At BPA, we are a school that recognises and celebrates the importance of reading, not only to a child's academic success, but also to their personal development. Individual subjects carefully choose reading material to enhance their curriculum and teachers have been trained in how to teach reading skills to students of all ability ranges. Many of our staff body are keen readers (we even have our own book club) and this is something we want to see emulated by the students we teach.


Our diverse library

At BPA we are blessed with a diverse, extensive range of texts, both fiction and non-fiction. Our fiction novels are restocked at least once per term to ensure that we are keeping up to date with popular contemporary reads for young adults. We use social media to track emerging book trends, and ask our regular visitors which books they would like to see in stock. Each subject taught in our school has its own non-fiction shelf in the library. These texts have been carefully chosen by each department and should be used by students to extend their interests in their favourite subject(s).

The library is open each lunchtime for students to visit, loan and read. However, during Friday lunchtime, the library is exclusively used by the year 7 book club. This is open to all year 7s who wish to attend. Students in all year groups can loan two books at a time and they are allowed to loan each book for two weeks, until it either needs to be renewed or returned. Students are allowed to loan fiction and non-fiction books. We also have lots of wider reading material to support students completing their GCSES which can also bridge the gap between GCSE and A Level studies, preparing them for post 16 education in many subjects.

We are lucky enough to have our own librarian, Ms Williamson, who can support students in finding something which they would enjoy reading.


How to support your child with reading

Reading is absolutely essential to your child’s success in their education. Not only so they can succeed in their exams, but to be able to analyse, empathise and contribute to educated, mature conversations in the world beyond the classroom. In order to support your child with their reading, you could try the following:

  • If they are studying GCSE texts, or class readers, why not read along with them? You can find the names of novels read in English on the English page under the curriculum tab. This means you will be able to ask them of their opinion on the characters/ issues raised in the text. 

  • You could visit the local library together. We have libraries in Burscough, Ormskirk, Skelmersdale and Parbold. Information on how to join is also available in our school library which your child can collect when they visit.

  • Encourage your child to read texts which you enjoyed reading when you were their age.

  • Encourage your child to visit the school library. This is a welcoming, nurturing environment for them to visit during lunchtime.

  • If your child is a reluctant reader, why not try an audiobook? It could be something that you listen to in the car.

  • If your child is not keen to read fiction, find books which are linked to their favourite subject. We have some brilliant non-fiction collections in our library which they can loan.

If you think you would require some further support with this, complete an enquiries form on the school website which will be forwarded to your child’s English teacher.


Reading support offered in school

At the start of the year, all students in years 7, 8 and 9 complete a reading test. Based on the data generated, students may be offered a form of supportive intervention. This may be one to one or small group support with our higher level teaching assistant, or it may be peer reading. Peer reading comprises of students in years 7 & 8 requiring support, and year 10s who have volunteered to be reading mentors. Each younger student is paired with their elder counterpart and they read a book together. The aim of this is twofold: to improve reading ability, and to ensure enjoyment of reading, whilst providing the younger students with a role model who can support them with their reading. We are extremely proud of the year 10 students who volunteer for this, this year (October 2023) we had a record number of volunteers who have been excellent reading role models.

If your child is selected for support, you will be notified by a letter which details what they are being offered.

Students in key stage four complete an access reading test at the end of year nine. This helps to give us a detailed picture of their reading ability, and any possible access arrangements they may need when they come to complete their GCSE exams.