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Wider Reading

Pupils join Westcliff High School for Boys with the aim of unlocking their potential. They want to develop their intellectual curiosity and global awareness, to become lifelong learners and effective communicators. They want to prepare themselves for a happy and successful future. There is no better way for them to achieve these aims than by becoming a lifelong reader.

Extensive research has shown that reading provides a host of benefits: It improves skills of writing and comprehension, general knowledge, empathy, and develops a better understanding of other cultures. Being a lifelong reader grants you important cultural capital, and being a good reader makes you a good learner. But these are not the reasons a lifelong reader reads. Reading is one of the most enjoyable and enriching hobbies a person can have. There is nothing like picking up a page-turner or finding an amazing new series of books to steam through. Lifelong readers read because they love it.

To that end, many whole school initiatives have been established to promote reading across all age groups. These include regular reading assemblies, in which members of staff share their love of books with the school, and the Pupil Literacy Group, formed of pupils and students who share their own ideas of how best to promote reading to their peers.

The Recommended Reading Lists are designed to prompt pupils and students to read around their subjects. They feature texts specially selected for each department, divided by age group and whether they are fiction or non-fiction. The books on these lists are challenging yet approachable, and should provide pupils with an enjoyable and enriching way to further their studies. The lists for all subjects can be found below.

The aim of the Lifelong Readers programme is to instil a love of reading within the pupils of WHSB on entry to the School. This developing initiative involves loaning three books to each Lower School pupil throughout the year, which are discussed during form periods. The books chosen are from the literary canon and have been picked for their variety of themes and topics. They are challenging but engaging; perfect for our burgeoning young readers. The books will introduce pupils to new vocabulary and develop their confidence as readers. They will give pupils insight into other worlds and cultures and will develop understanding of the 9 protected characteristics: Age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief. More information on this initiative can be found in the document below.