Reading and vocabulary focus

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

Dr. Seuss (American children’s author, political cartoonist, illustrator, poet, animator, and filmmaker)


The purpose behind Bedrock Vocabulary is to build confidence and familiarity in accessing a wide range of textual materials whilst expanding one’s knowledge of more sophisticated vocabulary.  Bedrock Vocabulary builds regular reading into a weekly homework schedule. It focuses on the explicit introduction and understanding of tier 2 vocabulary.

  • Each topic consists of six 15-20 minute lessons, plus a pre- and post-test to track students’ progress.
  • Students are expected to complete 3 lessons a week (1 hour).
  • Every lesson is human narrated to engage students and enable them to both hear and read words in context.
  • Each lesson introduces students to between three and five new words. New words are shown in multiple contexts and alongside synonyms and antonyms to help students relate new words to ones they already know, embedding understanding.
  • Bedrock tasks are set based on the needs of the individual learner.

Reading for pleasure in Year 8

The purpose of this is to show Year 8 students that reading is not merely a task to be completed at school, but instead a pleasurable social and leisure activity. These stories explored also serve to introduce the students to a variety of different genres of literature, encouraging them to explore new topics. Aiding this is a selection of book recommendations after each short story, some of which students are able to borrow from our new Reading for Pleasure Library.  Years 8 will also have the opportunity to study a unit on Creative Writing to supplement their reading.

The aim of this program is to foster in our students a love of reading and nurture them as independent readers. This will not only instill in them a wider appreciation for literature and the humanities, but it will also improve their literacy and increase engagement in lessons.

Jordan Hawksworth – English Teacher

Year 8 recommended reading list

1 – FROM PREJUDICE TO PRIDE: A rare and inspiring retelling of the LGBTQ+ movement’s struggle for civil rights. A History of LGBTQ+ Movement 

2 – ROSE, INTERRUPTED: A novel by award winning author Patrice Lawrence about change, and how to live within the rules – when you don’t know what the rules are. 



5 – BONE TALK: Evocative, universally resonant adventure set among a remote Filipino tribe 

6 – EVERYTHING ALL AT ONCE: A week in a secondary school – punchy poetry dealing with all aspects of a teen’s school life | Pitch-perfect, vibrantly-voiced verse for secondary school students 

7 – THE BONE SPARROW: Devastating, powerful novel about friendship, cruelty and resiliance – set in a refugee camp | Refugees | Resilience | Friendship 

8 – I AM MALALA: Accessible and harrowing memoir of Malala Yousafzai – very readable 

9 – SALT TO THE SEA: A gruelling story of survival, friendship and tragedy impeccably told 

10 – THE WHITE DARKNESS: Cleverly written, ambitious plot for an adventure story set in Antarctica 

11 – BLOOD FAMILY: Anne Fine never shirks from difficult subjects – a gritty, emotive emotional read as Edward struggles not to be like his violent father. 

12 – CRONGTON KNIGHTS: A gritty contemporary setting, teamed with a witty and moving tale of friendship against difficult odds 

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