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Reading at Home - What We Offer
Our school library will be open as usual from September. However, 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.
- Project Gutenberg - good for classics.
- 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 - 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.
- The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust has also created a short reading list of books that are available to read online.
- myON are offering access to thousands of enhanced digital books through online library to help 'keep the UK and Ireland reading'.
- Have a look at World Book Day’s World of Stories, where you can listen to audiobooks of some of your favourite books.
- Listen to three free audiobooks on the Harper Collins website.
- Listen to Skulduggery Pleasant 1 as an audiobook.
- 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.
- Time Edge is a digital magazine that teachers you about current events. All of the content is written by the editors of the world famous publications TIME and TIME For Kids. You'll need to submit your email address to access the magazine.
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 me know. She has plenty of Praise Postcards to hand out!
Free subscription to The Day's newsletter for parents and guardians. The Day is a daily news service for use in schools, colleges and homes. Their mission is to help students think about what they can see and hear around them in the news day by day; to learn to make the link between this and what they are studying and to understand the relevance and importance of knowledge; to think for themselves and talk about everything, to debate, discuss and research; to grow in confidence and find their own voice; and to become teachers themselves in their peer groups and families and among friends.
The National Literacy Trust's Family Zone is a comprehensive web portal for parents. Split up by age group, you will find ideas and guidance for simple activities that will engage your children at home, while also benefiting their reading, writing and language development. You'll be able to access free reading and writing resources, audiobooks, videos, competitions and reading challenges. Every resource is available for free, although to access some you may need to create a free account. At the moment, the Family Zone only provides resources for students up to the age of 12. However, the National Literacy Trust are planning resources for secondary school students as well.
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.