Reading Circles, part of the National Grid for Reading, is an exciting and compelling initiative which is to be launched across The GORSE Academies Trust from the 27th of February for secondary and post-16 students and from the 20th of March for primary students. This initiative reflects the passion of Sir John Townsley, the Trust’s Executive Principal, for reading. He wants all students across The GORSE Academies Trust:

To buy into the concept of reading but reading in a different way to anything that is taking place nationally.”

What is unique about Reading Circles is that it allows students to read on-line and to respond to a wide range of e-annotations such as video clips, attachments, images and textual comment. These embellish the ten Reading Circles’ texts which have been produced for secondary and post-16 students. In primary academies, all year five and six students will access Reading Circle texts which will be annotated by their Reading Coordinator and delivered by their class teacher. Students will be reading texts which are both exciting and thought-provoking and which have the appropriate level of challenge for them. All students will be able to go onto their Reading Circle forum to share their ideas about the books they are reading and receive feedback from students right across the Trust.

This is reading in a truly interactive, social context that can provide instant feedback and illumination for students on any aspect of the text being read. Working in partnership with Reading Matters and The National Literacy Trust, The GORSE Academies Trust believes that Reading Circles will be transformative in how it encourages young people to read. This reading will make students more informed and more confident as readers, as well as better placed, eventually, to be able to compete with the very best students for places at world-class universities and for jobs in an increasingly globalised job market.

Current Reading Circle Texts include a wide variety of genres, including short stories, plays, novels and poems. Texts range from classics such as Emily Bronte’s ‘Wuthering Heights’ and  Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice through the Looking Glass’ to more modern texts such as ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’, a modern comedy classic like ‘Harry Hill’s Livin’ the Dreem’ and even Wayne Rooney’s autobiography. There is something for everyone in each Circle.

All students will receive a personal letter inviting them to their Circle and giving them a pen portrait of their Circle leader and all that then remains is for the reading to begin!