Duke’s Approach to the Teaching of Reading

At Duke’s we believe that reading is the most important skill a child can learn at school. Across all areas of the curriculum the ability to fully access the curriculum depends on a student’s ability to read. In addition we aim to foster a lifelong love of reading for pleasure.

  • Every Monday during Tutor Time all students across all year groups participate in DEAR time (Drop Everything and Read)
  • A book, either fiction or non- fiction, is now established as part of school uniform and the expectation is that all students should carry a reading book with them.
  • Our school library is well stocked and well staffed. It is open from 8:00am – 4.30pm throughout the day.
  • Students are encouraged to read aloud in lessons and school assemblies
  • We take part in Readathon each year and the school runs a high profile Book Week to coincide with World Book Day in March.

Accelerated Reader

In year 7 and 8 students take part in Accelerated Reader.  In addition to DEAR time students in years 7 and 8 have a dedicated Accelerated Reader lesson delivered as part of the English curriculum and an additional tutor session in the week dedicated to reading.

What is Accelerated Reader?

AR is a reading program that helps teachers support and monitor children’s reading practice. A student picks a book at his/her own level and reads it at his/her own pace. When finished, the student  takes a short online quiz to measure how much of the book he/she understood.  Book levels are based on data generated by a STAR reading test. We administer 4 tests over the course of the year to measure progress. As students improve during the course of the year the level of difficulty of the books read increase. Students are encouraged to read both fiction and non- fiction.

How does Duke’s reward successful readers?

Here at Duke’s we believe that readers are winners, both at school and in later life.  Each half term prizes are awarded for success at quizzing, improving reading levels, reading a million words , having an exemplary log book etc. Last year prizes ranged from certificates, books and badges to Kindles and theatre and cinema visits.

How can parents help ?

  • Make time for your child to read at home. Children need to read for at least 20 minutes every day to improve their reading ability.
  • Encourage your child to read; discuss books, asking questions about what they have read; and visit your local library.
  • Make sure your child always has a book in their bag.
  • Find suitable books for your child at arbookfind.co.uk. (suitable for all ages.) Use the Search function to look for specific titles or topics, or go to Advanced Search to browse for books within your child’s level if they are in years 7 or 8. If you are going to buy your child a book check on the AR  bookfinder  so that  you can choose the most appropriate.
  • Ensure that your child completes their AR Reading Log if in years 7 and 8.
  • In year 7 and 8 To find out more about your child’s reading progress, visit Home Connect. This will allow you to track your child’s progress towards his or her targets and to view your child’s reading history. Contact the school via Ms Bolton (ebo@dukesacademy.org.uk ) to find out more.


Booklet: Engaging-parents-in-AR_Home-Connect_Secondary_updated