Saint Benedict Reads

Reading and Literacy at Saint Benedict CVA.

At Saint Benedict CVA, we pride ourselves in developing a life-long love of reading due to a wide range of initiatives that are taking place within the academy to develop literacy.

Reading for pleasure is regarded as very important for the developing child.

 Evidence suggests that there is a positive relationship between reading frequency, reading enjoyment and attainment (Clark 2011; Clark and Douglas 2011).


Reading Challenge - Year 7 and Year 8 Students

The Reading Challenge is aimed at students in Year 7 and 8.  Throughout the year, students should read as many novels from the choice below, plus a novel of their choice.  When students have completed a novel they should review it on Boodle (100 words maximum).  The first three students from each year group to read and review all the books on the list will receive a prize.

Year 7 Reading Challenge - Year 7- Reading Challenge

Reading competition Year 7

Year 8 Reading Challenge - Year 8- Reading Challenge

Year 8 Reading Competition

Year 7 winners receiving their prize for reading and reviewing all the novels in the Reading Challenge.

Reviewing your book:

Year 7 reading competition How to review

Year 7 Reading Book Review | Year 8 Reading Book Review

Jessicas Ghost The goldfish boy flora CarveTheMark_Roth_EpicReads everything
9th January 2017 16th January 2017 23rd January 2017 30th January 2017 6th February 2017
the-bone-sparrow The nest IMG_5826 the-james-drake ink
20th February 2017 27th February 2017 6th March 2017 13th March 2017 20th March 2017
Paper-Butterflies The Girl of Ink Stars  beautiful broken things2  cogheart
27th March 2017 3rd April 2017 24th April 2017  1st May 2017  8th May 2017
Flawed  Who let the God's out  Orangeboy  Albie bright  Mysterium Book 1
15th May 2017 22nd May 2017   05th June 2017    12th June 2017    19th June 2017
ghosts of shanghai the island at the end of everything  Diabolic2 My evil twin Cressida twitter comment (00000002)
26th June 2017 3rd July 2017  18th Sept 2017  25th Sept 2017 2nd Oct 2017
Cressida twitter comment (00000002)  IMG_9908   it only happens at the movies  Bad dad  Book of Dust
9th Oct 2017  16th Oct 2017  30th Oct 2017 6th Nov 2017 13th Nov 2017
 Moonrise  Does my head  Turtles  unboxed  who runs the world
20th Nov 2017  27th Nov 2017  4th Dec 2017  11th Dec 2017  4th Jan 2018
the light jar  Stargazing1  satellite by Nick Lake  the death cure (002)  great snail pic
 8th Jan 2018  15th Jan 2018  22nd Jan 2018  29th Jan 2018  5th Feb 2018
Shiver Coffin Mkaer  A Shiver with twitter comment  this book will help you  Indigo Donut with comment
26th Feb 2018 5th March 2018  12th March 2018 19th March 2018 9th April 2018
The explorer spark maisie day
16th April 2018 23rd April 2018 30th April 2018

Reading Group

Wednesday lunchtime in the Library.

Dr Burrell and Mrs Peden will be hosting a reading group in the library. As well as introducing new texts and discussing the Carnegie nominated books, we also want to hear from pupils about the books they enjoy and would recommend. This is open to all year groups and we look forward to meeting you!

A Monster Calls - Julia Zurawska

A monster calls

The Bone Sparrow - Vanessa Zuva  Previous Carnegie winners displayed on the  reading tree

Bone sparrow poem by Vanessa Zuva Reading Group

‘We Are Writers’

The ‘We Are Writers’ initiative offers a unique opportunity for children to see their writing published in a real book. It is an incredible way to enthuse and excite any child about writing.  We are currently in the fifth year of producing our book and this year’s edition is well under way.we are writers website   Last year through the book fair and selling the book we made £1000 in sales, for which we received 60% commission in Scholastic vouchers for the library.  This really help to keep our fiction stock up to date! You can help us by encouraging your child to contribute and support them in putting pen to paper. We welcome contributions from our whole school community.  Students can submit a poem, short story, diary entry or even a recipe!  Writing should be emailed to  Please include your name (you can remain anonymous if you wish), your house and the title of your work, without which it can’t be published. In addition to writing the book we also run a ‘design the cover’ competition where students have the opportunity to draw or paint a unique cover which portrays the creativity of writing.  One of our winning covers was exceptional and was chosen to promote ‘We Are Writers’ nationally. Once the book is published you will have the opportunity to purchase a copy. We look forward to receiving your creative writing and to showcasing the writing talents of our pupils. We Are Writers Competition

Previous releases from 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017

final cover2014 final cover2014 cover final 2016 cover leanne book 2017

Drop Everything And Read

As an integral part of daily life, reading is without doubt one of the most important skills we need. It is students who develop a love of reading who are more able to communicate effectively and to write confidently. During DEAR, students will “catch” pupils/staff reading and this will form the termly competition to win house points.

dear-2 IMG_5920

 Literacy Ambassadors distributing DEAR boxes to forms.

The Drop Everything And Read initiative takes place during tutor time once a week. Pupils will be expected to bring a book and sit and read during this time. You can support us by ensuring that your child has a book with them to read and by encouraging them to borrow one from their school or local library.

DEAR sessions

Tuesday – Bakhita and Teresa

Wednesday – John Paul, Bakhita and Romero

Thursday – Kolbe and McAuley

Visiting Authors

Author Visit for 2016 – Sufiya Ahmed

Sufiya Ahmed spoke passionately to students about the resilience and dedication required to realise her dream of becoming a children’s author.  Creative writing isn’t easy, but Sufiya proved that if you work hard enough anything is possible.  The students thoroughly enjoyed her visit and I am sure she will have inspired some of them to have a go at putting pen to paper!

Sufiya is the author of the young adult novel ‘Secrets of the Henna Girl’ published by Puffin Books, which sensitively explores the pressing themes of forced marriage and family honour and which has gained much critical acclaim. Sufiya has won the ‘Published Writer of the Year’ at the Brit Writers Awards 2012 and the Redbridge Children’s Book Award 2013 (teen category).

Link to the news archive on June 10 2016 – Click here

sufiya ahmed (002)Sufiya Amed

Author Visit for 2017 – Christopher Edge

Christopher Edge is the writer of ‘The Many Worlds of Albie Bright,’ nominated for the 2017 Carnegie Long List and ‘The Jamie Drake Equation’. His stories have a common theme and portray the experiences of a young boy’s explorations in the field of Science. The novels manage to combine perfectly factual science with humour and are a thoroughly enjoyable read.

albie bright Jamie Drake

To find out more about Christopher Edge - Click here

Julian Sedgwick

To find out more about Julian Sedgwick visit click here.


 Reading and Literacy at Saint Benedict CVA

The English Department and Library staff have established the following schemes to enhance literacy levels across the board:

  • Drop Everything and Read sessions (DEAR) in tutor time.
  • Students in Year 7 and 8 encouraged to read and review books online through reading competitions.
  • The Scholar’s Project in Year 9 to raise awareness of different classical and contemporary authors and genres.
  • Bookbuzz reading programme for Year 7 and 8, to encourage reading for pleasure and independent choice.
  • Staff and sixth form book club.
  • ‘Book of the Week’ which appears once a week on the daily notices to raise pupils’ awareness of contemporary fiction.
  • Reading group which meets weekly in the library to introduce new texts to students and gain feedback on the books they have enjoyed and would recommend.
  • Authors visits and workshops in school and organised through the Derby Book Festival.
  • ‘We Are Writers’, a whole school initiative to get students involved in the creative writing process.
  • ‘Word of the Week’ to improve students’ vocabulary and writing.
  • Participation in the annual ‘Chris Williamson public speaking competition’, to develop verbal literacy and public speaking.
  • Debating club to facilitate students’ verbal literacy, debating skills and ability to produce reasoned arguments.

In addition to these many successful projects, we will be piloting the Literacy Leaders scheme, involving Year 9s sharing literature with Year 7 readers.

Our library aims to supply a broad range of books to appeal to all abilities and interests. We pride ourselves in stocking all the latest children’s fiction, including favourites such as David Walliams, Liz Pichon, Jeff Kinney and Suzanne Collins, and a plethora of non-fiction to meet the requirements of the new curriculum. As well as this, we are encouraging the ‘Drop Everything And Read’ initiative, dedicating one tutor time a week for personal reading. Students should have their own reading book with them and are expected to engage in reading on a regular basis, both at the academy and at home. Reading aloud in many classes allows pupils to develop valuable speaking and comprehension skills, in addition to building their confidence and self-esteem. Support from parents is vital in encouraging students’ love of reading.




Parents and the home environment are essential to the early teaching of reading and fostering a love of reading; children are more likely to continue to be readers in homes where books and reading are valued (Clark and Rumbold, 2006).

 As a school, we are committed to raising pupils’ awareness of literature and increasing their love of reading. Our whole-school drive to promote literacy has proven to be successful across year groups.

2017 promises a variety of dynamic and creative initiatives to further this success – we look forward to reading more with our students!

“Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” Harry S. Truman  

Mrs M Peden                           Mr D Thornhill                                     Dr T Burrell

Teacher of English                  Director of House- Kolbe                    Librarian


Clark, C. (2011). Setting the Baseline: The National Literacy Trust’s first annual survey into reading – 2010. London: National Literacy Trust.

Clark, C., and Douglas, J. (2011) Young People’s Reading and Writing. An in-depth study focusing on enjoyment, behaviour, attitudes and attainment National Literacy Trust.

Clark, C., and Rumbold, K. (2006). Reading for Pleasure a research overview. The National Literacy Trust.


Scholastic Book Club

Buy discounted books for your children and help raise funds for our school library. Our new Scholastic Book Club is up and running!
To browse the latest books and order online. For every £1 you spend on this month’s Book Club, our school will earn 20p in Scholastic Rewards. Buy discounted fiction for your children and have books delivered to school for free. Our Digital Book Club has landed! Go to





Useful Websites


What Kids Are Reading

Prefer Poetry?

World Book Day

The CILIP Carnegie Kate Greenaway Children’s Book Awards –