Here at The Birkenhead Park School we believe that reading is one of the best skills a child can learn, giving them the chance to learn new words, new ideas, and so much more. Research also suggests that the more children read the better they perform academically.

'The Big Read' initiative was introduced in 2018 and is a daily reading programme designed to inspire a love of reading in our students , no matter what their starting point. All students in Year 7, 8 & 9 take part in The Big Read every morning and students read the same book for 30 minutes in a timetabled session with their form tutor. Teachers read out aloud and each student is given a copy of the book so they can follow along with their personalised bookmark. 

In October 2021, The Big Read was shortlisted for the 'Innovative and Creative Literacy Award' by Educate Awards. These awards showcase examples of educational excellence in the North West.



The format

Students have 30-minute reading sessions four times a week. Form tutors lead the reading and the class follows along. Students are given a knowledge organiser that they use alongside the book; as well as having chapter summaries and key vocabulary it provides questions to engage students in discussions and let them share their views and experiences.


How will it be assessed and measured?

There will be two online assessments in the school year. This gives each student a starting point and individual targets from which to work from, and then tracks their progress. It therefore allows everyone to improve no matter what their ability.


What will the impact be?

We believe that students will be able to read more fluently and will have improved their reading ability considerably. They will become ‘word rich’, meaning that they have a wider range of vocabulary that they are able to use in all sorts of situations.

These additional reading, vocabulary and decoding skills will be transferable to many other subjects in school, as well as exams, and will help students achieve greater academic success all round.