Reading is not only beneficial for learning but is an opportunity for all students to access the world outside of their local context and imagination. Every student, no matter their background, should have access to, and be able to benefit from, the richness of books. Emmanuel College is committed to ensuring:

Students are given the opportunity to read frequently and aloud. 

Teachers are advocates of reading and read beautifully to students. 

Vocabulary sits at the heart of our curriculum and lessons. 

The range of skills and knowledge that a student can gain through effective literacy teaching has a substantial impact on their ability to access the curriculum. Our wealth of words can determine our opportunities in life. Experiencing a vocabulary knowledge deficit in school can prove an insurmountable deficit to attainment. By simply recognising the value of vocabulary development as an initial step, allows for us to make strides in closing the vocabulary gaps that exist within our classrooms.

“The vocabulary gap is more than just words and remains a key factor in the word-rich achieving at GCSE and the word-poor struggling to access the breadth and depth of the curriculum offer.”

Quigley, 2020.

Disciplinary Literacy

Disciplinary literacy focuses on the communication of subject specific knowledge and vocabulary. The use of disciplinary literacy supports students in understanding that language works differently in different subject areas; the way in which vocabulary is used; how question phrasing will shape the answers expected of them and how to interpret subject specific materials.

Emmanuel College is committed to supporting all students in their development of disciplinary literacy across the curriculum. Teaching students to write like geographers, debate like mathematicians and analyse like scientists. The development of literacy sits at the core of all our subject curriculums.


Words are important. They are the building blocks of reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Vocabulary is the key to students accessing the curriculum and learning in the classroom. Explicitly teaching vocabulary can enrich knowledge and understanding across of range of subject domains. Words that make reading challenging, generally do not occur in spoken language, there is a strong reciprocal relationship between word knowledge and reading comprehension.

To support vocabulary development and access to learning, all students should focus on the development and understanding of Tier 2 and Tier 3 vocabulary.

Routes into reading

The Emmanuel College Routes into Reading programme allows for all students to engage in reading challenges across the course of their time at Emmanuel College. The Routes into Reading programme consists of 99 different books, from a range of different genres, as highlighted in the image below. Students are encouraged, through the library, to engage in a range of reading challenges which encourages them to read outside of their comfort zone.

Emmanuel College Reading Intervention Pathways

“When we teach students to read with precision, rigour and insight, we are truly handing over the key to the kingdom. Of all the subjects we teach reading is the first among all equals.”

Doug Lemov, Reading Reconsidered (2016).

A main cause of reading difficulty is incomplete phonic knowledge. The ability to decode automatically is crucial for students, whatever their age. Without decoding skills, students will be limited to a ‘sight’ word vocabulary, lacking the ability to read an unknown word. Students lacking the ability to decode automatically may well be seriously disempowered for life. Automatic decoding, a lower-level skill, frees up the ‘cognitive energy’ needed for reading comprehension, a higher order skill.

There are two reading intervention pathways at Emmanuel College. The word recognition/phonics pathway is designed to support those students who cannot decode words. These students will work through a programme called Lexonik Leap. The reciprocal reading pathway is for those students who struggle with comprehension and fluency.

Lexonik Leap

Lexonik Leap effectively resolves phonics gaps for learners who find literacy particularly challenging and those for whom English is not their first language, rapidly progressing reading, spelling and oracy.

Literacy assessment online

Literacy assessment online system provides an effective tool to evaluate & measure the impact of the literacy interventions we provide in College. 

The influence of reading intervention

Reading is an essential skill for success in academics and integration into society. At Emmanuel, every student has the opportunity and progression pathway to be a successful reader. Our reading intervention programme supports a range of students with their fluency and accuracy, their word recognition, comprehension, depth and breadth of vocabulary, and confidence in reading out loud.



Reading intervention has made me so much more confident and capable in lessons.



Reading intervention has helped me with my fluency. I used to get muddled up with words, but this doesn’t happen as much anymore.



Reading intervention has given me more independence to explore different books.



Reading intervention has made me more confident to read out loud. I don’t feel as nervous about it anymore.

Sixth Form

The Emmanuel College Curriculum

Vision, Mission and Virtues