Reading support

During tutor time, we have launched our exciting form time Reading Ahead programme! Reading a range of texts is important not only for students’ success in school but it has been proven to help their own personal development too. Students who read are often better at communicating as well as having a wider vocabulary.

How will this work?

Each term, students from Years 7-11 will spend part of form time reading a carefully selected novel with their form tutor. Tutors will read to students as well as question and encourage discussion around the key ideas and concepts that arise in the texts. Students will also receive a vocabulary book to note down any new or unfamiliar words that they encounter. This means by the time students leave school in Year 11 they will have read 15 extra novels.

What are students reading?

If you would like to read along with students at home and discuss what they’re reading, these are the texts that students will follow:

Born with facial differences that have prevented him from going to a mainstream school, Auggie Pullman is nervous when his parents tell him he must attend middle school once he starts fifth grade. As his family and his new classmates struggle to discover their compassion and acceptance, Auggie’s extraordinary journey will unite them and prove you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.
SpringRefugee Boy
Alem’s father is Ethiopian, and his mother is Eritrean, and there is a dangerous conflict raging between the two countries. For his own safety, Alem’s father brings him to England to escape the dangers at home. Alem’s moving story illustrates the difficulties refugees face coming to England from a child’s perspective, but also points out the huge advantages we all take for granted.
SummerA Wrinkle in Time  
Meg always felt she was different and when she and her little brother Charles go searching for their lost father, they find themselves travelling on a dangerous journey through a ‘wrinkle in time’. As cosmic evil forces of darkness threaten to swallow the universe, Meg must overcome her insecurities and channel all her inner strengths – her stubbornness, anger and ultimately her love – to save her family.
WinterAcross the Barricades
Set in Northern Ireland and England against the backdrop of the Northern Ireland conflict the novel deal with a young couple; Sadie Jackson, who is from the Ulster Protestant community, and Kevin McCoy, who is from the Irish Catholic community. This couple finds love despite the various physical and psychological barriers in their society.
SpringA Kestrel For a Knave
Billy Casper is a troubled teenager growing up in the Yorkshire mining town of Barnsley. Treated as a failure at school, and unhappy at home, Billy discovers a new passion in life when he finds Kes, a kestrel hawk. Billy identifies with her silent strength, and she inspires in him the trust and love that nothing else can, discovering through her the passion missing from his life.
SummerI am Malala  
Raised in a once-peaceful area of Pakistan transformed by terrorism, Malala was taught to stand up for what she believed in, so she fought for her right to be educated. On 9 October, 2012, she nearly lost her life for the cause. She was shot point-blank on her way home from school. No one expected her to survive. Now, she is an international symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize winner.
WinterOf Mice and Men
Published in 1937, it narrates the experiences of George Milton and Lennie Small, two displaced migrant ranch workers, who move from place to place in California in search of new job opportunities during the Great Depression in the United States.  
SpringOne of us is Lying
Five students walk into detention one day, but only four make it out alive. One of Us is Lying is a modern teen thriller which follows the gripping story of Bronwyn, Addy, Nate, and Cooper as suspects in the murder of Simon Kelleher. Each of the high school students have secrets that they would do anything to protect, so how far would they go to make sure they’re kept out of the spotlight?
SummerCurious Incident of the Dog in the Night time  
Christopher is 15 and lives in Swindon with his father. He has Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism. He is obsessed with maths, science and Sherlock Holmes but finds it hard to understand other people. When he discovers a dead dog on a neighbour’s lawn he decides to solve the mystery and write a detective thriller about it. Unfortunately, the more he unearths, the deeper the mystery gets – for both Christopher and the rest of his family.
WinterThe Hate U Give
Starr Carter is constantly switching between two worlds -the poor, mostly black neighbourhood where she lives and the wealthy, mostly white prep school that she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is soon shattered when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend at the hands of a police officer.
SpringAnimal Farm  
Mr Jones of Manor Farm is so drunken that one day he forgets to feed his livestock. The resulting rebellion leads to the animals taking over the farm. But as time passes, the ideals of the rebellion are corrupted, then forgotten. First published in 1945, Animal Farm is a satire of the history of how corrupt power can be.  
This classic sci-fi novel tells the story of gifted scientist Victor Frankenstein who succeeds in giving life to a being of his own creation. However, this is not the perfect specimen he imagines that it will be, but rather a hideous creature who is rejected by Victor and mankind in general. The Monster seeks its revenge through murder and terror.
WinterLord of the Flies
The story of a group of young boys who find themselves alone on a deserted island. They develop rules and a system of organization, but without any adults to serve as a civilizing impulse, the children eventually become violent and brutal.  
SpringTo Kill a Mockingbird  
Two story lines converge in this novel: the story of six-year-old Scout Finch and her brother Jem, who are obsessed with sighting the reclusive Boo Radley; and the story of their father Atticus, a noble lawyer who defends a black man in a rape case brought against him by a young white woman.
SummerForm time used for exam revision

Questions you could discuss with your child

  • What happened in the section you read today?
  • Did you learn any new words in form?
  • What have you learnt about the main character? How were they feeling in the section you read today?
  • Why do you think the character acted in this way?
  • What has been your favourite part of the story this week?
  • What do you think will happen next in the story?

If you have any further queries surrounding the programme, please contact Miss Howard at [email protected].