The David Ross Education Trust

David Ross Education Trust schools create a rich and exciting learning environment that inspires students to become their confident, academic best.

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Lodge Park Academy

Lodge Park Academy understands the importance of a strong academic foundation. Our academy offers a diverse curriculum and enrichment offering to create well-rounded and confident students.

LPA Reads

LPA Reads – A Reading Programme


We have an opportunity presented to us by the DFE Recovery Premium to have a long lasting impact on the culture of reading in our schools. We want for our children to become fluent, independent readers who have confidence in their reading ability and have developed good reading habits, enabling them to read widely outside of school. We know that there are clear links between children who read independently and their academic outcomes.

‘Reading enjoyment has been reported as more important for children’s educational success than their family’s socio-economic status’. OECD 2002 


Cultural Literacy: What every American needs to know. E.D. Hirsch

Limited reading ability for some of our children means that they are unlikely to be able to access some of the texts that we might consider important cultural capital for all of our children, for example Great Expectations or I am Malala (both have a reading age of 13). Nationally 25% of 15 year olds have a reading age of below 12, so many of our pupils couldn’t easily access these books independently.

Dickens wrote Great Expectations and other novels as an important comment on society, and the books were not meant to be exclusive. By reading these books aloud we allow all of our children in. We shoulder the burden of the fluency and pronunciation and intonation and grammar, and we open the door.


We have drawn upon a number of studies and research to determine how best to add the most impact for our pupils:

‘In listening to and following a text read aloud by a more capable reader, who provides scaffolding, a less fluent reader can experience autonomy and fluency and bypass frustrating ‘sticking points’ at phonemic, semantic or word level to focus on comprehension.’

Wood et al 1976, Kuhn et al 2010

‘Reading a text aloud creates a community of readers who produce their own situated reading practices in the classroom over time’

Brown et al 1989, Sutherland 2015

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.

[Longden E., Davis P., Billington J., et al (2015) Shared Reading: Assessing the intrinsic value of a literature-based intervention Medical Humanities

This programme was further refined following review of similar programmes which recorded the following outcomes:

Analysis by Kirsch comparing the engaged reading time of 2.2 million students found that –

  • 0-5 mins per day = well below national average
  • 5-14 mins per day = sluggish gains, below national average
  • 15+ mins = accelerated reading gains

20 mins per day = likely score better than 90% of their peers on standardized tests. National Center for Education Statistics

‘Simply reading challenging, complex novels aloud and at a fast pace in each lesson repositioned ‘poor’ readers as ‘good’ readers, giving them a more engaged, uninterrupted reading experience over a sustained period. In 12 weeks students made 8.5 months progress, but poorer readers made 16 months progress’. Westbrook 2019 – Just Reading: The impact of a faster pace of reading narratives on the comprehension of poorer adolescent readers in English classrooms

We also listened to educators who had done similar projects in their schools, Joanne Tiplady who is Trust Curriculum Research Lead at TEAL Trust wrote a great blog which influenced us greatly, and Alex Quigley’s book ‘The Reading Gap’ covers some of the brilliant work done around the country and lessons they learned, from which we were able to benefit.

The Result – LPA Reads

We determined that we would make space for 20 minutes in the day with tutors for them to read aloud to their tutor group. This must be every day.

Books would be chosen to be age appropriate but challenging – they should not be something a student could easily access independently, that would be missing the point – this is about access to something otherwise difficult to engage in without adult support.

The adult would read at pace. No child must be asked to read, the adult must shoulder the burden of the fluency of the reading.

‘We climb into the story together’.

Book Choice

Books have been chosen by a wide range of stakeholders in the Trust, the English subject community, the Equality, diversity and Inclusion group, the principals and senior leaders in schools and the Trust central team, including Trustees. There have been fierce debates and discussions with a clear focus on breadth of coverage, appropriate levels of challenge, diversity and ultimately that they are all powerful examples of literature which students wouldn’t necessarily be able to access independently.


Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Year 10

Year 11

Asha and The Spirit Bird

The Iliad And Odyssey

No Ballet Shoes in Syria

Noughts and Crosses

I Am Malala

The Hobbit


All Quiet on The Western Front

Lord Of the Flies

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings


The great Gatsby

Things Fall Apart

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

The Midnight Library


The Giver



Joanne Tiplady – TEAL Trust

Greenshaw Trust

Westbrook, Sutherland et al.

Alex Quigley


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