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Ivybridge Community College

Ivybridge Community College

Disciplinary Reading

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Please see the drop-down menus below for more information on Disciplinary Reading within the College English Curriculum.

What does Disciplinary Reading look like in English? 

General Reading

- The curriculum provides frequent exposure to texts in lessons – fiction and non-fiction – that are both engaging and challenging, exposing students to a selection of the best that has been thought and written.  This allows students to accrue ‘reading miles’.

- This reading is supported and extended beyond the classroom by directed homework reading of thematically relevant short articles/extracts for comprehension (assessed through online Multiple Choice Questions).

- Reading tasks systematically support students to set a clear goal for reading (e.g. through a question that demands high-level comprehension of the text). 

- Reading tasks initially prioritise general reading over analytical reading on the basis that it is very difficult to analyse a text we only partially comprehend.

- This is particularly supported through the fast reading of literature texts – focusing on general comprehension – (see Westbrook et al.) 

- We recognise that adjusting the way in which students access a text can adjust the inherent challenge presented by that text.  For example, students can access far more challenging texts with support – such as when the texts are read aloud and/or comprehension is scaffolded by the teacher – than they can independently.  Via this ‘sliding scale’ of support, we are able to pitch challenge appropriately.

- When reading aloud with students, 'Control the Game’ is used in order to ensure that reading is meaningful and highly leveraged (i.e. that passivity is avoided and as many students as possible are actively engaged with the reading process).

- Reading and writing are taught as two sides of the same coin so that, for example, knowledge of how to read a particular text type provides insights into how to write similar texts (see comprehension components above).  Learning how to write a particular text type, meanwhile, is used to help students to read texts as writers and to be alert to the ways in which they have been crafted. 

- Using Frayer models to explicitly teach new vocabulary allows us to teach the explicit meaning of language.

Reading as an English expert (Analytical Reading) 

Analytical reading is the process of not taking texts at face value, but rather interrogating them deeply as constructs to explore what the writer is trying to achieve; how they do this; and why they do this.  Crucially, it is a process which allows us to step back from texts in order to objectively question them and to judge them, without getting lost in our subjective experience of them.  It is this type of reading that is distinct to the discipline of English – both language and literature – and which students must master if they are to read like English experts. 

The curriculum:

- supports students to apply the core elements of the curriculum when reading analytically: thinking of text as a construct; thinking about GAT-C, the specific elements of crafting that the writer has used: CLS (content, language, structure).

-  supports the explicit teaching of the components that make up these composites (e.g. elements of the writer’s craft; words, phrases and sentence structures to support comparative thinking).

- The curriculum is text-rich, providing extensive material for practice.

- Weekly homework reading tasks also contain questions that require students to read like English experts e.g. thinking about the writers’ intentions and how the text is crafted.

- It provides examples of experts reading like English experts (e.g. other readers’ interpretations).

- As with general reading, analytical reading and writing are taught as two sides of the same coin.

- It teaches students writing and speaking structures to support analytical reading (and thinking).

Reading for Pleasure

First and foremost, we support reading for pleasure by helping our students to become better readers who are less likely to view reading negatively because of the frustration it entails for them.  In addition to this, we actively use lessons to 'light the fire’ of interest:

- We plan a rich and engaging curriculum that makes students want to read around it.

- We choose texts for students to read and study that have intrinsic value.

- By prioritising general comprehension, we work to ensure that students don’t become detached from texts.

- We model curiosity and interest in the texts we are studying.

- We often read texts aloud and do so with passion and energy to bring them to life for our students.

- We talk about books we like and, in particular, systematically recommend thematically relevant texts (please see 'Specific Texts read as part of the Curriculum' section below).

Beyond lessons, we further support reading for pleasure through the following:

- The texts provided for homework tasks are also chosen for their intrinsic value.

- We run reading challenges to engage students with texts outside the classroom.

Where are we?

Where are we?

The students are clearly being exposed to challenging texts within their English lessons and both students and teacher voice shows a positive response to the majority of these texts.  (In particular, the Year 7 & 8 students talk especially positively about ‘Animal Farm’.)

Fast reading of full literature texts (with a focus on comprehension) is a clear curriculum strategy and is supported by the Standard of Learning resources and Medium Term Plans. 

On the whole, this has been met positively by teachers and students and we can see a real improvement in the students’ knowledge of the text (especially lower ability and SEND students).

Reading as an English expert is an overarching principal of our WeST English curriculum and students are becoming far more adept at speaking and writing about writers’ craft and text as a construct. 

How best to format the reading H/Ls across year 7-10 is a current focus for WeST HoDs meetings, English Leadership meetings and department meetings.

Each term we have tried different formats and will use student and teacher feedback at the end of the year to decide which approach is model engaging and effective.

Specific Texts read as part of the Curriculum 

Year 7


Year 7

1 Extracts and short texts from Gothic Genre
2 'Animal Farm'
Non-fiction extracts and articles
3 Extracts from 'Romeo and Juliet'.
A range of Poetry

Year 8


Year 8

1 'In the Sea, there are Crocodiles'
2 Extracts from 'Much Ado About Nothing'
3 Non-fiction extracts

Year 9


Year 9

1 'Lord of the Flies'
Power and Conflict poetry anthology
2 Short stories / fiction
Dystopian extracts.
Power and Conflict poetry anthology
3 'An Inspector Calls'
Power and Conflict poetry anthology

Year 10


Year 10

1 'A Christmas Carol'
Power and Conflict poetry anthology
2 'Macbeth'
Power and Conflict poetry anthology
3 Fiction extracts.
Three non-fiction articles to support Discursive writing

Year 11

Students read a range of fiction extracts and non-fiction texts to support their English Language study. 

These texts come from a variety of eras (from 19 Century to 21 Century) and we aim to share a range of diverse voices with the students. 

Texts are chosen for their literary merit and high-quality vocabulary as well as how easily they allow students to explore crafting effectively in their analytical reading.