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Stewards Academy

Stewards Academy

Science Specialist

Reading at Stewards

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Read Theory

Earlier this year we launched an online reading tool called ‘Read Theory’.  Pupils must login and complete a number of non-fiction reading comprehensions, these are set as homework on class charts.  Pupils are set between 10-15 quizzes every fortnight.  Please check class charts for homework due dates and extra reading challenges.  The website is

Accelerated Reading

We strongly encourage pupils to read whole books within their reading level range and when a book is finished to take a ‘book quiz’ on the Renaissance Reading system.  Pupils may now access this at home.  Please use this link to the website

Pupils have login details for both Read Theory and Renaissance on their reading logs in their study folders.

If pupils have any issues accessing these from home you may email Mrs Bailey at 



To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien

Weaveworld – Clive Barker

Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy

The Idiot – Fyoder Dostoevsky

1984 – George Orwell

Goodnight Mister Tom – Michelle Magorian

The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver

The Casual Vacancy – JK Rowling

A History of Britain in 21 Women – Jenni Murray

The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle

The Road – Cormac McCarthy

The Phantom Tollbooth – Norton Juster

Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid – Bill Bryson

The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini

Janice Gentle Gets Sexy – Mavis Cheeks

The Marrying of Chani Kaufman – Eve Harris

The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks

Passage – Justin Cronin

Animal Farm – George Orwell

Cider with Rosie – Laurie Lee

Wind, Sand and Stars – Antoine de Saint Exupery

The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

One Day – David Nicholls

The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

Schadenfreude: The Joy of Another’s Misfortune – Tiffany Watt Smith

The Fear Bubble – Ant Middleton

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

Papillon – Henri Charriere

The Lost World – Arthur Conan Doyle

The Time Machine – H G Wells

Dracula – Bram Stoker The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – CS Lewis

His Dark Materials (trilogy) – Philip Pullman



The latest curriculum for English states that ‘Reading at key stage 3 and 4 should be wide, varied and challenging. Pupils should be expected to read whole books, to read in depth and to read for pleasure and information.’ At Stewards Academy developing pupils’ reading skills is a key priority. The importance of reading cannot be overstated. Teenagers who read for pleasure are much more likely to get a better job when they become adults, according to an in-depth and long-running sociological study.

Pupils are encouraged, supported and monitored in various ways, see below for more information.

‘Renaissance Reading’

This has now been active at the school for a number of years and currently around 880 students across years 7 to 10 are enrolled on the scheme. It works by assessing a pupil’s reading ability with a computer reading test, called a ‘Star Test’. Pupils are then given a ‘book range’ so they know which books they will be able to read and understand. After reading the book a ‘Renaissance Reading ‘quiz is taken which assesses the student’s understanding of the book. In addition pupils are given a points target for the term, which are earned through passing a quiz on the books when finished. This scheme has proven to greatly improve reading ability across all ages and all ability levels in the school. 

‘Ace’ reading lessons and homework

Pupils in years 7 to 9 have one lesson per week dedicated to improving their reading skills. They have the opportunity to read independently, one to one or sometimes in small groups. All pupils may visit the library, where they choose a book and take Renaissance Reading quiz. To complement the ACE lesson, all students are expected to complete 30 minutes reading a day as part of their English homework. Extensive research suggests this has a significant impact on pupil progress.

The School Library

The library is a busy hub of the school. Many reading lessons take place in the library. Break and lunchtimes it is often full of pupils working hard. All pupils are welcome to use this excellent facility to read, to study, to take Renaissance quizzes and to research via the Internet or reference books for homework. The library is open daily from 8am until 4pm (3.30pm on Fridays).

Reading Weeks

Each term, one week is dedicated to reading across the whole school. A wide range of reading activities takes place to encourage a love of literature. We choose a different theme for each such as ‘Poetry’, ‘Diaries’, and the all-time favourite ‘Harry Potter’. These include, author visits, competitions, and staff readings in the library.