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.

That’s why this year we introduced The Big Read initiative, where all Year 7 and 8 students have dedicated reading sessions each week. Students will read a book each term with their form tutors, which have all been carefully selected to be as informative, educational and inspiring as possible.

Here’s what students are reading this term:

I am Malala
The true story of a schoolgirl in Pakistan who fought for her right to an education

The Graveyard Book
A wickedly sinister story following the life of a boy called Bod who grows up in a graveyard

You are Awesome
Written by a two-time Olympian, this book will inspire young readers to find the confidence to realise their potential


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 three 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.