At Holy Family, it is our ambition to promote literacy in all areas of the school curriculum.  We want confident, secure pupils in all literacy skills so that they can thrive and communicate effectively as adults.  It is our intention to raise standards of literacy, in partnership with parents, so that no student is disadvantaged by poor literacy skills. We strive to transform the lives of our students by continuing to close the reading gap. Our aim is to support our students in building their reading skills so that that their reading age is in-line with their actual age. There are many reading resources and activities taking place in school. Most recently, we launched the ‘Holy Family 100 Book Challenge’, a brand new and exciting reading competition, created just for Holy Family students.

We want to encourage students to read widely and often. We foster a love for literacy and offer great opportunities to expand reading, writing, and speaking and listening skills. In addition, we encourage parents to access the wealth of reading resources available and have created a reading list specifically for each key stage.

Literacy is fundamental for academic achievement and success in life beyond the classroom. If students are not able to read, write and communicate effectively (with fluency and at an age appropriate level) they will be unable to access the rest of the curriculum. At Holy Family, our unique literacy programme serves to further develop literacy skills, this includes:

  • Weekly form time literacy sessions focusing on reading and vocabulary
  • 1-2-1 supported EXCEL reading intervention in phonics and reciprocal reading
  • Small group supported EXCEL intervention with trained phonics staff
  • Timetabled reading room lessons throughout KS3
  • Regular GL assessments and data on reading ages
  • Creative Writing lunchtime clubs
  • Online Vocabulary Bedrock Learning for KS3
  • Reading room supervised at lunchtimes
  • Regular literacy enrichment days
  • Numerous author events and scholastic book fairs.


A combination of having a strong rewards system and good-natured competition also helps in engaging and exciting our students.  We strive to improve the lives of our students for the better by making them better readers and we are very proud of our success.

Reading List

We recommend the following websites to support your child reading at home:

National Literacy Trust

The Literacy Shed


Reading is at the heart of the Holy Family curriculum.  Our intention is to ensure no child is left behind and so our reading curriculum is wholly inclusive.  Pupils needs to be given every opportunity to flourish and become fluent and accurate readers.  The key to achieving this is early intervention for the struggling readers, teaching reading through every subject discipline and inspiring and challenging all through enrichment.


Literacy Leaders

Intervention Literacy Lead - Mrs. L Jones

Disciplinary Literacy Lead – Miss. A Routledge (Whole School Literacy)

Key Stage 2 Specialist Teacher – Mrs. K Samra


Early identification of struggling readers is key to ensuring that pupils get the support they need.  We use GL Reading Assessment and test all our pupils once a year, with those in intervention cohorts being tested more regularly so that we can track progress and quality assure the intervention practices.  After researching several reading assessment programmes, we decided that the amount of data given for each pupil following this particular assessment was going to be the most useful to inform next steps. Our provision includes small group tuition, one to one reading time, timetabled additional interventions (delivered by specialist teachers), timetabled (1 hour per fortnight) reading lesson in the specially equipped reading room (delivered by English Specialist teachers).  Our extensive provision allows us to identify the pupils who need support the most, intervene and track their progress, identifying the intervention programme that works best for them.

We have a variety of intervention programmes including:

  • Phonics for early readers.
  • Our own bespoke ‘Excel’ Personalised Reading Intervention – delivered by specialist teachers.
  • Our own bespoke ‘Excel Plus’ Personalised Reading Intervention.
  • Daily reading support in form time.
  • Small group reading sessions.
  • Form time reading activities.
  • Lexia Programme.
  • Bedrock Programme.
  • KS3 Reading lessons.



  • This is the first year and we hope to see a steady increase in reading ages.
  • Pupils appear to be more confident and self-assured than previously when reading out loud. 
  • Pupils are fully engaged and reading books that are Reading Age appropriate and challenged to read more often.

At Holy Family we have embedded reciprocal reading into our classrooms, in all subjects. It is a structured method of guided reading where children are gradually taught to develop reading skills to explore and find meaning in texts. Reciprocal reading supports independent comprehension skills and is a structured approach to reading which students can use to improve their reading comprehension.

Reciprocal reading is a great way to teach students how to determine important ideas from a text while discussing vocabulary, developing ideas and questions, and summarising information. There are four parts to improving reading comprehension and engagement, which are called ‘The Fab Four’:

- predicting

- questioning

- clarifying

- summarising.

Each one of these plays an important role in helping students:

Improve literacy — Rather than skipping over words they don’t understand, students are encouraged to figure out what they mean, helping them with current and future readings.

Stay engaged — Students are actively looking for different clues and ideas throughout readings, helping them to stay interested in a text.

Boost reading comprehension — The four building blocks give students the tools needed to decipher a text and understand the ideas being presented to them.

Learn on their own or in groups — Reciprocal teaching puts students in the position to improve their reading comprehension through teamwork so they are better suited to work by themselves on future projects.

The ‘Holy Family 100 Book Challenge’

The ‘Holy Family 100 Book Challenge’ is a brand new and exciting reading competition, created just for Holy Family students. We have selected 100 books across a wide range of genres, books that stretch, engage, and fascinate the reader. Within our selection is a range of wonderfully diverse novels. The ultimate challenge is for students to read all 100 titles during their time with us at Holy Family... quite the challenge and certainly ambitious.


Students have five years to read as many as they can. The more books read the higher students will climb on the school leader board leading to more prizes and exclusive trips.


Below you can find a complete list of the HF 100 books along with the Reading Age each title is suited to. You can find out who is currently at the top of the leader board and what prizes they're on track to win.


In addition, every year we will be selecting several students from each year group to go on an amazing school trip. These will be the students who have demonstrated the greatest effort with their reading, the best progress over the year or have simply been an engaged reader.

Congratulations to the 35 students who have won a Domino's rewards lunch for reading 5 books from the HF 100 Book Challenge! 

Congratulations to the 35 students who have won a Domino's rewards lunch for reading 5 books from the HF 100 Book Challenge! #HFCHSLiteracy #HFCHSReadingChallenge

Reading reward trip to Waterstones from the HF 100 Book Challenge! 

Pupils were rewarded for their superb efforts with reading and taking part in the 100 book reading challenge this year! 

Holy Family 100 Book Challenge

Literacy in Action