Ark Walworth Academy’s Approach to Reading 

‘One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.’ Malala Yousafzai 

Ensuring our students leave school as strong and confident readers is a key priority. Through reading, students are exposed to: 

  • Vocabulary that enables them to express themselves. 
  • Ideas and knowledge that enables them to engage in discourse on a number of topics. 
  • New worlds and experiences that allow them to make sense of themselves, others and the world around them.  


Reading outside of school 

There is an expectation that students should read: 

A minimum of 6 books a year outside of their lessons  

Students should bring these books to every lesson and assembly 


Reading in school 

At Ark Walworth Academy, within tutor time and in lessons, students are entitled to: 

Guided tutor reading of a set text from Tuesday to Thursday. 

Engage with 2 words of the week taught in tutor time and embedded throughout lessons 

One 50 minute ‘Reading for Pleasure’ lesson in English at Key Stage 3 


Knowledge Organisers 

Students in Year 7-11 receive knowledge organisers, summarising key words and content to be studied in the term ahead. By learning key vocabulary in advance, students are better able to grasp knowledge and understanding in lesson. 


Reading Age Test 

All students in KS3 receive a reading NGRT test at the beginning of each school year to ascertain their reading age level. 

Students with below expected reading ages 


Key Stage 3 

Students in KS3 who have the lowest reading ages attend timetabled literacy of 3 lessons per week. They then have a reading age test three times a year and this is reported to parents, alongside strategies to use at home to improve reading. This is to allow students to graduate the programme and to personalise learning for students. 

The core purpose of this programme is for students to: 

•Read easily, fluently and with clear understanding 

•Acquire a wide vocabulary 

•Use discussion to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain their understanding and ideas 

•Write clearly, accurately and coherently 

Other KS3 strategies 

Students with the lowest reading ages are paired with 6th form reading partners 3 mornings a week to do guided reading.  

We offer a 2 week intensive reading catch up run by our experienced literacy teachers to plug any gaps and to help identify any special educational needs. 


Key Stage 4 

Students that have not progressed to a reading age in line with their chronological age by the end of year 9 complete a Functional Skills pathway in Year 10 and 11 in place of an Option subject. 


Recommended Reading: Year 7-Year 9 

Agbabi, Patience – The Infinite 

Blackman, Malorie – Hacker 

Blackman, Malorie – Pig Heart Boy 

Burne, Cristy – Takeshita Demons 

Cline, Ernest – Ready Player One 

Dowd, Siobhan – The London Eye Mystery 

Gaiman, Neil – Coraline 

Grahame, Kenneth – The Wind in the Willows 

Gourlay, Candy – Shine 

Hiaasen, Carol – Hoot 

Hinton, S.E. – The Outsiders 

Horowitz, Anthony – Strombreaker 

Johnson, Catherine - Sawbones 

Malley, Gemma – The Declaration 

Morpugo, Michael – Kensuke’s Kingdom 

Muchamore, Robert – The Recruit 

Pullman, Philip – Northern Lights 

Rhodes, Jewell Parker – Ghost Boys 

Stone, Nic – Clean Getaway 

Townsend, Sue – The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole 


Recommended Reading: Year 10 and Year 11 

Adeyemi, Tomi – Children of Blood and Bone 

Bronte, Emily – Wuthering Heights 

Brown, Dan – The Da Vinci Code 

Fadugba, Femi – The Upper World 

Fennell, Emerald – Monsters 

Gardner, Sally – Maggot Moon 

Golding, William – Lord of the Flies  

Harris, Robert – Fatherland 

Hornby, Nick – About a Boy 

Lawrence, Patrice – Orange Boy 

Martel, Yann – Life of Pi 

Obama, Michelle - Becoming 

Rai, Bali – (Un)arranged marriage 

Shukla, Nikesh – Run Riot 

Silvera, Adam – They Both Die at the End 

Steinbeck, John – Of Mice and Men 

Thomas, Angie – The Hate U Give 

Tolkien, J.R.R – The Fellowship of the Ring 

Yousafzi, Malala – I am Malala 

Zoboi, Ibi – American Street 


Recommended Reading: Year 12 and Year 13 

Akala – Natives 

Ali, Monica – Brick Lane 

Achebe, Chinua – Things Fall Apart 

Adichi, Chimamanda Ngozi – Americanah 

Adiga, Aravind – The White Tiger 

Angelou, Maya – I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings  

Carter, Angela – The Bloody Chamber 

Coeloh Paulo – The Alchemist 

Evaristo, Bernardine – Girl, Woman, Other 

Hamid, Mohsin – The Reluctant Fundamentalist 

Hosseini, Khalid – A Thousand Splendid Suns 

Hosseini, Khalid – The Kite Runner 

Huxley, Aldous – Brave New World 

Lee, Harper – To Kill a Mockingbird 

Levy, Andrea – Small Island 

Obioma, Chigozie – The Fisherman 

Orwell, George – Nineteen Eighty-Four 

Salinger, J.D. – Catcher in the Rye 

Selvon, Sam – The Lonely Londoners 

Walker, Alice – The Colour Purple