Gumley House School FCJ

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Developing a love of reading

We want all our students to become highly skilled readers, working at or above the National Standard, who develop a life-long love of reading during their time with us.

Our aim is to create a community of confident readers who feel comfortable approaching texts across all subjects. We understand that reading is the great leveller: a tool that enables pupils of all backgrounds the opportunity to experience and understand all aspects of our world. We recognise that strong literacy skills are most often the key to unlocking the potential of our young people.

How do we inspire and support students to read independently?

  • All Key stage 3 students are tested on their reading and comprehension skills.  Students receive regular reading lessons to develop a love of reading and to ensure they can read at their actual age, developing their vocabulary and comprehension skills.
  • Drop Everything And Read is embedded in our tutor time as reading is part of our personal development programme.
  • Staff are trained on key reading strategies to support the development of students’ reading in their subject subjects,  to access the full curriculum. We ensure teachers are reading role models for students and we also ask parents to make sure their child catches them reading! This sets a powerful example for young people when it comes to reading for pleasure.
  • Students are encouraged to read books in different subject areas (not just English!).  Our school's reading culture flourishes when pairing different subjects with books on relevant themes.
  • We engage with authors and have various authors present to students.  It’s a chance for students to hear about the creative process, which in turn can spark their own creativity, encouraging them not only to read more but also to write more.  
  • Book Themed Days are introduced which brings additional creativity to the school, with classroom doors being decorated as book covers and a 'book exchange' across all key stages where students recommend books to each other.
  • Students in Sixth Form can also attain Wider Reading Awards.

Reading for Pleasure

Reading for pleasure is encouraged through regular visits to the library at Key Stage 3 and reading initiatives during Tutor Time. One of these initiatives is the tutor time reading programme, which encourages tutors and students to discuss shared texts. The key aims of the tutor time reading programme are:

  • To promote interests in different genres of literature and help nurture a love of reading
  • To expose students to a confident and fluent reader
  • To offer themes for discussion and practice oracy
  • To promote cohesion through the shared experience of reading a book together
  • To make reading for pleasure, a highly visible aspect of Gumley House Culture

There are many other events which take place across the school year.  These include visits from storytellers and writers, an annual scholastic book fair, poetry competitions to coincide with National Poetry Day, creative writing clubs for Key Stage 3 and numerous trips to the theatre.

Key Stage 3 Reading Recommendations

FCJ Values Reading List (created by our sister school Upton Hall)

Spring Term Reading Recommendations (age appropriate)

Post-16 Non-Fiction Reading Lists (by subject)

Parent Guide to Reading at Sixth Form


Further (not so pleasurable) reading:

Literacy Strategy (2023 - 2024)

Literacy Policy