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South Wigston High School

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Learning without Limits Academy Trust

Reading for Progress and Pleasure

At South Wigston High School, we are committed to improving the reading and literacy of our students through our whole school reading programme: Reading for Progress and Pleasure.


Studies show that reading for pleasure makes a big difference to children’s educational performance. Evidence suggests that children who read for enjoyment every day not only perform better in reading tests than those who don’t, but also develop a broader vocabulary, increased general knowledge and a better understanding of other cultures.

The Research

In listening to and following a text read aloud by a more capable reader, who provides scaffolding, a less fluent reader can experience autonomy and fluency and bypass  frustrating ‘sticking points’ at phonemic, semantic or word level to focus on comprehension. - Wood et al 1976, Kuhn et al 2010

Reading a text aloud creates a community of readers who produce their own situated reading practices in the classroom over time. - Brown et al 1989, Sutherland 2015


Our whole school reading programme (Reading for Progress and Pleasure) is designed to engaged students in a love of reading, building their independent reading skills over time to advance their academic success and to help prepare students for life after education.


All students at SWHS take part in a reading programme. A mix of; senior leaders, heads of departments, heads of year and form tutors, read aloud to form tutors every day for 20 minutes, with students following along to the text in their own copy of the book.

Reading novels aloud, at pace and with fluency, that students would not easily access independently, helps to equip students with the skills and confidence to become fluent, independent life-long readers.

This is a tried and tested method to improve reading comprehension and foster a love of reading. Results published on National Centre for Education Statistics, showed that students reading 20 minutes a day were likely to score better that 90% of their peers in standardised tests.

Read-Aloud is a unique opportunity to breathe life into texts that students are unable to read independently, so as to make those texts accessible … When you read a complex text aloud, you pave the way for students to read it themselves. Doug Lemov (Reading Reconsidered).

The Books

The chosen texts are suitably challenging for each year group, and they are diverse in culture, era and genre. Students in each year group will read 6 texts across the academic year, alongside texts studied through the curriculum.

book choices 2023 24.pdf



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