Scientific evidence has shown that reading has an incredibly positive impact on all of us.  Children who read for enjoyment several times a week show stronger literacy skills, score higher on reading and intelligence tests, develop a broader vocabulary, increased general knowledge and a better understanding of other cultures.  The cumulative effect is that they often end up in better jobs than non-readers, following on from strong academic achievements. When practiced over time, reading and language-acquisition skills can support healthy brain functioning.

Here at Ark Pioneer Academy, we want pupils to understand the positive impact reading can have on their lives and develop a culture where reading is a go-to hobby.  This starts in the summer before pupils join us in Year 7, with our summer reading challenge.  We run reading initiatives throughout the school year, such as our 'Real People Read' where staff read a section of their favourtie book or short story for pupils during lunch time, We also created a film for pupils as part of our World Book Day celebrations where teachers read and discussed extracts from their favourtie books.  Click here to see the film.  "We want to share our love and passion for reading with pupils," said Ms Ferguson, our Head of English, "as we realise just how important reading is!" 

The English department came together and chose the books at the beginning of our academic year.  The selection of texts include modern classics, autobiographies and texts from a diverse range of authors.  We chose texts that are important and enjoyable.  Some of the texts deal with very complex and pertinent issues in society and our hope as a department and school is that by reading these texts our pupils are engaging with great writing, develolping as readers and becoming more empathetic and knowledgeable about the world.  

Our reading list for Year 7:

  • Private Peace
  • Trash
  • The Diary of a Young Girl (Anne Frank)
  • Refugee Boy
  • Storm Breaker
  • Pig Heart Boy
  • Wonder


Our reading list for Year 8:

  • Coram Boy
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Of Mice and Men
  • I am Malala
  • The Outsiders
  • The Hate U Give
  • Daydreamer
  • Ghost Boys
  • Noughts and Crosses