“Reading for pleasure increases not only an individual’s rate of learning but also their actual attainment as well as their mental well-being.”
(Literature Review: The Impact of Reading for Pleasure and Empowerment, 2015)
Research tells us that young people who read for pleasure for just 20 minutes at least once a week make better progress in their learning. It increases their ability to take on new information and boosts their academic attainment in all ares (14.4% in vocabulary and 9.9% in maths). Even more importantly, it helps improve their mental well-being, giving them a sense of achievement and self-worth as well as developing their emotional literacy.
Additionally, a major part of the challenge of literacy in secondary school is related to demands of academic reading where students are expected to actively engage with complex, subject specific texts (EEF). Effective readers of fiction or non-fiction texts continually draw upon a complex wealth of prior knowledge about the world and language, as well as their awareness of subject specific genres and vocabulary. It is for this reason that BRGS and 'Reading for a Reason' places reading at the centre of everything we do.
Students have daily access to a Learning Resource Centre that is staffed by a full-time librarian. They are given regular opportunities to read for pleasure as well as to discuss what they read. Our departments take a disciplinary literacy approach to developing students as strategic readers and support their active engagement with texts. We aim to not only develop subject specific vocabulary and model effective reading strategies but also provide active, curriculum based reading opportunities to help students develop their skills and increase their vocabulary and comprehension.
This focus is having a noticeable impact. In 2021 the number of students who identified as reading for pleasure at least once a week rose 21% from three years previously.
To help support students in their reading journeys here are a range of reading lists: