Reading & Literacy

Literacy at Richmond Park Academy

At Richmond Park Academy we believe that reading is the key to a successful future. Our library is the heart of reading in our school. We are proud of our reading culture at the centre of which is our library of over 10,000 books along with newspapers, magazines, games, brainteasers, and computers. The library is available to students every day between 8.00am and 4.00pm.

The library has a large selection of fiction books with all the students’ favourite authors and series. There is a well stocked classics section as well as new books from a diverse selection of contemporary writers.

In addition, students will find a plentiful non-fiction section with the resources students need to supplement their learning and support their homework. The librarian is always available to assist students in finding the books they need.

Every student at Richmond Park Academy is automatically a member of our library and welcome to borrow books. Students are introduced to the library during a lesson and encouraged to visit during break times or before and after school.  Students may borrow books for two weeks and we ask that books are looked after and returned on time or renewed as required.

To get started, try one of the books from our recommended reading lists:

Reading Challenge and Rewards  

At Richmond Park Academy, we use the Accelerated Reader (AR) programme. AR is tailored to each individual student and provides valuable feedback about a student's reading and vocabulary progress. Students earn house points for each quiz and can earn termly awards for books they complete in the AR program. Click here to read more.

For our more voracious readers we have the Classics Challenge and the 47 book Staircase Challenge. Students read books from the Challenge List and complete projects, ranging from posters to podcasts, that encapsulate their reading experience. 

House competitions, displays, and student recommendations are regularly updated around the library. The highlight of the year is World Book Day and staff are not frightened to join students in dressing up!

Encouraging the Joy of Reading - Home Reading Logs

Every student in Key Stage 3 is required to read a minimum of 30 pages every two weeks and complete their reading log for that date. Parents and students should reflect together on the reading completed and sign off the home reading log for each assignment. 

To ensure a successful home reading experience: 

Reading in School - Tutor Reading and Drop Everything and Read

Every student in Key Stage 3 has an independent reading book with them at all times. At the start of core subject lessons, students will DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) for 10 minutes. This independent reading book can then be quizzed using Accelerated Reader or completed as a part of the Classics or Staircase Challenges.

Key Stage 3 students will read a book from our carefully curated reading cannons during Tutor Reading. They are books that will challenge our readers, introduce them to a new genre, be a contemporary award winner or a classic ‘must read’. Teachers read the novels aloud while students follow along with reading rulers. As the year progresses, students will also be invited to read aloud. While reading, the teacher will highlight and define key vocabulary and point out important features of the story to build students’ comprehension and cultural capital. Students will read 2-4 books during tutor time over the course of the year. 

Support for Reading

All students are assessed on their reading age at regular intervals throughout the year.  These assessments are used to identify any students who require additional support with vocabulary, comprehension, or phonics.  We use Lexia Power Up Literacy, a program endorsed by the Educational Endowment Fund. For more information about Lexia please visit their website here.

Another reading intervention available to Year 7 students is Paired Reading. Once a week, 6th form students are buddied up with Year 7s to read together in the Library.  This highly successful program’s main aim is to create a shared reading experience and build students’ confidence in reading aloud.

"It has helped me a lot. I can read better now and it helps with my other lessons when reading texts in class."

"It has helped be because if I get stuck on a word they can help me say it so when there word is there again I know how to say it straight away."

Battle of the Books

In the summer term, a Year 8 team of exceptional readers enters into the Borough’s ‘Battle of the Books’. This is a really enjoyable event where secondary schools come together for a friendly competition and listen to an inspiring talk from a visiting author.