At Lord Lawson of Beamish Academy we both support student’s reading and encourage of love of reading.


As part of the timetable all KS3 students spend a lesson a week following the accelerated reading programme.

Students with significantly lower reading ages than their chronological ages are given one or more of the following opportunities:

Two lessons a week with a specialist reading HLTA to develop inference skills.

Attend Daybreak – a focused reading group that takes place three times a week before school.

Peer mentors – year 10 peer mentors, after attending a training programme, listen to our year 7 students read during tutor time.

Sixth form support– our sixth form students support in accelerated reading lessons.




Author celebration weeks – during these weeks each day students in KS3 read the opening chapter of a novel by the same author. There are lots of competitions running during the week to encourage the students to read the different stories they are introduced to. Recently we have had a David Walliams and a Roald Dahl week.

Reading champions: We use synthetic phonics to train our Year 10 peer mentors. The advantages of using this method is our students are as follows:

Students work more effectively with a partner in ‘The Paired Reading Programme’ because Year 7 students are already familiar with the sounds they have been taught at primary school. Moreover, students can learn to read with fluency and expression because both the mentor and student have the same phonic knowledge. Students are also able to spell more effectively using known sounds.

Overall, using synthetic phonics uses a cohesive approach to teaching students enabling improvements to reading levels and attainment.

National Poetry Day – Year 7 students spend the morning discovering different poetry and creating their own, culminating in a student meet exhibition at the end of the morning.

World book day – staff dress up as characters from a text and students enjoy competitions to guess which character they are. During this day students also take part in The Big Read whereby they are read a chapter each lesson from a short story and complete prediction tasks with the different teachers.

Readathon – during November all students in the academy will be offered the opportunity to take part in a sponsored read.

Tutor time reading – years 7&8 read a novel together with their tutor and then complete different activities to support their enjoyment of the text. In year 9 students read weekly newspapers and discuss current affairs.

Shakespeare showcase– In year 7 students read a Shakespeare play within their English lessons then spend a morning together showcasing their visual representations of the plays.

At various times in the year we also promote reading through a theme whereby tutors read short stories around the theme and competitions run in the LRC for example, Spookfest

Reading is a fantastic way of developing creativity in children and adults alike.

Please read with your child and enjoy the experience together.