Reading For Pleasure

The current situation is a bizarre one. We don’t usually have all this time in our lives to snuggle up with a really good book and lose ourselves in a different world. Reading those books we’ve always meant to can now become a reality! Reading for pleasure is so important for our mental health and well being and we hope our students and the whole community at St Peter’s can take some time to read every day. Try and see if you can read a few of these recommended classics. Enjoy!!


Reading List

The GCSE texts our students study are:

‘Frankenstein’ by Mary Shelley (19th century novel)

‘Macbeth’ by Shakespeare (17th Century drama)

‘An Inspector Calls’ by J.B. Priestley (20th century drama)

 Poetry from Love and Relationships anthology (19th-21st century).


At St Peter’s we also believe that reading is crucial  for mental health and wellbeing.

Research published by the National Literacy Trust has found that:

Children and young people engaged with reading and writing are three times more likely to have high mental wellbeing than those who aren’t.

Children and young people with above expected reading skills are three times more likely to have high mental wellbeing as compared with those below expected levels. 


Reading does not isolate individuals, in fact, quite the opposite:

1 in 4 individuals reported that reading helped them realise they have shared experiences according to Penguin Random House UK; C.S Lewis’ words are proven to be true, ‘we read to know that we are not alone’. In a globalised and fast paced world, surely the benefits of this feeling for teenagers cannot be underestimated. 


Reading will benefit students well beyond their childhood:

Galaxy, in conjunction with Short Reads, found that adults who spend more than 30 minutes reading per week are 20% more likely to be satisfied with their lives. 

Longden et al (2015) also found that, ‘Participation in shared reading groups is linked to enhanced relaxation, calmness, concentration, quality of life, confidence and self-esteem, as well as feelings of shared community and common purpose’. 


Books every child should read before they finish high school!

I am Malala - Malala Yousafzai (2013)

Noughts and Crosses - Malorie Blackman (2001)

Revolver - Marcus Sedgwick (2011)

Stormbreaker - Anthony Horowitz (2005)

Watership Down - Richard Adams (1972)

The Lord of the Rings trilogy - JRR Tolkien (1954)

Danny, Champion of the World - Roald Dahl (1975)

The Book Thief - Markus Zusak (2005)

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl - Anne Frank (1947)

The Hunger Games series - Suzanne Collins (2008)

1984 - George Orwell (1949)

To Kill a Mockingbird  - Harper Lee (1960)

Animal Farm - George Orwell (1945)

Lord of the Flies - William Golding (1954)

The Harry Potter series - JK Rowling (1997)

A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens (1843)

The Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger (1951)

Great Expectations - Charles Dickens (1961)

Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen (1813)

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas - John Boyne (2006)

Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte (1847)

Brave New World - Aldous Huxley (1932)

Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte (1847)

Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks (1993)

A Kestrel for a Knave - Barry Hines (1968)


Sources for the news and wider reading

Developing pupils’ general knowledge and awareness of the world around them has also be proven to increase academic success. Within the English faculty, we encourage all our students to be aware of current affairs and the wider world particularly by watching the news on a daily basis. You can support your child by encouraging them to read/watch:

BBC News, ITV News, Channel 4 News (Catch up on: iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4)

The Guardian - ; The Telegraph - ; The Independent -

Reading for cultural diversity -