St Thomas More Catholic High School



Our Love of Reading!

 We are all created in the image and likeliness of God. We are all unique and special.

“To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.” – Victor Hugo 

At St Thomas More Catholic High School, we hold the belief that reading is the gateway to learning and the curriculum.  If a pupil can read age-appropriate fiction and non-fiction texts fluently, they are able to fulfil the demands of the secondary school curriculum and leave the realms of education with the necessary skills to become contributing members of society.


  • Allows for creativity and an escape into a world of imagination.
  • Is the key to improving comprehension/learning and raising standards of all pupils at STM.
  • Is a vital skill for life and needs to be encouraged and nurtured to support future academic and personal success.

Reading is prioritised across the whole school and in all curriculum areas at St Thomas More and opportunities to read and be supported with reading are embedded throughout the school day.


The Reading Department

Curriculum Leader for Reading: Mrs J Littler

Teachers of Reading: Mrs J Hartley, Miss R Hall and Miss N Rogers

Reading Intervention Support: Miss L Whitworth, Miss R Hall and Mrs G Davenhill-Lyon

Library Staff: Mrs J Littler, Miss R Hall and Miss L Whitworth

Curriculum Leads for Reading: Each department has a nominated Reading Lead to oversee Reading in their department areas.


Curriculum Time

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.  Reading is not only part of lessons but also part of home learning, with pupils regularly being set reading tasks outside of the classroom to develop their reading skills and broaden their experiences of a range of different text types.

Curriculum areas also have designated areas of the library, with subject specific books available for pupils to help develop their reading skills in the different disciplines they study.



"Reading is the ultimate exercise of imagination." - Edward, Y11 Pupil 

Building the Kingdom Time

During Building the Kingdom form time, pupils have opportunities for class reading, as all pupils bring a daily reading book.

In Years 7 and 8, pupils are encouraged to read a text of their choice, as we believe personal choice and preference are key for encouraging reading for pleasure.  Pupils are supported by their teachers and the library team in helping them select books to read that are age appropriate and of interest to them. 

Pupils in Years 9-11 are given a set text to read as a form.  These have been carefully selected to ensure quality, suitability, and enjoyment.  The chosen titles include some of the most iconic, inspirational and thought-provoking texts, exposing pupils to some of the greatest works from Literary history.

Reading opportunities are also evident in our daily prayers and weekly Wednesday Word sessions, where sections of the Gospel are read and discussed within groups.  Jesus is often referred to as the ‘Master Storyteller’ and his parables and teachings are at the heart of reading every Wednesday.


‘Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.’ - Revelation 1:3 

Reading Support

Pupils in KS3 are tested termly to determine their current reading age.  This information is then shared with staff and home, along with tips of how best to support your child’s reading at home.  Pupils are then supported in school to ensure they are reading texts that are age appropriate and will best support them in improving their reading ages. Further, targeted intervention is also provided for pupils who require additional support with developing their reading skills.




“There is no such thing as a child who hates to read; there are only children who have not found the right book.” – Frank Serafini

The library is staffed every 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.  There are also lots of activities taking place in the library, which tie in with our reading calendar for the academic year-such as National Comic Book Day, World Book Day and Non-Fiction November.

We have a thriving pupil led ‘Library Team’ who help to support the running of the library.  They meet every lunch time and help pupils choose different books.  We also have a ‘Book Suggestion’ box where pupils can propose book titles they would like to see in stock in the library.  This way we ensure our shelves are current and reflect our pupils’ personal choices and preferences.

Library Loyalty Card

This is a whole school challenge where pupils are challenged to read 10 books in 10 months.  Pupils have a loyalty card, once they have read a book a member of the library team signs the card. A full card means a literary prize!


 "Reading takes you to other worlds." - Layla, Y9 pupil


Reading Events 

Pupils in Year 7 take part in ‘Book Buzz,’ a reading programme from The Book Trust that aims to help inspire a love of reading.  Each pupil in the year group selects a book to take home and read from a list of 17 titles.  Pupils are then asked to review their chosen titles with prizes up for grabs.


At STM we have a monthly calendar of reading events, that pupils are given the opportunity to celebrate and commemorate in the library, as a whole school and as part of curriculum areas.  The events planned throughout the year incorporate both national and worldwide reading events, as well as more local and school specific events.  Events celebrated in this past year have included World Book Day, National Comic Book Day, Non-Fiction November, and National Story Telling Week. 




 Author Visits

Working closely with our local bookshop "Nantwich Bookshop & Coffee Lounge" and authors in our local community, we have organised author visits for our pupils to enjoy.  Children's author and TV Star Yvette Fielding visited recently, to deliver a writing workshop to our pupils.  She took pupils through the process of writing a book.  From generating ideas, finding a publisher to the editing process.  Yvette was also very impressed with some of our own pupils, who are currently in the process of writing their own stories.  We've clearly got some very talented writers in our school!


We have also had local comic book designer Ian Stopforth visit our pupils to lead a comic book workshop to celebrate National Comic Book Day.

Teaming up with the National Literacy Trust, our Year 7 space enthusiasts took part in a virtual author visit from Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, to celebrate the launch of her new book ‘Am I made of Stardust?’  Why are planets round? What would happen if I fell into a blackhole?  These were just some of the questions that Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock answered during the live virtual author event for our Year 7 pupils.



Reading Lessons

Some pupils in Year 7 and 8 have access to reading lessons which are supportive to help progress reading and encourage reading for pleasure.  Lessons are planned with every pupil in mind, taking into account their individual needs and ensuring they engage and challenge each pupil accordingly.  They help promote the importance of reading, help pupils in finding texts that they will enjoy and help develop their reading skills. Pupils are exposed to a wide range of fiction and non-fiction texts, including digital forms of books such as e-books and podcasts.



 St Thomas More Suggested Reading


The Divergent Series - 'These books are amazing because they are full of action and very interesting to read'

The Hate You Give - 'I love this book because it is so true and realistic to what life is like.'

Five Feet Apart - 'I think that this book is really interesting and accurate in teaching people about cystic fibrosis.'

Heroes of Olympus Series - 'These books are really interesting and have many different story lines.'

Harry Potter Series - 'These are an amazing fantasy book series.'

The Hobbit - 'It is really interesting and has a fantastic story line.'


Library Team Reading Suggestions


Top Tips for Parents 



1. 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. 10 minutes of reading per day can have a huge impact.

2. 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, DVDs and E- Books. Let them choose what they want to read to help them develop their own interests. Personal choice and preference is key.

3. 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.

4. Ask questions– To keep them interested in the story, ask your child questions as they read. Ask your child to explain, in their own words, the plot/meaning of the book/text that they are currently studying. In addition, to check your child is absorbing what they are reading, ask them occasional questions about characters and events in the book.

5. Read whenever you get the chance– Have a book or magazine with you for any time your child has to wait, in a car journey for example or when they have completed all of their homework.

6. Seeing literature as more than just a book to be read. Look out for film or stage adaptations of famous texts – many of these are available for free online!