Reading at The Marches School and The Marches Academy Trust 

We believe that literacy begins with reading. At the heart of our literacy strategy is ‘reading for pleasure’. We expect all of our students to read in their own time and to bring their current reading book to school every day. We promote reading through a range of events and, most importantly, through our ‘Reading School’ initiative. We talk to our students about what they are reading and also about what we are reading. Having adults as literacy role models is essential to a child’s development. We also have a collection of reading recommendations for both students and parents.

Our Learning Resource Centre (LRC) is at the heart of our school and is key to our literacy strategy. It is an excellent resource where students can borrow a wide range of reading material and find a space to work and read. Our collection is available to access through Reading Cloud, an online library system that allows students to view our catalogue, reserve books and also look for further recommendations or write reviews of the books that they have just read.  To access the Reading Cloud, please click here.

Reading School 2019-2020

The more that you read, the more things you will know.  The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.” — Dr. Seuss, ‘I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!’

Our Aim:
To create a reading-friendly environment and culture throughout The Marches School and The Marches Academy Trust, to help make all of our students ‘word rich’ and passionate about reading beyond school.

Our Rationale:
It is the responsibility of all schools to “develop policies to promote reading for enjoyment.” [Ofsted (2012), Moving English Forward] Whilst schools embed policies generally focussed upon weak readers – such as an emphasis upon phonics – many schools have abandoned the promotion of wider reading and reading for pleasure due to the constraints and pressures of covering the curriculum. As reading is such an essential skill for all areas of the curriculum, we at The Marches School and The Marches Academy Trust strongly believe that, in order for students to develop a love for reading, this dedicated time for reading is essential and has been a key feature of our school since September 2015. We do not believe that this is a sacrifice for our curriculum; instead we feel that – over time – it will help our students to access the curriculum more effectively.  We decided to make reading a whole-school priority with all staff being reading role models for our students. It is our belief that this is a vital part of establishing an effective reading culture throughout our school.

Our Approach:
From September 2019, Reading School will continue in developing our community focus of reading for pleasure.  Following discussion with our students, there will now be greater opportunities for students to explore non-fiction texts and discuss ‘living texts’ (such as the news and TED Talks) to enhance their knowledge of the world and discuss them within their form groups.  In Year 10 and 11, further time and support will be given to preparing students for their GCSE qualifications.  In Year 10, a significant amount of time is being given to preparing for the GCSE English Literature exam being sat at the end of the year. Students will be revising their set texts with their English-specialist form tutor.  In Year 11, time will be given to prepare for the terminal examinations at the end of the academic year.

The new activities that students will participate in include:

  • Individual silent reading – where students continue to read texts that they have selected and that they are interested in.
  • Reading Families – where students will read a range of whole texts in their form group, supported by their form tutor.
  • Tuesday Newsday – where students in Year 9 and 10 will explore stories from the news, with themes linked to citizenship and SMSC.
  • Reading the World – where all students will explore a range of reading and audio-visual materials (such as TED Talks) to explore and discuss issues in the world today, again with themes linked to our citizenship and SMSC programme.
  • Reading Rangers – this is our successful paired reading scheme where Year 10 students support groups of students in Year 7 and 8 with their reading confidence.

Students are expected to:

  • Have an individual private reading book with them at all times. The LRC will also be open between 9:30am-2:30pm every day for student to take out and swap books – our stock can be browsed and reservations can be booked through ‘Reading Cloud’.
  • Read silently during individual silent reading sessions and log their reading in their reading record (which is in their planner).
  • Participate in full class reading and discussions regarding the texts that are selected for use within the ‘Reading Family’, ‘Tuesday Newsday’ and ‘Reading the World’ sessions.

Recommended Reading
To support our students further, we have complied a collection of reading lists that will give some of our suggestions for what they could read next.  Parents also ask us regularly for suggestions for wider reading so we have taken time to compile a list of challenging and interesting reads.  Obviously, some students are more mature than others and you may want to discuss with your child whether or not they are ready for the themes or content of the suggestions that we have provided here.  Additionally, if you require any further suggestions or advice, please feel free to contact us.

Suggested Websites
School Reading

To access Reading Cloud, please click here.

Wider Reading
Year 7 Reading Lists Fiction
Year 8 Reading Lists Fiction
Year 9 Reading Lists Fiction
GCSE and A Level Suggested Reading List Fiction
Reading Lists Curriculum Focus
Sixth Form Wider Reading and Discovery Lists