Literacy & Reading

As part of our drive to boost literacy across the whole school, I’m very pleased to announce some positive changes that will influence both your child and their learning experiences at Belper School.

Whole School Reading Journey Scheme

Years 7-11 will have an opportunity to gain reading success through our brand new Reading Journey Scheme.

For each year group, there will be 12 books of varying content that students need to aim to read by the end of the year.

There are options to complete 3, 4, 8 or 12 books and can even ‘create their own’ reading journey. Students will be rewarded for their dedication to reading and the incentives get better with the more books that they read:

  • 3 books = 10 merits
  • 4 books = 20 merits
  • 8 books = Book shop visit and chippy lunch
  • 12 books = Reading Champion Awards breakfast
  • 24 books = Name in the draw for Theme Park tickets or £40 Amazon voucher

KS3 Students will receive their Reading Journey Scheme Booklets in their first English or library lesson of the year and will be kept with their Knowledge Organisers. The booklets for KS4 will be available on request from tutors.

Year 7 Expedition

Year 8 Escapade

Year 9 Odyssey

Tutor Reads

Once or twice weekly, as part of tutor time, tutors will read one of the Reading Journey books with their tutor group. Here is the list of texts that will be covered:

Y7 – A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, The Very Silly Book of True and False by Matt Lucas
Y8 – Ghost by Jason Reynolds, Think like a Boss by Rashmi Sirdeshpande
Y9 – Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D Schmidt, One of us is Lying by Karen M McManus
Y10 – Dracula by Bram Stoker
Y11 – Revision-specific material

Click here for the trigger warnings list of sensitive content covered in the books

Word of the week

Each week the students will be introduced to a cross curricular word of the week selected by their teachers. These words will link specifically to tier 2 and tier 3 vocabulary in knowledge organisers, as well as words which are relevant to topical issues. A tutor time task i slaunched on a Monday via the student bulletin which aims to introduce and consolidate understanding of the word.

Tutor Time

Once or twice a week in tutor time, tutors will read a novel from the Reading Journey Scheme to their tutor groups with students following the text in their own copies of the books. Reading at the start of the day aims to help students gather their focus for the day, settle into school, ready to tackle the learning ahead.

Library Lessons at key stage 3 (years 7, 8 and 9)

Why does reading tend to dip at Secondary School? Texts are denser, subjects are more challenging, but this doesn’t mean reading outside of the curriculum needs to be sacrificed. Therefore, a minimum of 20 minutes of reading per day is important for students to access the curriculum they learn every day.

English teachers will be tracking student’s reading in their fortnightly library lessons, through guided reading logs and there will be an expectation of at least 20 minutes reading at home per week. These logs will need to be signed by parents and carers. It would be brilliant if you could read with them too.

Break Times

Our restaurant reads appear in the dining hall at break time on Wednesdays and Thursdays. These articles will be topical, relevant, some totally outrageous and all will be taken from current news stories so that students are reading up to date information about the world around them. Reading opportunities will be everywhere at Belper School.

Literacy Book Mark

After discusing with students and staff, we have created a literacy book mark that targets specific vocabulary that is commonly misspelt. All students will have one of these book marks along with the knowledge organisers to use in lessons and for home learning tasks.

Read Like A…

To highlight subject specific reading skills, each subject area has produced a ‘Read Like a …’ poster for their areas.  These posters contain ways of engaging with reading in each subject.

How can you help?

By helping us to promote the above at home, you will be helping your child’s progress both academically and socially; reading is the core to accessing learning. Sign the guided reading logs to track reading and providing access to the Reading Journey texts will help us too, particularly if all of our hard copies from the library are out on loan.