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Thinking Reading


At Chaucer we believe that good literacy skills underpin everything we try to do. The ability to read well underpins GCSE and BTEC outcomes, and leads to students feeling happier at school. Ultimately – life chances, happiness, future employment and earnings all rely on literacy.

Thinking Reading is a literacy intervention for those students who have the most significant gaps between their reading age and chronological age. The intervention is there as temporary support, prioritising Y7 and Y10 students until their reading ages match their actual ages. Students are chosen based on diagnostic tests and work with a mentor 1:1 three times each week.

The long-term goal is that no student leaves Chaucer School with a reading age below their chronological age.

To support this, we have four fully trained Reading Mentors who work in the Oasis.


Lessons are broken down into two halves - The first half focuses on techniques and skills to decode words and build upon recognition and fluency of reading sounds. The second half focuses on exposure to vocabulary in a text and comprehension of these texts. 

The lessons are personalised so that individual needs and specific areas of learning are addressed, allowing quick visible progress to be seen. The methodical and systematic approach to lessons allows positive reading habits to be instilled in the student and within each and every lesson there are stages for progression and success.


“It has helped me a lot in English because I couldn’t read before. I didn’t feel confident reading in class. Now I do it all the time. My spellings have also really improved. I can read the questions better in other subjects and it has helped me with my confidence in school.”

“I am really enjoying the interventions. I like what we read and I like that I get to choose what I read. It is nice to take a break from lessons, where I have always felt a bit behind, and come to interventions to help me get to the same level. Since starting the interventions, reading is much easier.”

“I’m getting involved in class discussion more than I usually do. Normally, I just sit there being quiet, but the intervention has given me the confidence to speak out more. After just a few sessions, I started to read more in class.”

“I like it – I like that we learn new words and how to use them. My reading is getting better because it’s easier to read more and I can understand more in lessons.

Students enjoy the Thinking Reading lessons and graduation from the program is celebrated among staff and students. For any further information please don’t hesitate to contact Gary Hammonds (