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Copleston High School


"Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing" Harper Lee

Reading is the golden thread that needs to be recognised, harnessed and embraced. Reading is essential to access the curriculum but perhaps even more importantly reading provides a form of escape and inspiration. Reading can also raise self-esteem and increase life expectancy as well as offer greater life choices. According to the National Literacy Trust "Children who enjoy reading and writing are happier with their lives."

Reading at Copleston starts at the beginning of the day when students will read an article in their Base or Apex booklets and discuss it, or may read some inspirational quotes and consider the speaker and implications of what was said.  There are 9 dedicated reading weeks when students will read their own choice book every day and their form tutor will quiz them on characters, plot and their thoughts, as well as checking that the text is challenging enough. Students can receive guidance from our full time dedicated librarian who ensures students choose appropriate reading material. In addition, the form time activities Base and Apex programme currently has one morning each weekend as a dedicated slot for private, independent reading. 

Then as the student goes through their day they will see posters celebrating reading and quotes that will continue to motivate and encourage them to enjoy reading. We also endeavour to challenge students to keep up 20-30 minutes of private reading at home as we know this helps develop their vocabulary and understanding of the world. Students in KS3 English lessons spend 10 minutes every lesson reading privately. During English lessons they also have time in the Learning Resource Centre to choose and read independently. Students also have opportunities to write book reviews and can attend talks by visiting authors who frequently come to deliver workshops. Students can also enter Book MasterMind competition as well as enter The Carnegie Award shadowing programme which allows students to shadow the selected books and make the choices based on their own reading. 

Students in year 7 also have reading champions help by listening to them read. These consist of dedicated year 10 and sixth form students who will also discuss the students' books and understanding as well as help develop their reading skills. 

Selected students in years 7 and 8 will be placed into Literacy forms and have bespoke literacy work to complete which will take the form of using Reading Plus and involve a close monitoring of their reading skills. 

Reading in the Curriculum

Each subject will teach key words and how to read and understand them, as well as see their links across subjects. Reading materials may be challenging but teachers know the importance of reading and this can open opportunities- not only as success in subjects but also as a form of character building and developing confidence. Individual subjects may add suggested reading onto Satchel as homework and independent learning. Students will also see recommended reading as part of their Super Curriculum projects in each subject which will involve articles, novels or extracts from important works. These will help to broaden the student's mind and offer them more knowledge. Evidence suggests that reading for pleasure leads to increased attainment. Clark and DeZoya (2011) found a significant positive relationship between enjoyment and attainment indicating that pupils who read more are also better readers. 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.

At Copleston we provide reading lists for subjects and have a broad variety of thousands of materials available in our e-library for Sixth Form students to access. 

Selected students will receive one to one or small group reading support which will help them with their phonics and fluency as well as their word comprehension using the Toe by Toe and Lexonik programmes.

Reading at Home

Reading can provide comfort and support when you are at home- even a form of escapism and privacy. As Marcus Rashford (Manchester United and England footballer) said himself "There were times where the escapism of reading could have really helped me."  Reading may provide some answers in a hectic life. Reading is a good source of positivity...

  • An online poll of over four thousand people from a representative sample in the UK revealed that regular readers for pleasure reported fewer feelings of stress and depression than non-readers, and stronger feelings of relaxation from reading than from watching television or engaging with technology intensive activities. 28
  • Studies have shown that those who read for pleasure have higher levels of self-esteem and a greater ability to cope with difficult situations. Reading for pleasure was also associated with better sleeping patterns. 29
  • Adults who read for just 30 minutes a week are 20% more likely to report greater life satisfaction.

Please click below for suggested reading materials. In addition, visit the school's Learning Resource Centre and web page where you can choose from hundreds of novels, fiction and non-fiction works. We also provide links to several E-Books and recommend Podcasts and audio books if you prefer. Have a look here Reading Suggestions for Teenagers for more ideas and what to pick. Or click here More ideas about reading where you will find age related materials and advice. For free E-books you can look here E-book links

If you want inspiration start with these suggestions of books you MUST read: 

  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. 
  • The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas. 
  • Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. 
  • The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. 
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

...and try these before you leave school Books to read before reaching 18 

Why we must encourage young people to read

We are very fortunate to live in a society where technology is fantastically advanced, and information is available to the masses at the touch of a button. For many people, having their minds filled by vivid images from the television or the latest mind-blowing computer game is a great way to relax, so reading is not seen to be of much use or interest.

Reading, however, is crucial to every young person’s success. Reading helps young minds develop socially and intellectually, and inspires creativity and imagination far more than any computer game can do.

It’s not just the act of reading that is important, though – the book chosen for reading needs to be suitably challenging as well, because there is a clear link between reading and comprehending more challenging books, and greater academic achievement.

Research by the Daily Telegraph in 2010 revealed that rising numbers of 13 and 14-year-olds – including the brightest pupils – are opting for simple texts aimed at children towards the end of primary school.

Dundee University analysed the reading habits of 300,144 children in 1,605 primary and secondary schools throughout the UK.  Their report said that although the average book difficulty rose throughout primary school, with children aged seven and eight focusing on texts orientated towards nine-year-olds, on average, Year 9 students – those aged 13 and 14 – were reading books suitable for 10-year-olds.

Reading a suitably challenging book for just 10 minutes per day has clear benefits to every young person. 

  • develops good spelling
  • builds vocabulary
  • develops good grammar in the child’s own writing
  • builds a healthy imagination

Please click the links below to find out how you can help your son/daughter’s reading.

How can I encourage my son/daughter to read?

A handy checklist of suggestions for encouraging reluctant readers.

Which reading books are recommended?

A series of reading lists for Key Stage 3, 4 and 5 students.

How do you encourage and support reading at Copleston?

A Document detailing how reading is encouraged and supported at Copleston.