Literacy Across the Curriculum

At St John Fisher Catholic High School, we recognise that the ability to communicate effectively through reading, writing and speaking are the keys to success in all subject areas.  In lessons, teachers plan for literacy in their lessons.  Furthermore, teachers in all subject areas are expected to mark for literacy using the marking symbols and by ensuring pupils correct their own spelling errors.  We have a Literacy Coordinator who works closely with departments to ensure that the Literacy Policy is applied consistently throughout the school.

Reading at St John Fisher

St John Fisher pupils are encouraged to read widely. We know from research that children who enjoy reading in their own time are more likely to achieve well at school, not just in English, but right across the curriculum.

Pupils at KS3 have a dedicated fortnightly reading lesson as part of the English curriculum.  Additionally, it is expected that all year groups will have one day a week in form where they can read a book, comic or magazine of their choosing.

Also in form time, Years 7, 8 and 9 work through their ‘Reading Challenge’ booklets to encourage them to read a wider range of material.  Years 10 & 11 have access to an anthology of non-fiction articles, short stories and poems compiled by the Literacy Coordinator with texts that will help them prepare for the rigours of their GCSEs.

Throughout the year, pupils have further opportunities to enjoy reading.  Annual events include:

  • World Book Day
  • Author visits
  • Writing workshops
  • ‘Big Book Quiz’ competition
  • BookBuzz
  • Book sales

Learning Resource Base

Pupils and staff have access to the Learning Resource Base throughout the school day; the library is open from 8.15am until 4pm.We have a full-time librarian on hand to advise pupils on their reading.  All pupils can use the LRB before and after school.  At break times, Years 7,8 and 9 have access to the LRB in the morning and Years 10 and 11 at lunchtime.  Stationery is also available to buy at these times.

So that pupils can complete homework in school, a suite of computers and a printer are available.  They can also attend Homework Club after school supervised by the librarian.

In the Learning Resource Base, we encourage pupils to take an interest in our popular extra-curricular clubs: Craft Club, Gardening Club, Random Readers’ Book group, Young Interpreters Scheme to name a few.

Our Scholastic Book Club is up and running! Go to to browse the latest books and order online. For every £1 you spend on this month’s Book Club, our school will earn 20p in Scholastic Rewards.

Accelerated Reader

From September 2018, our Year 7s will be the first year group to try Accelerated Reader.

What is accelerated reader?

Accelerated Reader is a programme designed to boost achievement in literacy and across the curriculum. It does this by making students read regularly at exactly the right level and by carefully monitoring every student’s individual progress. As a result, student reading ages are boosted more quickly than normal.

Why have we chosen to use Accelerated Reader with KS3?

We chose Accelerated Reader so that every child can reach their full potential and we know that it encourages and motivates students to read and enables teachers and parents to monitor students’ reading at KS3.
Being a good reader will help students in every area of the curriculum, not just English. Helping students to read with confidence should improve their chances at GCSE level too.

How does it work?

Students in year 7 are all taking part in Accelerated Reader.

First, every student sits a short online reading test in school. This gives students a personalised Reading Range – their ‘Zone of Proximal Development’ – this enables students to find a book, which is exactly at the right reading level. Every book in school now has a reading level so when they finish a book, they will be able to access the library and choose another one that has the appropriate reading age.

As soon as students finish a book, they take a fun on-line quiz, which provides instant feedback for the students – and allows staff to monitor progress and pick up issues. The quizzes will be available in some English lessons and on certain days in the library before, after school, and at lunchtime. Once students quiz, they can select a new book.

Your child’s English teachers, the SENCO and Learning Support Department and the school librarian will all have access to your child’s reading progress. This will be shared with the students and parents too at appropriate times during the year.

How can you help?

Students should have their Accelerated Reader book with them at all times – just as if they would have their pen, pencil or planner. Form tutors will check this at registration time.

Students should be reading for a minimum of thirty minutes a day – most of this will be done in school, either at registration time or during English lessons.
You could support us by reading a book at home in front of your child or talking to your child about the Accelerated Reader book they are reading. Together, we can ensure your child becomes an accelerated reader.

You can help your child choose their next book by visiting the AR Book Finder website. Students wishing to look up titles that are part of the Accelerated Reader programme can search through over 25,000 books on

For more information, please follow the links below:
SJF Renaissance Place

SJF Book Find

More information about Accelerated Reader can be found in the documents below:


Parents’ Guide