Reading at Home
Adding reading to your daily routine really supports both literacy and wellbeing – and can be very enjoyable too!
This page has some useful links to reading resources and other tips to help keep reading engaging and positive. Please do share your own ideas and experiences with us too, so we can all learn from each other.
On the last day before school closure, we opened up our library and removed borrowing limits so that students could take out as many books as they wanted to keep them busy over the closure period; all of our books went flying off the shelves!
If you have any queries concerning passwords, reading levels, reading tips or how to find reading materials, please email our Head of English Miss Matthews on email@example.com – or just email your child’s English teacher.
How often should I being reading?
The short answer is, as often as you like! We recommend at least 30 minutes a day. At school students read for 40 minutes once a week in DEAR, as well as regular extended reading in lessons, and an hour's reading in DEAR lessons once a fortnight.
To help continue this habit while at home, we are encouraging students to aim to read at least 2—3 times a day for 20 minutes, if you can, including 20 minutes reading aloud to a parent, sibling or even a pet!
After finishing a book, why not take a quiz write a review and send it to Miss Matthews on firstname.lastname@example.org – you can earn Harris Points without even being at school!
The HGA Literary Canon
Here at HGA, we have two versions of the HGA Literary Canon – one for KS3 and one for KS4. These ‘canons’ are each a list of 50 books that we recommend all our students should have read by the time they finish the Key Stage.
Download the HGA Key Stage 3 Reading Canon
Download the HGA Key Stage 4 Reading Canon
Send your photos of you reading books on the canon to Ms Matthews on email@example.com to receive a secret prize when we return to school; you could even feature on the school Twitter page!
Reading will really help to keep our brains active, engaged and learning while our school is temporarily closed. At Harris Garrard Academy, all year 7-10 students have been using an online program Bedrock Vocabulary Learning to develop their vocabulary acquisition.
To make required progress across the programme, you must complete at least two lessons a week, which run for 20 minutes each. Your login and password details have been provided to you by the English Department. If you have lost these details, you can ask your parent or carer to email Ms Matthews or your English teacher (firstname.lastname@example.org). In the email please make clear the name of your child and their English class so that we can email you your Bedrock username and password.
Remember you can download Bedrock onto your phones and ipads too! The English Department will track your activity and reward you with Harris Points for all the Bedrock sessions you complete each week.
More books and audiobooks
If you have a subscription of Amazon prime, there is a great selection of free books, magazines and comics available. Here are some websites offering free online books and audiobooks.
- School Name: Harris Garrard Academy (type the first few letters of your school and select from the drop-down menu)
- Username: harris428student
- Password: read
Other places to find books online:
- Storyline Online
- Oxford Owl - expert advice, educational resources and free eBooks to support children's learning at home, from Oxford University Press.
- David Walliams daily free audio story for 30 days
- Audible.com - free audible books for all ages:
- Researchify - Word/PDF/Audiobooks of Children’s Classics:
- Project Gutenberg - good for classics
- International Children’s Digital Library
- The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust has also created a short reading list of books that are available to read online.
- Have a look at World Book Day’s World of Stories, where you can listen to audiobooks of some of your favourite books.
If you don´t have internet access please contact us and we will try to supply free copies. Don’t forget some students will have books from our school-library at home.
You can read a variety of magazines online using the Harris Garrard Academy subscription. These include:
- BBC History
- BBC Science Focus
- New Internationalist
- The Biologist
- Chemistry World
Once on the login page, select the “library card” option in the top right-hand corner. Enter the six-digit code 824853 for Harris Garrard Academy into the “card number” bar and log in.