Across the Divide: Developing reading in Key Stage 3


Across the Divide is for English teachers and literacy leaders in secondary schools. It has been designed to help secondary teachers develop their pupils reading skills with a particular focus on metacognition, vocabulary and book choice.

There will be a brief section on the transition from primary to secondary, based on the proposition that it is necessary for teachers in KS3 to gain a clearer idea of pupils' experiences in KS2 so that they can take a more informed approach.

"An excellent CPD event – I left enthused about promoting reading in school”

Participant on Across the Divide

"...the reading gap is stubborn and wide, and there are no quick fixes. But some approaches offer greater promise than others..."

Reading at the Transition: Interim Evidence Brief (Higgins, Katsipatski and Coleman, June 2018)

About the course

Delegates will collaborate with colleagues from different schools to develop an understanding of pupils' experiences in KS3 and engage in research to develop enjoyment and attainment in reading. They will:

  • Develop an understanding of the key reading requirements at KS2 and KS3

    Discuss the issues children face in the transition from KS2 to KS3.

  • Engage with research

    Share plans for action research projects, including any initial audits, baseline data findings and profiles of focus groups.

  • Explore a range of approaches to increase engagements with texts and improve attainment in reading

    Explore ways of developing the teaching of reading in KS3 and deepen the knowledge and understanding of effective reading comprehension and vocabulary acquisition.

  • Showcase and celebrate each school's project

    Select an area to focus on, for example vocabulary development or metacognition and self-regulation, and develop a project which will be used to showcase the school's achievements.

Happy boys reading

Course structure and pricing


In alignment with with the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) school guide to implementation, this CPD does not treat implementing change as an event but instead a process with all aspects planned and executed in stages.

The course is spread over three half-day sessions.

Day 1:

  • Explore strategies to develop reading for enjoyment and wider reading skills
  • Develop an understanding of the key reading requirements at KS3
  • Understand the principles of action research
  • Begin thinking about focus groups and projects

Day 2:

  • Consider initial audit and baseline data findings, and share plans for developing projects
  • Explore a range of approaches to increase engagement with texts and improve attainment in reading
  • Engage with action research and foster and develop critical reflection

Day 3:

  • Showcase and celebrate each school’s project
  • Develop long-term strategies to disseminate school wide
  • Address parental and community engagement


To promote collaborative practice, we encourage two teachers including the literacy lead from each school to participate.

  • £350 for the first participant
  • £250 for each additional participant

We invite a head or senior leader from each school to attend the first session free of charge

Attendance includes one year's membership of the National Literacy Trust giving all teachers in the school access to a range of resources.*

*existing National Literacy Trust Members receive a £50 discount per school.

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