Dyke House Sports & Technology College

Attainment and Achievement through Creativity, Collaboration and Character


No skill is more crucial to the future of a child, or to a democratic and prosperous society, than Literacy.

Literacy covers the three key areas of Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening.

At Dyke House all teachers are working hard to improve the literacy of all students. Literacy isn't just about English- to do well in their exams, students need a thorough grasp of Literacy skills in all their subjects. And it's not just about doing well in school. To succeed in the wider world, students increasingly need to be independently literate, both in the work place and in their encounters with people and organisations. A good grounding in Literacy enriches lives in many ways.

Did you know?

- Less than half of 8 to 16 year olds have read a book in the last month.

- 49% of children and young adults think that reading is boring.

- Children who enjoy reading very much are 5 times more likely to be above average readers.

- 22% of children report that no one at home encourages them to read.

- 1 in 3 does not own a book.

- 62% of boys do not enjoy writing and students at Key Stage 4 are the least likely to enjoy writing.

- Students on free school meals have much less confidence in their writing ability.

- Research shows that the average length of a student's contribution to a class discussion is 4 words.

- A 4 year old with professional parents will have been exposed to 50 million words compared to 12million words for a child from a disadvantaged background.

What you can do to help

  • Try and make books part of your family life - always have books around so that you and your children are ready to read whenever there's a chance.
  • Join your local library - get your child a library card: you'll find blu-rays and DVDs and thousands of fantastic books. Let them choose their own books and encourage their interests.
  • Match their interests - help them to find the right book - it doesn't matter if it's fiction, poetry, comic books or non-fiction.
  • All reading is good - don't discount anything. Reading is reading and it's all good!
  • Talk to your child about what they're reading - ask them questions, talk about things that you've read that you love, as well as things that you didn't like so much.
  • Make time to read together - if you possibly can.
  • Buy books as presents - don't forget TV tie-ins and books about interests such as computer games or bands.

If you are looking for ideas for books to read, we have put together recommended reading lists for Years 7, 8 and 9.

Year 7 Independent Reading Recommendations



* Little Women

Louisa M Alcott

* Secret Heart/Skellig

David Almond

* Storm Catcher / River Boy

Tim Bowler

^ The Princess Diaries

Meg Cabot

* Scarlett/Lucy Star

Cathy Cassidy

^ Millions

Frank Cottrell Boyce

^ Abela

Berlie Doherty

^ Flour Babies / Tulip Touch

Anne Fine

^ Once /Then / Now

Morris Gleitzman

The Little Princess

Frances Hodgson-Burnett

^ Secret Countess/Journey to the River Sea

Eva Ibbotson

Skulduggery Pleasant

Derek Landy

^ Stop the Train

Gareldine McCaughrean

* The Windsinger

William Nicholson

* Eragon

Christopher Paolini

* Mortal Engines

Philip Reeve

^ There's a boy in the Girls Bathroom

Louis Sachar

^ Harry Potter

J K Rowling

^ The Hobbit

JRR Tolkein

* Tracy Beaker

Jacqueline Wilson

* More challenging

^ Less challenging

Year 8 Independent Reading Recommendations



^ Chains / Forge

Laurie Halse Anderson

Pig-heart Boy

Malorie Blackman

Out of Bounds

Tim Bowler

^ Artemis Fowl

Eoin Colfer

The Ropemaker

Peter Dickinson

^ The Fire Within series

Chris D'Lacey

* Ithaka

Adele Geras

The Edge / Hell's Underground series

Alan Gibbons

^ Ivy

Julie Hearn

Girl, Missing / Sister, Missing

Sophie McKenzie

* The Other Side of Truth

Beverley Naidoo

The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents

Terry Pratchett


Celia Rees

^ Harry Potter

J K Rowling

Poison Study series

Maria V Snyder

^ The Hobbit

JRR Tolkein

^ The Thief

Megan W Turner

^ Boys on the Brain

Joan Ure

The Crowfield Curse

Pat Walsh

* Elsewhere

Gabrielle Zevin

* More challenging

^ Less challenging

Year 9 Independent Reading Recommendations



^ Jackdaw Summer

David Almond

Noughts and Crosses series / Boys Don't Cry

Malorie Blackman

Star Seeker / Bloodchild

Tim Bowler

* The Magician's Guild

Trudi Canavan

* Looking for JJ / Guilt Trip

Anne Cassidy

When I was Joe / Almost True

Keren David

^ Coraline / The Graveyard Book

Neil Gaiman

* The Fault in Our Stars

John Green

* Rowan the Strange

Julie Hearn

^ The Lady in the Tower

Marie-Louise Jensen

^ Beast

Ally Kennen

^ The Witching Hour

Elizabeth Laird

* Falling Leaves

Adeline Yen Mah

The Knife of Never Letting Go / Monsters of Men

Patrick Ness

^ Tamar / Keeper

Mal Peet

^ Witch Child / Sovay / Sorceress

Celia Rees

The Kiss of Death / Revolver

Marcus Sedgwick

^ The Hobbit

JRR Tolkein

^ Broken Soup / Double Life of Cassiel Roadnight

Jenny Valentine

* Blood Red Road

Moira Young

* More challenging

^ Less challenging

We run a series of literacy based events throughout the year.

Please see our first event below:

At Dyke House we have been celebrating National Storytelling week.In Morning Literacy time we both students and Learning Guides have been sharingtheir favourite childhood stories.

According to their website over the past 24 years TheSociety For Storytelling has achieved much in its mission for the promotion of the oral tradition of storytelling, the very first way of communicating life experiences and the creative imagination. National Storytelling Week takes place in storytelling clubs, theatres, museums, schools, hospitals, spoken word venues, and care homes (where this event has been steadily growing each year!) Where the events take place, the web of stories will be spun with sufficient magic between the breath of the teller and the ear of the listener.

"I brought my book called we are writers from Stranton Primary School. We did it when I was in Year 4" Rebecca Neesam

"I brought my book in called Shrinking Violet and we all really enjoyed it, I told my Learning Guide all about it. I have had it since I was 8 and I was in Year 4." Nicole Gough

"Yesterday in LG we took our favourite childhood book and told everybody about it. I brought in Captain Underpants and the Perilous plot of Professor Poopy Pants. The book is half comic and half writing. But Captain Underpants is actually the new headteacher of a School. It was two boys who created Captain Underpants. What will Captain Underpants do next? It was the fourth book in the set. There are 12 books in the set. Captain Underpants is always causing mischief!"

Alex Elener

"On Thursday in LG time we brought in a reading book and talked about them. It was good listening to different people's views on different books and what they were about."

Sam Cooper

"We had to bring in our favourite books. We each went round and talked about our favourite books and explained what they were about. Then once we were finished explaining our books we listened to other people talking about their books. There were lots of different categories like sport, fiction and detective books. The books included: TPA, Girl online on tour, Jurassic Park, MOTD, Romany Girl, Skulduggery and The Fault in Our Stars. After that we read out Morning Literacy book."

Lauren Serginson

"On Friday we did a small presentation on our own favourite book. We went round in a circle and said what the book was and what it was about. My book that I brought in was Gangsta Granny. We decided that my book was a funny comedy book. It is about a Granny and a grandson that steal jewels. Tilly brought in the Cuckoo Song, Harry had the Harry Potter book, Leon had a book about facts, Isabelle had Billionaire Boy, Adam had zombies and Jasmine had beautiful creatures."

Josie Hill

"The title of the book that I read is called Infinity Drake and the author is called John McNally. This book is about a horrible creature who captures two teenagers and then someone like a superhero came along and killed the creature. On Thursday we brought in our books and shared them with everyone so they knew what kind of books they were like. We all liked each others' books and we commented on them and asked questions."

Connor Smailes


No Pens Day

At Dyke House we took part in NO PENS DAY in conjunction with the Communication Trust. This was an opportunity to develop the speaking and listening skills of our students. This term we had a particular focus on discussion and debate.

In RE students were learning about Jewish traditions with year 8's so they reenacted a Shabbat meal. They really enjoyed working in groups and they had to remember each step of the ritual without writing it down


Harry Potter Night

Thursday 4th February saw the first celebration of Harry Potter Night at Dyke House. We took over the library to celebrate The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

Students were sorted into the different houses and then completed a variety of different activities

I think that the best part of Harry Potter night was when I made my own potion - Ellie Horner

My favourite part was the quiz even though we were not any good! - Charlie Mitchell

I loved making the secret messages in the potion making - Millie Calvert

I really liked

I was in Gryffindor team at the end we watched a Harry Potter documentary and it was amazing! - Abbey McGarry

World Book Day

At Dyke House to celebrate World Book Day we took part in D.E.A.R time.
All students and staff decided to Drop Everything And Read

It was wonderful to see the college reading as a community!!