Our Love of Reading!
“Better literacy leads to improved self-esteem, motivation and behaviour. It allows pupils to learn independently. It is empowering“
“Better literacy raises pupils’ attainment in all subjects”
Improving Literacy in Secondary Schools : A shared responsibility
At St Thomas More Catholic High School we recognise that literacy skills are essential for young people to reach their potential in school and to fulfil opportunities throughout life. Reading is a thread throughout the whole school. Reading opportunities are vast for our pupils throughout the school day.
Reading is inspirational, educational, imaginative, supports writing, problem solving and conversational skills .
“A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.”
The library is staffed before school, break and lunch time and after school. Pupils can come and select a book and take it away to enjoy. There is a selection of books which are grouped in genres rather than by author.
We have a thriving club ‘Book Heroes’ who help to support the running of the library. They meet every lunch time.
Reading competitions are promoted through forms. Competitions include reading titles set by the librarian.
St Thomas More host a Year 7 internal reading competition, competing against other form groups. Each form has their own reading book. 4 representatives read the text and they are asked 10 questions about the book and 10 general questions about reading. The two forms with the highest points are through to the final. They are then given another text to read. The finalists are rewarded with book vouchers.
St Thomas More also takes part in the annual Education Library Service book quiz where they read the set texts and compete against other schools. The pupils enjoy the competitive element of reading.
Summer Reading Competition winners and Form winners – 7BW
Reading is paramount throughout the school. Lessons are brimming with reading within the subject. Pupil involvement in reading helps their curriculum skills but also supports their literacy skills. Examples of reading include texts, vocabulary, reading off the whiteboard, excerpts, articles and books. Pupils are engaged and articulate.
During Building the Kingdom form time, pupils have opportunities for class reading, as all pupils bring a daily reading book.
These also bring about opportunities for daily prayer and weekly Wednesday Word, reading the Gospel for next Sunday Mass and discussing the contents and meanings.
First News newspaper is stocked in the library for pupils to enjoy reading. All Year 7 and 8 forms also have a rotating set of First News newspapers to read during form time, discuss and debate the interesting articles.
Book club meet every Monday lunch time and the pupils love to read the texts and come back each Monday to discuss the unfolding dramas
This is a whole school challenge where pupils are challenged to read 6 books in 6 months. Every month there is a fresh theme, for example this month’s theme is: 'A book about love'. Pupils have a loyalty card, once they have read a book of that theme a member of the English faculty signs the card. A full card means a literary prize!
Year 7 and 8 pupils have access to literacy lessons which are supportive to help progress reading.
St Thomas More Suggested Reading:
Book club suggestions:
Angelena - The Divergent Series - 'These books are amazing because they are full of action and very interesting to read'
Zaynab – The Hate You Give - 'I love this book because it is so true and realistic to what life is like'
Riya – Five Feet Apart - 'I think that this book is really interesting and accurate in teaching people about cystic fibrosis'
Rayna –Heroes of Olympus series - 'These books are really interesting and have many different story lines'
Tomasz – Harry Potter series - 'These are an amazing fantasy book series'
Alexis – The Hobbit - 'It is really interesting and has a fantastic story line'
Book Heroes Reading Suggestions:
Top tips for parents:
Pearson tips for reading at home – click here
Reading should be fun. We asked experts and authors what you can do to help turn your kids into little bookworms.
- Make books a part of family life– Always have books around at home. That way you and your children are ready to get reading, even if it’s only for ten minutes.
- Join your local library– Get your child a library card. They’ll be able to get their hands on hundreds of fantastic books, as well as the latest video games, blu-rays and DVDs. Let them choose what they want to read to help them develop their own interests.
- Read about something they’re interested in– Help your child find the right book for them. It doesn't matter if it's fiction, poetry, comic books or non-fiction.
- All reading is good– Don’t rule out non-fiction, comics, graphic novels, magazines or leaflets. Reading is reading and it’s all worthwhile.
- Get comfortable!– Snuggle up together somewhere warm and cosy, whether it’s in bed, on a beanbag or on the sofa. And make sure your child has somewhere comfy to read on their own too.
- Ask questions– To keep them interested in the story, ask your child questions as you read. Start with ‘Where did we get to last time?’, ‘Can you remember what’s happened so far?’ and 'What do you think will happen next?'
- Read whenever you get the chance– Have a book or magazine with you for any time your child has to wait, like at the doctor's or the dentist.
- Read favourites again and again– Encourage your child to re-read the books and poems they love. Re-reading helps to build fluency and confidence.
- Enjoy bedtime stories– Read with your kids at bedtime as often as you can. It’s a great way to end the day and to spend valuable time with them.
- Make the most of rhyme and repetition– Books and poems with rhymes and repeated words or phrases are great for getting your kids to join in and remember the words.