When they had read it, they rejoiced because of its encouragement.’

Acts 15:31

Reading at Derby Cathedral School

At Derby Cathedral School we are passionate about the important role that reading plays in enriching the lives of our students.

A child's reading skills are important to their success in school as they will allow them to access the breadth of the curriculum and improve their communication and language skills. In addition, reading can be a fun and imaginative time for children, which opens doors to all kinds of new worlds for them.

According to research, reading is known to help academic skills and improve mental health and well-being. This applies, even if you read for just 10-15 minutes a day. In particular reading helps to:

  • Reduce stress
  • Improve knowledge and vocabulary
  • Improve memory, focus and concentration
  • Improve analytical skills
  • Develop writing skills
  • Provide a sense of inner peace and tranquillity

This page is designed to provide useful information about how we develop and promote reading in school, offering useful guides to families to help them promote and support reading at home.

The School Library

Over the course of Year’s 7 to 9 students will have a fortnightly library lesson where they will have opportunity to visit the library and exchange their reading books. This lesson provides them with the opportunity to read independently but will also introduce them to the library and the ways in which they can use the library to prepare for their key stage four studies.
In the library, students will have chance to complete their Accelerated Reader tests, use the non-fiction sections to carry out research, as well as having the opportunity to work quietly on their independent studies.

Accelerated Reader

Accelerated Reader is a computer program that helps teachers and librarians manage and monitor children’s independent reading practice. Your child picks a book at his or her own level and reads it at their own pace. When finished, your child takes a short quiz on the computer. (Passing the quiz is an indication that your child understood what was read.) Accelerated Reader gives children, teachers, and librarians feedback based on the quiz results, which the teacher then uses to help your child set goals and direct ongoing reading practice.

Children using Accelerated Reader choose their own books to read, rather than having one assigned to them. This makes reading a much more enjoyable experience as they can choose books that are interesting to them.

Teachers and librarians help your child choose books at an appropriate readability level that are challenging without being frustrating, ensuring that your child can pass the quiz and experience success.

If you are interested in learning more about how Accelerated Reader can support your child, please follow the link below or contact school through info@derbycathedralschool.org.uk.

Accelerated Reader Parent Guide

Class Reading - Tutor time

As part of our weekly collective worship programme students in school are carrying out a new activity! We are using the Reciprocal Reading strategy to help us interrogate new texts - these skills are designed to help students understand any new text that the come across by making predictions, interrogating meaning and summarising the content. Each month students are introduced to a new topical text that might be an extract, article, poem or play - the opportunities are endless and students are really enjoying this new challenge.

This activity promotes confidence in their reading, allows the opportunity to discuss topical issues and provides an opportunity to relax and calmly enjoy a good book.

Drop Everything and Read

As well as having time to enjoy the class reader, our students have been introduced to Drop Everything and Read (D.E.A.R), an initiative that encourages students to do just that - stop what they are doing and read! Each day, students will start one of their lessons by reading privately for 10 minutes - for the first week it will be at the start of every P1 lesson and the second week it will be at the start of every P2 lesson, and so on... This carousel will repeat throughout the school year meaning that all our students will have an additional 1600 minutes of independent reading in their school year - that's over 26 hours!

Reading at home – useful links

Reading is such an important skill that it is vitally important that we do not let lockdown get in the way. Below are a collection of useful links to online reading platforms and e-books to ensure that you and your child can still access the wonderful world of books at these challenging times.

Derby City Library Services

Our eLibrary is packed with eBooks, eAudiobooks and eMagazines covering a huge range of subjects. Our eLibrary is easy to use and can be accessed with a Derby Libraries card.


We are also offering a Click and Collect system at Alvaston, Mickleover, Riverside and Normanton Libraries


We know there are people who do not have access to the internet and digital devices so we are offering free access to PCs and Wi-Fi at our libraries. This is a vital service for people completing essential tasks such as homework, benefit claim forms, job searches and applications.