Reading at Epsom and Ewell High School

Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.

-Attributed to Frederick Douglass

At Epsom and Ewell High School, we recognise that supporting children to become capable and engaged readers plays an important role in their future success. Reading empowers; it facilitates education and employment, and it enriches one’s personal life and growth.

During our Period 1 sessions, students are read to, covering three or four novels over the course of an academic year. These lessons support our students to foster a love of reading, broaden vocabulary and increase fluency, as well as improve their wider cultural knowledge of the world around them.

We use diagnostic tests to accurately identify gaps in pupils’ reading knowledge and use this to provide a bespoke accelerated pathway for those children who are pre-key stage readers through a research-based reading intervention.


Reading across the curriculum

Literacy is key to learning across all subjects in secondary school and a strong predictor of outcomes in later life.

One of our whole school priorities is 'disciplinary literacy'; an approach to improving literacy across the curriculum that emphasises the importance of subject specific support. We are committed to ensuring our students are learning how to read, write and communicate effectively in each of their subject areas.

Supporting your child with reading: 
We understand that the digital environment in which today's students are immersed can easily distract them from reading. As parents, you play a crucial role in helping them establish healthy habits. For instance, encourage them to read for a minimum of 20 minutes per day, and prioritise reading before engaging with screens. Engaging your child in discussions about their reading to foster comprehension and interest is also helpful.

Ways to support your child if they are a reluctant reader:

  • Try listening to an audiobook.
  • Read aloud to your child and engage in discussions about the text.
  • Give praise and set rewards.
  • Ensure the choice of book is suitable (see our recommended reading lists)
  • Take your child to the bookshop or the library to choose a book together.

 Details of the books read in each year group can be found here:




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