“A child who reads will be an adult who thinks.”
At Atherton High School we know that reading is the foundation stone to success in all areas of the curriculum and in all areas of life. For this reason, we are a reading school!
We begin every day by reading during form time. We read a range of books that are chosen in terms of subject content to encourage our pupils to engage in a range of topical and diverse subjects including environmental issues, animal welfare and the impact of hate crime. We also read pre-1912 texts to ensure our pupils are exposed to a range of genres and eras within their reading.
At the start of term, we assess the reading skills of our pupils and use this information to support your child’s reading development. We have a range of reading interventions in place during form time and after school to support pupils who have a reading age below their chronological age.
Literacy isn’t just about reading! It is about oracy, our vocabulary, and our writing skills. Each area of literacy is a priority within our curriculum delivery and is embedded into each department’s learning journey. We ensure your child focuses on these key skills in all areas of school.
We have a recently refurbished library that is open every break and lunch time. There are staff available in the library to support children with reading, any questions and homework.
“Reading helps students gain knowledge which leads to better writing.” – Education Endowment Foundation.
Schemes of learning are designed at Atherton High School with vocabulary development as a focus in every subject, to explicitly teach tier 2 (high frequency words found in many subject areas) and tier 3 words (subject-specific vocabulary) to build exposure to academic language. Students also have access to Knowledge Organisers for every topic they study that explicitly highlights and defines keywords to support their learning.
Remembering key vocabulary, its use and meaning is supported strongly through retrieval practice at the start of all lessons, and throughout the curriculum journey.
Reading Intervention clubs – by arrangement only.
Monday Year 7 two clubs
Tuesday Year 8 two clubs
Wednesday Year 9 two clubs
Form time supported reading, pupils will be collected if they are identified as needing a little extra support with form time reading books.
- All year 7 students have a reading book as part of their essential equipment.
- Reading Rewards.
- Student Librarians.
- Calendared days to celebrate books and authors.
Reading at Home
“Effective readers continually draw upon a complex wealth of prior knowledge about the world and language.” – Education Endowment Foundation.
What can you, as a parent, do to support your child in this area?
- Talk to your child, discuss their day, what’s going on in the world and their future hopes and dreams, encourage them to develop their informal oracy skills with you.
- Encourage your child to read widely and read regularly; support this by reading yourself and let your children see you read.
- Take them to the library. Atherton library is extremely keen to welcome new readers.
- If your child is in year 7, 8 or 9 ensure they access the Reading Plus programme regularly, little, and often is best in terms of making progress. They should complete three reading tasks and one vocabulary task every week. This is monitored by your child’s form tutor.
- Finally, if you want to know anything about reading and how to support your child’s development, contact us at school. We are always happy to help.
Must-read list for year 7
|Modern Classic||The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken|
|Classic||The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett|
|Modern Classic||Skellig by David Almond|
|Horror||The Girl in the locked Room by Mary Downing Hahn|
|Dystopian||A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle|
|Family||Wonder by R J Palacio|
|Current issue||Boy 87 by Ele Fountain|
|Mystery||Room 13 by Robert Swindells|
|Verse novel||The Highwayman by Alfred Noyles|
|Black writer||Noble Conflict by Malorie Blackman|
|Other culture||Boy at the back of the Class by Onjali Qrauf|
|Poetry book||The Day I Fell Down the Toilet and other poems by Steve Turner|
|Factual book||Cruel Kings and Mean Queens (Horrible Histories Special) by Terry Deary and Kate Sheppherd|
|Book that’s a film||Midnight Gang by David Walliams|
|Relaxing read||Butterfly Lion by Michael Morpurgo|
|Relaxing read||The Wizards of Once series by Cressida Cowell|
Must-read list for year 8
|Classic||Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis|
|Classic||Watership Down by Richard Adams|
|Classic||Goodnight Mr Tom by Michelle Magorian|
|Horror||Tom’s Midnight Garden by Phillipa Pearce|
|Dystopian||Maze Runner by James Dashner|
|Family||Diary of Ann Frank|
|Current issue||Moon Bear by Gillian Clarke|
|Mystery||The House with the Clock in the Walls
by John Bellairs
|Verse novel||Unbound: A Novel in Verse by Anne E Burg|
|Black writer||Ghost Boys Jewell by Parker Rhodes|
|Other culture||Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne|
|Poetry book||The Life and Rhymes of Benjamin Zephaniah|
|Factual book||Gruesome Guides: London (Horrible Histories) by Terry Deary & Martin Brown|
|Book that’s a film||Twilight series by Stephene Meyers|
|Relaxing read||Little Manfred by Michael Morpurgo|
|Relaxing read||Slime by David Walliams|
Must-read list for year 9
|Classic||The Railway Children by E Nesbitt|
|Modern Classic||Eragon – The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini|
|Modern Classic||The Changeling by Phillipa Gregory|
|Myth and magic||Miss Peregrin’s home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs|
|Dystopian||Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins|
|Family||Holes by Louis Sacher|
|Current issue||Island by Nicky Singer|
|Mystery||His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman|
|Fantasy/Myth & Magic||The Old Kingdom Series: Sabriel, Lirael , Abhorsen by Garth Nix|
|Verse novel||For to See The Elephant: A Novel in Verse by Tammi J Truax|
|Black writer||Noughts and Crosses by Malerie Blackman|
|Other culture||The Kyte Runner by Khalid Hosseini|
|Poetry book||Lovely Bones A Book of Poetry by Shelby Lamb|
|Factual book||The Great Book of Black Heroes: 30 Fearless and Inspirational Black Men and Women that Changed History by Bill O’Neil|
|Book that’s a film||Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
The Fault in our Stars by John Green
|Fantasy/ Myth & Magic||Harry Potter by J K Rowling|
|Relaxing read||Who let the Gods Out by Maz Evans|
|Relaxing read||A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket|
Must-read list for year 10
|Classic||The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien|
|Classic||Little Women by Louise May Alcott|
|Modern Classic||Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman|
|Horror||Frankenstein by Mary Shelley|
|Dystopian||Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant a trilogy
by Veronica Wroth
|Family||Stone Cold by Robert Swindells|
|Current issue||Junk by Melvin Burgess|
|Mystery||The Magpie society “One for Sorrow” by Clive Woodall|
|Verse novel||The Making in the Knight: An Epic Novel-in-Verse Fantasy Adventure by Angharad Thomson Rees|
|Black writer||Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela|
|Other culture||I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai|
|Poetry book||Carol Anne Duffy Mean Time|
|Factual book||The Great Book of Badass Women: 15 Fearless and Inspirational Women that Changed History by Rachel Walsh & Bill O’Neil|
|Fantasy/Myth & Magic||The Old Kingdom Series: Clariel, Golden Hand
by Garth Nix
|Book that’s a film||My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
Disk World Series
The Colour Purple by Terry Pratchett
|Relaxing read||The Mortal Instruments by Casandra Clare|
|Relaxing read||The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
by Mark Haddon
Must-read list for year 11
|Classic||Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien|
|Classic||To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee|
|Classic||War of the Worlds by HG Wells|
|Horror||Dracula by Bram Stoker|
|Dystopian||1984 by George Orwell|
|Family||The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger|
|Current issue||19 Minutes by Jodi Picoult|
|Mystery||Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown|
|Verse novel||Finding Baba Yaga a novel in verse by Jane Yolen|
|Black writer||On the Shoulders of Giants by Steven Bickmore|
|Other culture||The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe|
|Poetry book||Simon Armitage Paper Armitage Selected Poems|
|Factual book||The Imitation Game by Jane Rollason (based on the story of Engima Code)|
|Book that’s a film||The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky|
|Fantasy/Myth & Magic||Shadow Falls Series by CC Hunter|
|Relaxing read||Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness|
|Relaxing read||The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck|
We took part in the Manchester festival of Reading. We had a writer in residence working with us, Chris. We completed four workshops with Chris in which a group of our pupils from years 7 and 8 created and performed their own poetry. We visited Atherton library to watch a local poet perform his work and our pupils performed for their parents. We had a lot of fun and established links that we will be building on in the future.
Watch this space!
Check out the pictures and video of our work.