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DistingtonCommunity School

Empower, Learn, Celebrate

Reading at DCS

At Distington Community School, the active encouragement of reading for pleasure is a core part of every child’s educational entitlement, whatever their background or attainment. We take the view that extensive reading and exposure to a wide range of texts makes a vital contribution to every child’s educational achievement. Our aim is to ensure that our children not only have the opportunity to learn to read but to become lifelong readers for purpose and pleasure. They will become people who not only can read, but do read from a choice of wide variety of texts on paper and on screen. By giving our children the gift of reading, we show them that books, especially literature and poetry, have the power to inspire, to console, to heal and transform for the rest of their lives.


Recent research from ‘What and How Kids Are Reading (2019) by Renaissance identifies that ‘less than 1/4 of children read for pleasure for the recommended time’. Their findings also state that ‘Children that read for 15 minutes a day present accelerated growth in their academic attainment’.


These findings underpin our vision and passion for promoting reading for pleasure and therefore the development of reading across our school is a key priority.


Below you can read our reading for pleasure policy, which will provide you with further details of how we aim to achieve our reading vision.

Reading around school...


We developed lots of beautiful reading nooks around school, allowing opportunities for children to cosy up, relax and read a book in our inviting spaces. Along with lots of dedicated reading spaces, we have reading incentives to help promote reading in school as well as home.

DCS Pre-loved Book Swap


Due to the success of our World Book Day, book swap, we have decided to make it a permanent fixture of our school!


Our 'Pre-Loved Book Swap' is a dedicated space for children of any year group to drop off any pre-loved, unwanted books and swap it for another of their choice. This book is for them to read and enjoy! We have lots of regular visitors to our pre-loved book swap area, always on the look out for their favourite authors and seeing what the shop has to offer.

Our new library 2024


We have been very busy in school redecorating our library to create a calming, inviting and child-friendly reading nook.


Reading is at the heart of everything we do at DCS and we place reading for pleasure as a high priority. Our new reading nook will give children the opportunity to explore a wide range of books that will foster their creativity, enhance their reading abilities and transport them to a new world.



Reading Mural 2024


We're proud to reveal our new reading mural wall that frames our reading scheme book area.


A huge thank you to @beardysynergy for our amazing piece of art that pulls together many elements of our children's favourite stories at DCS.


Accelerated Reader


Accelerated Reader has become an integral part of our reading curriculum here at DCS. The basic principles of the program are that a student reads a book, takes an online quiz, and gets immediate feedback. Students are able to respond to regular feedback and are motivated to make progress with their reading skills.


Accelerated Reader creates a comprehensive set of reports that reveal how much a student has been reading, at what level of complexity, and how well they have understood what they have read. Vocabulary growth and literacy skills are also measured, giving an insight into how well students have responded to reading schemes and class instruction.


There are over 27,000 reading practice quizzes available on books from over 300 publishers and imprints. Accelerated Reader ensures that there are plenty of books to interest every reader available on the program. 

Chapter One


At DCS, we use the online reading platform of Chapter One. This is currently used in years 1, 2 and 3. Chapter One works with corporate partners to sponsor their staff as online reading volunteers. Each adult offers a child weekly reading support for a whole academic year, using their bespoke platform.


Every week, for 30 minutes, our reading pairs enjoy stories and activities together linked carefully to each individual child's reading ability. Over time, this 1:1 support helps transform each child’s reading confidence and ability.


To find out more, please follow the link...


Chapter One UK | It all starts with literacy


We have been shortlisted for the Chapter One Outstanding School Award 2024!

This is an award based on the success rates of our reading sessions.

Whitehaven Library Visit


The Reception children visited Whitehaven Library for a story session where they all enjoyed listening to the story of 'Dog Loves Books' by L.Yates, which was read to them by the librarian. They were all given the opportunity to explore the children's reading area where they could choose a book and enjoy sitting in the different book nooks to leisurely enjoy their chosen stories. Finally each child chose one book to take home with them and they each received their own library card so they can visit any of the Cumberland libraries with their parents to borrow more books. We hope this inspires the children in Reception to return to the library soon to continue their early reading journey.

Strive for 5! 


Strive for 5 is our half termly reading challenge. Children are encouraged to engage in a reading activity at home at least five times per week. Children who can achieve this every week of a half term receive a special certificate and a brand new book. 

Reading Raffle


Each time a child engages in a reading activity at home they receive a raffle ticket that is entered into our weekly reading raffle. The more a child reads at home, the more tickets they can earn. Each week the lucky winner can choose a prize to keep. 

West Cumbria look for a book!


The children had a fantastic afternoon hiding books around the village. Our aim was to encourage others to find, read and re-hide them. Thank you to everyone who brought books into school! If you find one, please remember to post your photos on #westcumbrialookforabook