Welcome to Bedford High School Literacy Learning Page

This site has been designed to offer support, guidance and resources to students, staff, parents, and carers. You will find lots of information to engage, enthuse and to improve literacy skills.

What is Literacy?

Literacy is the ability to read, write, speak and listen in a way that lets us communicate effectively and make sense of the world. At Bedford High School, our goal is to develop world class learners. We recognise that literacy is the essential foundation of education. We are committed to ensuring that every student at Bedford is equipped with the skills needed to take control of their destinies, fulfil their potential and thrive in a rapidly changing and unpredictable world.

Developing a love for reading is one of the most effective ways to raise attainment. It is the master skill that unlocks the academic curriculum. Confident readers achieve more highly in all subjects and this improves GCSE results.

More importantly, reading helps you to build a sense of your own identity and introduces you to new and alternative experiences. You can learn about history and other cultures and different places, real and imagined.

Research tells us that reading for pleasure is the single biggest factor in success in later life. Study after study has shown that those children who read for pleasure are the ones who are most likely to fulfil their ambitions.

If you read, you succeed -it’s that simple!

When we are experiencing unusual or unsettling times, as we are with the current Covid situation, one of the best sources of comfort or distraction is a good story we can lose ourselves in. When you’ve finished the books you have at home, you can find some brilliant free reading resources in the Lockdown Literacy Newsletters. Like what you have read? Send a review to e.rooney@bedford.wigan.sch.uk

Literacy Newsletter Week 1

Literacy Newsletter Week 2

What can you do at Home as Parents/Carers? 

At Bedford High School our key literacy priorities are to:

  • Narrow the gap between a student’s reading age and their chronological reading age by using Accelerated reader effectively.
  • Teach students how to read a wide range of challenging texts in all subject areas.
  • Develop a love for reading.
  • Ensure that all students write at length in every subject and that the quality of their written work improves over time.
  • Give our students the skills to communicate effectively and express their thoughts, feelings and opinions with confidence.

What can we do at home?


  • Let them read everything and anything – comics – magazines – newspapers – graphic novels.
  • Go to the library – in lockdown students can sign up virtually to Manchester Central Library for FREE! Details of how to register can be found in ‘Literacy Learning in Lockdown newsletter 1
  • Ask them what they are reading currently
  • Encourage them to engage with the reading resources shared in the newsletters.


  • Encourage them to write about what they read. Book reviews can be sent to Mrs Garbutt, the librarian, or Miss O’Donovan and Mrs Rooney on the literacy team.
  • When reading, ask them to write down any new words they learn. Encourage them to use this new vocabulary in their written work and in conversations.
  • Writing a journal or a diary can improve writing fluency. It can also help the to express their thoughts and feelings which is great for positive mental health, especially in these strange and challenging times.


  • Let them talk at length about their interests, their learning, their worries or concerns.
  • Start conversations about current affairs and ask them their opinions on controversial topics.
  • Encourage them to answer questions in full sentences using Standard English – avoiding slang.
  • Take note of what the ‘Word of the Week’ is for the upcoming week and encourage them to use it in their spoken language.

Further Resources

How can I help at home?

Punctuation placemat

Tips for reading with your child

Literacy mats

Spelling. Punctuation and Grammar (SPaG) placemat

Parent’s Guide to Accelerated Reader

Online Literacy Resources



Recommended Reading Lists

Year 7 and Year 8

Year 9, 10, 11

Like a Challenge?

KS3 Challenging Reading List

KS4 Challenging Reading List

Books that will…

  • Change the way you think
  • Help you understand
  • Make you cry
  • Make you laugh
  • Scare you
  • Teach you about love
  • Thrill you
  • Transport you

Books that will….

Stuck for something to read…

Try these:

Year 7 playlist (The House with Chicken Legs, Sophie Anderson)

Year 8 playlist (The Fastest Boy in the World, Elizabeth Laird)

Year 9 playlist (The Middle of Nowhere, Geraldine McCaughrean)

Year 10 playlist (Orange Boy, Patrice Lawrence)

More books added every month.

Recommended Reads for all Age Groups

Listen to the Classics on Audible

Lose yourself in classic literature – Jane Eyre, Moby Dick, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and many, many more!

Audible Stories: Free Audiobooks for Kids | Audible.com

 Or, have a listen to a wide range of teen fictionAudible Stories: Free Audiobooks for Kids | Audible.com

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