Reading for Success


Reading for Success at St Birinus School

As part of our ongoing literacy development at St Birinus School we have established a range of programmes to support your child’s confidence and understanding when reading. This page provides you with an overview of each programme, along with tips for supporting reading at home.

Tutor Reading Programme

We are excited to continue our Tutor Reading Programme with Years 7 to 10 this year.

Key details:

When?            Three times a week during tutor registration time

Where?           In tutor bases

How?               Trained tutors read to their tutees, who track the text with a bookmark

Which texts?   See the attached overview of texts allocated to each year group

Why?               There is growing evidence in the field of education to suggest that the act
                         of reading is one of the best ways in which you can improve academic
                         performance in the long-term.

Books in the Tutor Reading Programme (students will read approximately three texts in a year)

Year 7 Year 8

Alice in Wonderland

Asha and the Spirit Bird



No Fixed Address


Stay Where You Are and Then Leave

The Eleventh Trade

The Goldfish Boy

Ghost Boys



The Bone Sparrow

The Giver

The Wall

The Woman in Black


When The World Was Ours
Year 9 Year 10

A Good Girl's Guide to Murder


One of Us is Lying


The Boxer

The Poet X

We Should All Be Feminists

All American Boys

Clap When You Land

I Am Number Four


Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Key benefits of reading together:

  1. A social experience that builds a sense of community and belonging
  2. Regular modelling of fluent, passionate reading delivered by tutors
  3. Exposure to countless words and phrases not found in everyday dialogue
  4. Coverage of a wealth of themes and concepts valuable for personal development
  5. On-going improvement in independent reading skills

We are incredibly proud to be a leading school implementing a programme on such a scale as this. And, from early feedback, its positive impact can already be seen. We are certain that the energy and commitment invested by each member of staff will reap huge gains, both on an academic and a pastoral level too.

Texts have been selected extremely carefully to ensure that the range of narratives available address age-appropriate themes, but offer a high level of challenge too. We are dedicated to ensuring that progress is made at every stage of your child’s learning journey, and are sure that this new initiative will provide endless opportunities for that.

We are really excited about this adventure and hope you will join us in supporting our students with their reading journey.

If you have any questions about the Tutor Reading Programme, please contact Mr Rob Reid:


Bedrock Vocabulary

  • Research highlights that vocabulary development is key in improving literacy and attainment. As your child progresses through the Bedrock curriculum, they will study hundreds of words, whilst reading fiction and non-fiction texts regularly through weekly homework completed on the Bedrock Vocabulary app.
  • Your child must complete two lessons a week, along with any tests or quizzes required.
  • Your child’s block: when your child used Bedrock for the first time, they were assigned to a block based on a quiz testing their reading and knowledge of vocabulary. The blocks range from 3-12. Your child will automatically move up or down through the different blocks depending on their quiz results.

If you have any questions about Bedrock Vocabulary, please contact Mrs Hannah Rabey:  


The importance of reading at home

  • Reading at home is a key way to improve and maintain a student’s reading age.
  • Students in Years 7 to 10 are required to read at least four times a week for 20 minutes and must get their reading log signed by a parent or guardian every week to support their reading.
  • Reading at home has many benefits, including:
  • Reading is proven to be one of the most powerful factors in improving life achievement
  • 16-year-olds who choose to read books for pleasure outside of school are more likely to secure managerial or professional jobs in later life
  • Having books in the home is associated with both reading enjoyment and confidence. The school library and local libraries provide a very wide range of books to support access to books
  • Children who read books often at age 10 and more than once a week at age 16 gain higher results in maths, vocabulary and spelling tests at age 16 than those who read less regularly.


  • Strategies for supporting your child at home:
  • Be interested: ask about the book daily – plot, characters, themes, predictions
  • Be sensitive: ensure students have chance to discuss delicate themes that arise
  • Be aware: know the content of your child’s book
  • Be relaxed: offer a calm, stress-free environment that cultivates enthusiasm
  • Be an example: let your child see you reading for pleasure on a regular basis at home


St Birinus Library

The library offers an enormous selection of books covering every genre including war and football stories, thrillers, magical adventures, science fiction and comedy. The library is open everyday, and students can visit and ask for help with book choices.

The entire library is online allowing you to browse available books the link is:

If you would like some specific reading suggestions, please email Miss Wren at


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