful references:

See Alex Quigley’s full blog here:


Teaching and Learning Policy (containing blended learning approach)

WLD planning template (updated January 2021)



Remember that you have all shared resources in WLD Teachers – CPD – 2020/21 – Reading Warriors


Where have you planned in opportunities for reading this week? 

  1. Are you pre-teaching difficult vocabulary before asking students to read (a textbook page/article/web page etc)?
  2. Are you planning to slip in Reading Warriors this week?
  3. Are you asking students to add in missing words to a text that they have read?
  4. Are you thinking about the reading ages, as you select texts to read?
  5. Are you asking students to be active and to look for something whilst reading?
  6. Are you planning to ask students to use their voices (whether reading to a partner or to the class)?
  7. Are you planning any choral repetition (repeating words) when learning new vocabulary (if they can’t say the word, then there is little chance that they will be able to read it)?



Flipping Learning in GCSE Classroom – JMI

Hodder Webinar

Faster progress, deeper learning.  £85 and access to recording afterwards.

The National College

Please contact RLO if you have forgotten your login. Several members of staff have yet to log in!


ACEs training - PHO (emailed information 7th April)



Mental Health Training – Free - PHO

  • It's FREE
  • Open to anyone
  • Do it when you want, you just need to register for a dated cohort.



KRO – Reaching the Hard to Reach

Useful webinar which includes discussions regarding ACES


RSW – School Diversity Week 21st – 25th June

Links to KS3&4 resources for lessons during school diversity week circulated by RSW: ‘It would be great if you could integrate those relevant to your subject into your lessons during this week, however, please do not feel compelled to do so, it's only if it fits!’ (emailed last week).



 Feedback - Plan - Teach

Posted by Rachel Long

Category: Teaching and Learning Digests

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