Literacy at Brannel School

During this academic year, this section of the website is a celebration of where reading can take you. Inspired by a range of novels and the lives of the characters that live within them, we invite you to open the covers and explore the worlds you find inside. Click on the images, explore the resources and enjoy everything we offer at Brannel School.

Why is Literacy so important?

Lacking good literacy skills holds a person back at every stage of their life and evidence shows that having good literacy is a doorway to social mobility. Without vital literacy skills, pupils will struggle to be successful at school as literacy is fundamental to learning. Moreover, as an adult they will struggle to apply for jobs, fill out forms, read instructions and support the learning of their own child. Therefore, ensuring all of our pupils leave school with essential literacy skills is an academy priority. Our whole staff team take a lead in driving literacy initiatives forward and in supporting our students to develop strategies that ensure success.


As well as developing literacy skills, we aim to foster a love of reading. When a child reads for pleasure, talks about reading or does an activity linked to reading, it can lead to improved health and wellbeing as well as increased empathy, creativity and communication skills. There are further academic benefits, such as improved critical thinking, concentration, general knowledge and ability to understand curriculum texts. To promote reading for pleasure and for learning, we support students with book knowledge and strategies to support reading comprehension and inference skills. Additionally, each week, tutors deliver our ‘Read Aloud’ tutor reading programme.

Reading lists and suggestions by year group

There are some amazing books available for people of all ages, whatever their interests. The biggest problem can be deciding on the right one. These reading lists, updated every month, are a good place to start.

Click on the year group below to access the list.

Tutor Reading programme

Our inspiring ‘Read Aloud’ Tutor Reading Programme is an opportunity for all our students in year 7, 8, 9 and 10 to enjoy engaging and challenging books. Three times a week in tutor time, students are read to, covering five or six novels over the course of an academic year.
The tutor reading programme was set up to keep teenagers reading and accessing quality texts and stories from different cultures, transitions and time periods. By reading to them, we are able to supplement the text with valuable context that boosts student knowledge and understanding, drawing links and parallels to content in the wider curriculum as appropriate.

Just 20 minutes a day will help students to read for pleasure and progress and enable their literacy journey towards academic success.

Click on the book cover on the left to find out more about our tutor reading books.

Star Reading Programme and the Millionaire Club

At Brannel School we are passionate about ensuring that every child is a reader.  To enable this further, we run the Star Reading programme to help teachers manage and monitor your children’s independent reading practice. Your child picks a book that excites them and reads it at his/her own pace. When finished, your child discusses the book with an adult, either at home or at school – having the conversation develops oral literacy and is an indication that your child has understood what has been read. All students have a Reading Ladder to track their progress and record their work. The library is open every lunchtime and the librarians are on hand to help students to choose books which will engage and inspire them.

When a student has read 3 books – completing the associated tasks – they will be awarded with their first Star Reading Badge – Bronze level. Students will then move onto the Silver Star Reading Badge. This will require them to read 5 more books and complete five more written tasks. Students continue following this process through the Gold, Emerald, Sapphire and Ruby Star Reading levels. Each level becomes progressively more challenging. Students who acquire all 6 Star Badges will have read a whopping 48 books and are able to take part in the ‘Millionaire Club’ trip.

Click on the book cover on the right to find out more about 2024’s ‘Millionaire Club’ trip

Brannel School Literacy Calendar

At Brannel School, we understand the importance of putting literacy and reading at the heart of everything we do. Central to this is our literacy calendar, a series of events and activities which celebrate writing, reading and culture throughout the year.

To find out more or to offer further suggestions for activities, please click on the book cover on the left.

Reading with your child

Research shows that your interest and involvement in your
child’s learning and education is more important than
anything else in helping your child fulfil their potential.
As parents, you are the people who go with your child on
their learning journey, from the day they are born to the
time they become an adult.

You, as the parent, carer or guardian know your child best.
By clicking on the book cover on the right, you can access reading ideas and suggestions for you to choose from – you will know which ones suit you and your child. All of the ideas have been developed by parents and can be used with, or adapted for, both primary and secondary age children and young people.

Reading intervention programmes

Brannel School run a series of literacy intervention programmes which are tailored to the individual needs of our students and are designed to ensure that all students are able to access the curriculum and achieve everything they wish to.

All students are assessed twice a year and any who are identified as requiring support, are enrolled on one of our programmes.

Click on the book cover on the left to find out more about our intervention programmes.

Literacy newsletters

At Brannel School, we are building a reading culture and as such, there are a lot of events, activities and opportunities that we would like to share with you.

Every term we publish the ‘Brannel School Literary News’, a mix of photographs, news stories, competitions and opportunities. If you would like to find out more about what we have been doing, click on the book cover on the right to read our latest newsletter.

If you would like any further information about literacy at Brannel School, please contact Mr Crispin Heartford. [email protected]