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Reading at Home - What We Offer
This page explains how to borrow books if students are unable to attend school for a while.
You'll also find lots of useful links to reading resources and other tips to help you carry on enjoying your reading.
Email Ms Morris on email@example.com if you have any queries concerning passwords, reading levels, reading tips or how to find reading materials.
Access to books and audiobooks
Try these links to find FREE books to read.
NEW! Virtual School Library. Every week a popular children's author or illustrator will provide you with free books, exclusive videos and their top three recommended reads.
- Project Gutenberg is a nonprofit organisation that maintains an online library of e-books. All of the books in the library are free. The books in the Project Gutenberg library are part of the public domain which means they are no longer protected by copyright laws. There are over 60,000 books in the Project Gutenburg library so it can be a bit of an overwhelming website. Click HERE for some suggestions on what to read first.
- Southwark Libraries have a great e-library, accessed through BorrowBox, where you can download books and audiobooks for free. If you do not have a Southwark Library membership, you can join now for 90 days without a signed application form. Join Southwark Library Once you have your membership number, log in to BorrowBox.
- Oxford Owl. If you create an Oxford Owl for Home account you will be able to access advice and support for parents, educational activities and games and a free eBook library for 3- to 11-year-olds.
- Audible.com. Students everywhere can stream an incredible collection of stories that will help them continue dreaming and learning. Popular audiobooks for HAB students include: The Spies That Bind: A Gallagher Girls Prequel by Ally Carter, The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco and In Praise of Difficult Women: Life Lessons from 29 Heroines Who Dared to Break the Rules by Karen Karbo.
- Researchify Check out Researchify for access to Children's Classics in PDF and audiobook format. Here you will find Classics such as The Wind In The Willows and Black Beauty.
- Harper Collins. You are going to LOVE this handpicked selection of audiobooks for children and their grown-ups. Turn up the volume and get ready to listen to The Fowl Twins by Eoin Colfer, read by Nathaniel Parker and Boy Giant by Michael Morpurgo, read by Akbar Kurtha.
- Literacy Trust: The Book of Hopes. Completely free for all children and families, the extraordinary collection of short stories, poems, essays and pictures has contributions from more than 110 children’s writers and illustrators, including Lauren Child, Anthony Horowitz, Greg James and Chris Smith, Michael Morpurgo, Liz Pichon, Axel Scheffler, Francesca Simon and Jacqueline Wilson.
- Behind the Cover is for all women and non-binary readers aged 16 and over. It’s a book club that celebrates brilliant books with women at the centre of the story. This month the National Literacy Trust is delighted to be listening to the 2020 Booker Shortlisted novel Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi. Burnt Sugar is a love story between a mother and a daughter. It follows the story of mother and former wild-child Tara who ran away from a loveless marriage and spent years chasing after a homeless 'artist' with her young child in tow. Now she is beginning to forget things and her grown-up daughter, Antara, is faced with the task of caring for a woman who never cared for her. This book deals with themes including: love, sex, memory, grief and motherhood, and is appropriate for readers aged 16+.
Five fantastic book lists
Ms Morris has created five awesome book lists to inspire your reading. Just choose your favourite genres and dip in!
You might also like to take a look at the following book recommendations.
- Great books for Key Stage 3 students
- Books to hook readers who aren’t sure what to read
- Books to stretch and challenge readers - 10 classics to read before you are 16
How often should I being reading?
The short answer is, as often as you like! During a normal school day, every student has a minimum of 20 minutes dedicated to reading. 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! Try and build in one reading aloud session each day - you're never too old to read aloud.
Parents: motivating children to read during lockdown - five handy tips to foster reading motivation.
Reading will really help to keep our brains active, engaged and learning while our school is temporarily closed. At Harris Academy Bermondsey, all year 7-9 students have been using an online program Bedrock Vocabulary Learning to develop your 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 contact your English teacher or Ms Morris. In the email please make your name and your class code clear so we can find your details.
Remember you can download Bedrock onto your phones and iPads too! The English Department will track your activity and distribute praise postcards to those who are regularly engaging with Bedrock and making excellent progress.
Advice for parents
Whether your daughter struggles with reading, is a reluctant reader or if she can’t get enough of books, this short guide has some useful advice and book suggestions for everyone!
Read yourself! Show a good example by talking about the reading you do at work and at home. Take 10 minutes out of your day and sit and read in front of your child. You could read a novel, an autobiography or a newspaper. Show your child that reading is an important part of your life.
Visit local e-Library together. Southwark Libraries have a great e-library, accessed through BorrowBox, where you can download books and audiobooks for free. If you do not have a Southwark Library membership, you can join now for 90 days without a signed application form. Join Southwark Library Once you have your membership number, log in to BorrowBox.
Take time to read together as a family. Talk about your reading and show the pleasure that can be gained from it. Listening to stories is not only fun but it helps development of language too. Don’t be afraid to read to your child. Enjoy the experience and don’t worry if even you make the odd mistake - everybody does! Dedicating a regular time slot to the activity of reading together shows your daughter that you value reading and that you’re interested in what she’s reading.
Use phonics to help your child sound out new and unfamiliar words. You can find some helpful information on how phonics works on the BBC’s webpage ‘The Alphablocks’ Guide to Phonics’. Books in the Oxford Owl free eLibrary are suitable for students who are at the early stages of developing their reading skills.
Keep praising your child, especially when they find reading difficult. If you are particularly impressed by your daughter's dedication to reading, email Ms Morris firstname.lastname@example.org to let her know. She has plenty of Praise Postcards to hand out!
The National Literacy Trust's Family Zone is designed for young people age 13+. On the portal you will find inspirational books lists, advice on how to develop your writing skills, activities that will help you increase your employability and literacy exercises that will help you improve your mental health.
BookTrust HomeTime is where you can enjoy storytime with free online books and videos, play games, win prizes, test your knowledge in our book-themed quizzes, or even learn how to draw some of your favourite characters.
Remember, if you have any queries concerning reading, please email our librarian Ms Morris Amy.Morris@harrisbermondsey.org.uk We're here to support you in any way we can.
And don't forget to tell us how you're getting on. This is new territory for all of us and it's great to learn from each other.