Literacy has a central role to play in students’ experience of learning. It is at the heart of what we do. As well as equipping students for the skills they need to achieve academically, we recognise the value of high-quality literary experiences in order to facilitate students’ personal development.

At Stoke Newington School we believe that for students to live happy and productive adult lives, it is important that they are equipped to:

  • express themselves clearly in speech and communicate in a wide range of contexts
  • listen astutely to others in a wide range of contexts
  • read for both meaning and pleasure to a sophisticated level
  • write clearly and effectively across a range of forms

As part of our Literacy provision, we measure students’ reading ages when they first enter the school in Year 7 and at other points so that all staff can support in the development of students’ literacy skills. We share this data with staff on Classcharts and with parents via progress checks.


Throughout their time at Stoke Newington School students will require different levels of support. As well as a Literacy coordinator, we have a specialist Literacy teacher and a Literacy tutor who oversee literacy provision. This offer may include:

  • Literacy provision during English curriculum time
  • 1-1 reading sessions
  • Handwriting groups
  • Touch typing
  • Sixth Form reading mentoring
  • Working with outside agencies e.g. Literacy Pirates

Disciplinary literacy and subject areas

Disciplinary literacy or subject literacy is vital in developing the strong literacy skills needed for academic success. Across the curriculum teaching and learning will aid students to progress in the areas of reading, writing, speaking, and listening as needed in specific subject areas.

Students are taught the specialist vocabulary needed to succeed and communicate within subject areas. In addition, all students in the lower school have access to Bedrock Vocabulary’s online vocabulary curriculum which teaches key tier 2 vocabulary using a wide range of engaging texts.

Reading for pleasure

Research clearly shows that reading for pleasure underpins educational attainment across the board, and so we aim to provide opportunities for students to develop this throughout their time at Stoke Newington School.

Our well-stocked and welcoming library is open for students, before and after school as well as at each break and lunchtime. Students in the lower school have a dedicated English lesson in the library once a fortnight focused on wider reading. Year 7 students participate in Book Buzz which provides all students with a book of their choice to keep.

All students have a registration once a week dedicated to reading.

We encourage all our students to read not just for enjoyment but also to feel empowered.

We celebrate reading throughout the year through author visits, creative writing workshops and during World Book Day.

Click here for a link to the Year 8 Reading Road Map.

Click here for our SNS reading list.

How parents and carers can help

Like everything in school encouraging reading is a partnership between the school and parents.

You can help at home by:

  • Encouraging 20 minutes of reading a day
  • Try listening to an audiobook as a family – you can use the link to our e-library above. Or try the BBC sounds website.
  • Talk to your child about what they have been reading and what they enjoy reading
  • Check that your child has a reading book with them as part of their school equipment

EAL Provision

The Literacy team also supports students who speak English as an additional language. We our proud of the diverse range of languages which are spoken at our school. Most students are supported in subject areas by their subject teachers.

Students who are in the early stages of learning English may be withdrawn from some lessons to receive English language teaching. Students in the upper school may be given access to technology that allows them to use google translate in lessons. Additionally, in the upper school students are provided with bilingual dictionaries and copies of English Literature texts in their home language if needed. If you would like further information about EAL provision please contact