Reading at Home and in School

At South Craven we know that reading is crucial to our students’ success and well-being. As such it is a key priority across the whole school.

We aim to instil a ‘reading for pleasure’ ethos in students as soon as they begin their South Craven journey in Year 7. We emphasise the importance of reading practice and in both Years 7 and 8, all our students are enroled in Accelerated Reader, so they can develop a reading habit. Research has shown that good readers are often those who are making the right book choices; they choose books they enjoy, therefore read more and become more proficient. We therefore strive to create an environment where books are readily available in our Learning Resource Centre and recommendations are discussed. We also arrange visits from authors.

These Year 7 and 8 students enjoy a dedicated reading lesson each week, delivered by English specialists, which focus on core reading skills. Homework in English tasks are also built around practising a range of these reading skills. Two English groups in Year 7 work with a Primary School specialist to develop their English skills. Tutor time also gives students in Years 7 and 8 the opportunity to read. There is also a Book Club for these Year groups and those in Key Stages 3 and 4.

The emphasis on reading doesn’t stop there. Tutor time is also used in Years 9-13 to focus on reading skills. In Year 9, English homework has a strategic reading focus whilst ‘Reading Matters’ google classrooms, provide students in these Year groups with book recommendations. All students can use the LRC to enjoy reading in a quiet space.

Crucially, our staff understand the importance of reading and our CPD work has concentrated on the importance of teaching key vocabulary and ensuring texts are chosen carefully to match students’ reading ability. Recently, we introduced a whole school reading strategy called ‘SCQ’ or ‘Summarise, Clarify and Question’; this gives students a framework to ensure they are reading a text closely.

NGRT tests have also been used to screen students in KS3 and 4 so that we fully understand the different abilities and needs of our students. Layered intervention is now being developed to support students with their reading.

Reading in Years 7 & 8

Accelerated Reader

  • Accelerated Reader is computer programme used to motivate students to read, monitor their progress and reward them for doing so.
  • It ensures students read the right book for their ability and checks their understanding of a book they have read.
  • It also promotes and encourages regular reading practice, both at school and at home.
  • Students will take a STAR test in September, January and April that will generate a reading age and a book level. They can then choose books that fall within their book level and are appropriate for their ability.

Key Websites

Renaissance Home Connect
Accelerated Reader Book Finder
Love Reading for Kids
A Parent's Guide to Accelerated Reader

Reading in School and Reading for Pleasure

Year 7

In Year 7, we read the following texts, among others, throughout the year:

  • The Bone Sparrow - Zana Fraillon
  • Macbeth - William Shakespeare

Further reading students might want to do at home to support these are:

Text
Further Reading
Macbeth

BBC Bitesize

Macbeth United - Michael Rosen

The Bone Sparrow

Welcome to Nowhere - Elizabeth Laird

Running on the Roof of the World - Jess Butterworth

The Boy at the Back of the Class - Onjali Q. Raúf

If students want to read for pleasure, recommended books for their age group are:

  • A Different Dog - Paul Jennings (Animal)
  • Hari and his Electric Feet - Alexander McCall Smith (Arts / Friendship / Culture)
  • Shadowsea - Peter Bunzl (Adventure)
  • House of Roberts - James Patterson (Science Fiction)
Year 8

In Year 8, we read the following texts, among others, throughout the year:

  • The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
  • The Tempest - William Shakespeare

Further reading students might want to do at home to support these are:

Text
Further Reading
The Tempest BBC Bitesize
The Hunger Games

Matched - Ally Condie

Divergent - Veronica Roth

Gone - Michael Grant

If students want to read for pleasure, recommended books for their age group are:

  • Pet - Akwaeke Emezi (Family / Culture / Race)
  • Witch Child - Celia Rees (Gothic / History / Fantasy)
  • The Disconnect - Keren David (Friendship / Family / School)
  • The Hunted - Charlie Higson (Horror / Ghost)

Reading in Year 9

Year 9 Book Club

  • Students are invited to be part of our Year 9 Book Club
  • This is a new initiative that will involve the whole year group and is the focus of all their English homework this year
  • Parents, guardians, teachers and form tutors will also be a part of this
  • It is designed to build on the Accelerated Reader approach students are used to from Years 7 and 8, but in a more collaborative and mature way
  • Every week, students should read something, whether that be an ongoing novel, poetry, non-fiction, drama or even a fiction extract
  • They will fill in a log, not so much explaining what they have read, but questions their reading threw up, or something interesting that they learned.
  • The Year 9 Book Club website should help with this.
  • It contains information about a number of recommended reads, loosely linked to their schemes of learning for each term.
  • This is not a prescriptive list, but somewhere to turn if they are unsure.
  • Parents / guardians also have access to this website, via the link below, to enable support
  • https://sites.google.com/southcraven.org/year9bookclub

Reading in Years 10 & 11

Key Websites

CommonLit
Love Reading for Kids

Reading in School and Reading for Pleasure

At Key Stage 4, we read the following texts:

  • Lord of the Flies - William Golding
  • The Merchant of Venice - William Shakespeare
  • Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte

Further reading students might want to do at home to support these are:

  • Wide Sargasso Sea - Jean Rhys
  • Freefall - William Golding
  • The Diary of A Young Girl - Anne Frank
  • The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
  • Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

If students want to read for pleasure, recommended books for their age group are:

  • The Lord of the Rings - J R R Tolkein
  • Catcher in the Rye - J D Salinger
  • 1984 - George Orwell
  • To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee
  • Pride & Prejudice - Jane Austen
  • Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky

Reading in Sixth Form

Key Websites

JSTOR
  • Seach journals, primary sources and books
  • You will need to set up a login but the resources are free
  • www.jstor.org
The British Library
  • The national library of the United Kingdom
  • Gain access to the world's most comprehensive research collection
  • www.bl.uk

Reading in School and Reading for Pleasure

At Key Stage 5, we currently read the following texts (these are subject to teacher discretion and may change):

  • A Streetcar Named Desire - Tennesse Williams
  • The Duchess of Malfi - John Webster
  • Hamlet - Wiliam Shakespeare
  • Mean Time - Carol Ann Duffy
  • Selected Poems - John Keats
  • The Whitsun Weddings - Philip Larkin
  • Selected Poems - Ted Hughes
  • Selected Poems - Sylvia Plath
  • A wide range of fiction and non fiction texts
  • A wide range of different media texts including music videos, radio, newspapers and film

Further reading students might want to do at home to support these are:

  • The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of the English Language - David Crystal
  • Rediscover Grammar - David Crystal
  • Language and Social Contexts - Amanda Coultas
  • How Texts Work - Adrian Beard
  • You Just Don’t Understand: Men and Women in Conversation -Deborah Tannen
  • The Myth of Mars and Venus: Do Mean and Women Really Speak Different Languages? - Deborah Cameron
  • The Wide Sargasso Sea - Jean Rhys
  • Middlemarch - George Eliot
  • The Glass Menagerie - Tennesse Williams
  • The Crucible - Arthur Miller
  • Tess of the d’Ubervilles - Thomas Hardy

If students want to read for pleasure, recommended books for their age group are:

  • The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
  • The White Devil - John Websiter
  • Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
  • Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
  • The Bloody Chamber - Angela Carter
  • The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
  • Small Island - Andrea Levy

There are also a number of interesting academic articles available on our subject Google Classrooms which link to students studies:

Staff Choices

We asked our staff...

What was the last book you read?
What was your favourite book when you were younger?

Staff Childhood Choices

Suggested Reading Lists

For a list of recommended reading, please click the relevant links below:


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