Uckfield College 13


"Today a reader, tomorrow a leader"

 Margaret Fuller

Reading plays a crucial role in our Uckfield College Curriculum, and all teachers - not just English teachers - actively teach and promote reading in their subjects. 

Reading and wider literacy has the power to affect everything for a young person: 

  • Their vocabulary
  • Their general knowledge
  • Their academic performance
  • Their outlook and mentality
  • Their mental health and self-esteem
  • Their sense of belonging and inclusion
  • Their ability to empathise
  • Their imagination
  • Their understanding of the wider world
  • Their cultural reference points/cultural capital
  • Their functional ability to operate in the world
  • Their future opportunities and social mobility

It is our goal to foster a real love of reading among our students. This includes reading widely, developing a rich vocabulary and seeing reading as an enjoyable and life-enriching activity. 



Disciplinary Literacy - reading across the curriculum

One of our key curriculum aims is for all students to leave Uckfield with a ‘word-hoard’ of at least 50,000 words that they know the meaning of and can use with confidence in their future lives.

Every lesson at Uckfield contains an element of reading, whether that’s specialist scientific vocabulary, a lengthy historical source or a wordy exam question on a Maths paper. Being able to read fluently and competently will therefore have a positive impact on students across the board. Our knowledge-rich, ambitious curriculum requires students to develop reading, writing, talking and thinking skills in every subject and literacy is central to this. All teachers support students to develop vocabulary and reading strategies in their subjects and each subject has a specified vocabulary curriculum that they teach and assess.  Most students in the school will also use ‘Bedrock’, an online vocabulary learning platform, which runs as an English department homework but develops vocabulary that will be useful across subjects.


Reading Ages - Literacy Online Assessment

In English lessons, students are assessed three times a year using an online reading test. These provide us with their reading age, as compared to their biological age. This is a very useful indicator of how confidently and fluently students can access the written word.  

Literacy Online Assessment


Reading in PDT 

All year groups have one PDT session a week dedicated to reading. In some school Terms, this takes the form of shared year group text, which is read aloud to the students by their form mentor, with each student reading along in their own copy of the book. This allows all students to access the text equally and offers a shared reading experience. These sessions foster a culture of sharing and discussion around reading. You can see the chosen year group texts here.

[link to slide about PDT books] 


Our Reading Room 

We are lucky to have a wonderful Reading Room (library) here at Uckfield College. All students are welcome to browse at break or lunch time and it’s free to borrow books, with no late fees. The Reading Room manager (Mrs Izzard) can help match students with books that suit their age and interests. 


Reading Ambassadors

Across Years 7-11, we have a dedicated team of ten student Reading Ambassadors who act as the voice of all things reading-related for their year group. They help to organise and promote reading events, good books and reading news to their year group via video announcement twice a term. 


Book club 

Book club takes place every Monday from 3-4pm in the Reading Room. This is open to all year groups. We shadow and participate in book awards such as the Carnegie and Southern School Book awards. This is a great way to broaden your reading tastes and explore new authors and genres! All are welcome!