Harris Academies
All Academies in our Federation aim to transform the lives of the students they serve by bringing about rapid improvement in examination results, personal development and aspiration.

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Literacy and Morning Read

The Morning Read 

A book is a passport, a form of time travel and telepathy. It is only fair all can do this - Mary Myatt

Morning Read is a time for students at Harris Academy Falconwood to develop their love of reading as young people, a calm and safe environment for students to engage enthusiastically and passionately with literature for three out of five days of their school week.The Harris Academy Falconwood Morning Read has been received fantastically by staff and students, with a renewed focus on tutor’s reading aloud to the students so ALL (despite reading ability) can have access to the wonderful experiences to be had with powerful literature.


Why ‘reading aloud’?

Not only is there is growing evidence in the field of education to suggest that the act of reading is one of the best ways in which academic performance can be improved over the long-term, students also have an entitlement to experience some of the best and most exciting works of literature during their time at school. Most importantly, we hope this programme will help foster a love of reading in our students. 


Our Morning Read Curriculum

Year Theme Overarching Statement Books Read
7 Young people versus the world (new beginnings) "How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world" - Anne Frank
  • The Crossing
  • Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
  • A Monster Calls
  • Resist
  • I am Malala
8 Against All Odds (Overcoming) “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” - Maya Angelou
  • Noughts and Crosses
  • Animal Farm
  • Refuge Boy
  • The Woman in Black
  • I am the King of the Castle
9 Growing Up (Adolescence) ‘’Growing up is a terribly hard thing to do. It is much easier to skip it and go from one childhood to another.’’ - F Scott Fitzgerald.
  • Lord of the Flies
  • Great Expectations
  • The Book Thief
10 Madness and Reality (Change)

"Follow your inner moonlight, don’t hide the madness’’ - Allen Ginsberg

  • Life of Pi
  • Rebecca
  • Jurassic Park
  • A View from the Bridge
11 Powerful Ambition (The Future) "Just because we can doesn’t mean we should"
  • Frankenstein
  • Catcher in the Rye
  • Uglies
12 Opposition (Conflict) "Strong people are made from opposition."
  • A Handmaid’s Tale
  • Wuthering Heights
  • The Time Machine
  • Brave New World
13 Humanity What is the human condition? Own Choice


Key benefits of reading together: 

1.    A social experience that builds a sense of community and belonging 

2.    Regular modelling of fluent, passionate reading delivered by tutors. 

3.    Exposure to countless words and phrases not found in everyday dialogue 

4.    Coverage of a wealth of themes and concepts valuable for personal development 

5.    On-going improvement in independent reading skills   

We are incredibly proud to be a leading school implementing a programme on such a scale as this. And, from early feedback, its positive impact can already be seen. We are certain that the energy and commitment invested by each member of staff will reap huge gains, both on an academic and a pastoral level too.  

Texts have been selected extremely carefully to ensure that the range of narratives available address age-appropriate themes, but also offer a high level of challenge. We are sure this new initiative will support you child in making progress, no matter where they are in their learning journey. 


Strategies for supporting your child at home: 

Be interested             Ask about the book daily – plot, characters, themes, predictions 

Be sensitive               Ensure students have chance to discuss delicate themes that arise 

Be aware                   Feel free to purchase and read the book that your child is reading 

Be relaxed                 Offer a calm, stress-free environment that cultivates enthusiasm 

Be an example           Let your child see you reading for pleasure on a regular basis at home. 


Literacy At Harris Academy Falconwood

It is our belief at Harris Academy Falconwood that all students are given multiple opportunities in school to succeed at literacy, and consequently their lives beyond. It is well known that young people with higher literacy levels are more likely to achieve academically; have successful careers and participate actively in society. In fostering a strong approach to literacy across the whole school, staff here believe that every child can leave their time with us as confident writers, readers, and speakers. 

We are relentless in our determination to ensure students:

  • Read widely and fluently.
  • Think independently.
  • Engage inquisitively with the world.
  • Communicate confidently.


Building a culture of reading for pleasure:

  • A well-resourced library
  • Reading Reward systems (Bedrock Brilliance/Sparx Reader at year 10)
  • Post-16 Reading Mentors  
  • Various Competitions and Trips 
  • World Book Day
  • Regular library visits as part of ‘The Morning Read’.
  • Scholastic Book Fairs termly
  • Cross curricular events for Black History Month
  • Library events to promote books and love of reading
  • HAF 100


Supporting all students in literacy

At Harris Academy Falconwood we have a tiered approach to literacy, offering universal, targeted, and specific interventions to ensure every child is given the opportunities of progressing in their literacy skills. Universal strategies are used across the whole academy, and every child experiences this daily. Targeted strategies provide individual students with tailored programmes that help their needs in reading, and specific interventions are carried out with a trained specialist in a certain area of need that the student needs to support them.



  • All students have access to the library before, after and during the school day
  • We use Morning Read to give students opportunities to access the library and choose a book from a recommended list we provide (HAF reading routes)
  • Morning Read happens three times a week, students all listen to the teacher model expert reading with a pre-selected text to suit the curriculum curated.
  • We have a range of activities in the library for students to experience each month, all with the aim of building a reading for pleasure culture in the school. 
  • All students at KS3 completed Bedrock for their English homework every week
  • All students in year 10 complete Sparx Reader for their English homework every week
  • Teachers make use of disciplinary literacy within their subjects through explicit vocabulary teaching, academic reading, and the oracy strategy of 'Turn and Talk'.
  • Teachers model the standard expected through formal talk and discussion when teaching their lessons. 
  • Quality first teaching across all subjects 
  • Teacher CPD through Monday morning sessions/ Thursday Directed Time and INSET days
  • Constant re-stocking of library to keep books current.
  • Use of visualisers in English (and some other subjects) to model metacognitive strategies when reading 



  • All students complete an NGRT reading test which gives teachers access to their class groups reading age and level to support within the classroom and put onto seating plans.
  • Sixth form Reading Ambassadors do a paired reading scheme with year 7 8 and 9 students who are under expected. 
  • Use of Sparx Reader in the mornings for year 10 students who are under expected instead of Morning Read 
  • Guided reading in lessons to support students with more academically challenging texts. 
  • Option to take out dyslexia friendly/struggling reading books in library.
  • Data is shared regularly with teachers to help support both inside and outside the classroom. 
  • Lexia program with students instead of Morning Read



  • Toe by Toe program 
  • Read Write Inc Phonics program
  • Liaison with primary schools new year 7 students have come from to support transition
  • Speech and Language therapists
  • ASD support officer


Alongside this very targeted approach to functional literacy, this year will also see a renewed focus on inspiring a reading for pleasure culture at HAF. We have created the HAF 100, which is a list of 100 books we recommend our students read during their time with us at the academy. This can be found at the bottom of this page.

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HAF 100 04th Feb 2024 Download