We are passionate that all students at The Dean Academy are fluent readers who love reading. That is why every student in Year 7 to 10 has a 25 minute Beyond Words session 3 days a week. In Beyond Words students spend time reading a quality, challenging book, which their tutor or guest reader reads aloud to the group. The vision for Beyond Words is to ensure that every student reads high quality and challenging texts, so they are instilled with the knowledge to think critically and creatively. We also want our students to enjoy reading and become confident readers who read both at school and at home. The books range from classic Victorian novels to modern dystopian thrillers.

The 3 Key Aims of Beyond Words:

  1. Word Knowledge – increase student’s reading ability and vocabulary using the ‘whole word method’, incidental vocabulary instruction and word attack strategies.
  2. World Knowledge — research suggests that when you read about an experience you feel it as if it happened to you, not just the character you are reading about; in Beyond Words students read a wide variety of books from a wide variety of perspectives and this encourages students to be more tolerant of others and develop their Cultural Capital.
  3. Love Reading — we want all our students to develop a lifelong love of reading – to be able to, and have experience of, reading a wide variety of texts.

The books selected for Beyond Words have been carefully chosen and will provide students with a variety of literary experiences. This may mean that, on occasion, they are exposed to some words or references which are of a sensitive nature e.g., sexual references or swear words. As with any such content, staff will approach this appropriately and explain the context required for students to accept these issues with maturity and understanding.

Our aim is to enthuse students through this reading opportunity, and we ask that as parents and carers, you show interest at home and discuss their Beyond Words book with your child, even if it is not something you have read yourself. Further guidance on supporting students with literacy at home can be found in the flip guide below.

Book Recommendations

Parent/Carer Guide

Downloadable Copy