Reading plays a crucial role in supporting pupils’ learning and development and their understanding of the subjects they are studying. As they prepare to sit the exams that will help to shape their futures, it is important for all of our pupils to continue to expand their vocabulary and improve their writing, language and comprehension skills. Reading a wide variety of books from an assortment of different authors will help our pupils to grow into powerful and knowledgeable communicators.

As well as being a gateway to learning and understanding, reading also helps young people to develop their social and cultural capital by giving them access to new ideas and experiences and encouraging them to empathise with people and characters from all walks of life. Authors use a wide variety of literary techniques to foster and sustain their readers’ interest, helping young people to discover characters that intrigue and inspire them, plots they can relate to, and genres that they love.

Our Star Readers initiative is designed to promote the joys and benefits of reading to all of our pupils, whilst simultaneously improving their writing, vocabulary and comprehension skills. Experienced staff have searched through the best of contemporary and classic young adult literature to provide a recommended reading list for each year group. The books have been selected to give pupils a window into other people’s worlds, promote discussion and build reading resilience.

From contemporary classics like Harry Potter, His Dark Materials and the Hunger Games Trilogy, to universal favourites like To Kill a Mockingbird, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the programme features acclaimed titles dating back to Aesop’s Fables and includes ground-breaking literature from the 19th to the 21st century. All of the books are aligned with our leadership specialism and have been selected with the age of students in mind, both in terms of their reading ability and the main themes explored.

The recommended reading lists for each year group are included in the Star Readers Secondary Edition booklet. All our pupils are provided with a copy of the booklet to take home and will be encouraged to participate in the Star Readers Challenge, which involves reading at least 10 books from the recommended reading list for their year group. We hope parents are also able to get involved with the initiative by encouraging their children to read as many of the books as possible.

Pupils are able to borrow all of the titles featured in the Star Readers Secondary Edition booklet directly from school and many, if not all, are likely to be available from local libraries.

To monitor pupils’ progress and development, all pupils will be given a reading record to track their own reading and participation in the Star Readers Challenge. All pupils who complete the Challenge by reading at least 10 books from the recommended reading list for their year group over the course of the academic year will be awarded a Star Readers certificate of achievement during the school’s annual Star Readers Awards Ceremony, which celebrates pupils’ commitment to reading.

A list of the titles featured in the Star Readers Secondary Edition can be downloaded below.