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Orchard School Bristol

Library & Reading

Reading at Orchard

Orchard School is proud to be a school that reads. We value reading, because reading underpins all other areas of academic and social development. We have structured our day and curriculum to give our students daily opportunities to read high-quality texts.

At Orchard, we’re clear that reading is for everybody – it’s not just for a certain group of students. We make sure that all of our students, regardless of background, are given the same opportunities to read.

Our curriculum has been designed to include high-quality and challenging non-fiction texts; reading is a feature of almost every subject area.                

Reading at Home

Reading at home

Support with reading doesn’t stop at secondary school. Your child will continue to benefit from your input all the way through their school life. Here are some suggestions about how you can support at home, based around three key areas: TALK, CHOOSE, READ:

Talk about your child’s reading with them.

  • What are they reading?
  • Are they enjoying the text? Why/why not?
  • What is the book about?

Choose books to read for pleasure or interest with your child.

  • Books don’t have to be stories – books about areas of interest are just as important.
  • Are there other books in the same series to enjoy?
  • Does your child enjoy playing or watching a certain sport, or do they have a hobby? Books about areas of interest might be a good hook for reading.

Read together.

  • You could listen to your child read.
  • You could read to your child.
  • You could listen to an audio book together – there are thousands of free books on YouTube too, as well as other paid-for sites.

Reading Ladders

We encourage all of our students to read for pleasure at home, regularly.  This enables them to develop their confidence in reading independently, as well as giving them the opportunity to share their reading with their families.  We strongly believe that reading together and talking about books should not end at primary school: it is an essential part of reading development at secondary school, too.

To support your child with choosing books, we have created a series of ‘Reading Ladders’, which are printed in students’ planners.  There is one for each of the main genres, including a range of books for each genre arranged in order of challenge.  Students in year 7 might enter Orchard reading books on the bottom three rungs; by the time they leave us in Year 11, we aim for them to be reading books on the top rung.  In library lessons, English teachers will encourage students to use the ladders to identify their next reading challenge, as well as to branch out and try out a genre they might not have read before.  They can be used at home too, to give you and your child ideas for what they could try reading next.  You can download a full version of our reading ladders here. Example of one of our reading ladders

For more tips on supporting your child with their reading at home from our librarian, click here.

You can watch a video about how to discuss reading with your child at home from our Head of English here:


Reading and Registration

Every morning, all students participate in Reading and Registration. This is time dedicated to reading novels. The books have been chosen by staff from across the school, and reflect our diverse and culturally-rich community.  They cover a range of themes, topics, and time periods – and they come from a diverse range of authors too. Here’s a list of the books for each year group, and a little bit about each one.

Year 7 books can be seen here.     

Year 8 books can be seen here.

Year 9 books can be seen here.

Year 10 books can be seen here.

Year 11 books can be seen here. 
Reading and Registration is part of the normal school day. All students must be present and on time for this session.

Reading for pleasure is the single biggest factor in success later in life... Study after study has shown that those children who read for pleasure are the ones who are most likely to fulfil their ambitions. If your child reads, they will succeed – it’s that simple.
                                                                                                                    - Bali Rai (Author)

The Department for Education have published a paper that summarises the research on the benefits of reading for pleasure. You can read the original document here 

This is a summary of the reasons we value reading so much at Orchard:

  • Evidence suggests that there is a positive relationship between reading frequency, reading enjoyment and attainment. This means that children who read regularly are likely to enjoy reading, as well as doing well in their studies.
  • Evidence suggests that reading for pleasure is an activity that has positive emotional and social consequences.
  • Other benefits to reading for pleasure include: text comprehension and grammar, positive reading attitudes, pleasure in reading in later life, increased general knowledge. This indicates that regular reading will enable success across all areas of the curriculum.


Library Gallery

 Library Catalogue   

Welcome to our Library! 

 We are open every day until 4pm. All students are welcome to use the library for reading or homework at break, lunchtime, and after school during homework club. We have thousands of books and resources available to use in school or to borrow and take home. As well as books we have a range of magazines and periodicals to support curriculum needs as well as students' wider interests. We also have a bank of laptops available for students to borrow during lunchtimes and homework club.

 We are adding new books to our library every week so do come in and see what is available!

Any questions can be directed to our friendly librarian Ms Marion Andrews, pictured here.