Why reading matters at Burnt Mill

At Burnt Mill Academy we aim to foster a love of reading and prioritise it in our school. We understand that reading is the passport to pupils’ success; pupils who read well are more likely to succeed at school, achieve better qualifications than those who don’t, and will go on to lead fulfilling success lives and careers in the future.

How much and how often?

All pupils should be reading for between 30 minutes to one hour every day during the week, and more at the weekends is encouraged. In addition to reading in their curriculum lessons all pupils in KS3 read for 30 minutes in their form time.

The Library

Our new library is a thriving space and continually evolving. We have a range of fiction books, new and favourites, to cater for all tastes and comfort levels. We are currently expanding our range to include fiction and non-fiction texts to support all curriculum areas: from Maths to Music, from French to Physics, the library is the go-to place for students to read around their subject areas. Open every day from 8:15am.

Renaissance Learning – Accelerated Reader

All pupils in Year 7 and 8 have access to Accelerated Reader, a structured online programme which supports and helps to monitor pupils’ progress in their reading with the aim of maximising the reading potential of every pupil. Confident, independent pupils with a strong private reading habit are more likely to achieve their full potential in all of their lessons, and Accelerated Reader helps them to do just that.

Through this programme, pupils’ reading can be monitored and evaluated to ensure that they are reading regularly and making progress in their reading skills. Pupils can take a quiz on a book, earn points and prizes for high marks and rapid progress in terms of their reading age. We also run library reward schemes such as the Reader of the Week, the Inter-house Reading Competition and the Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards for completing challenges on their Reading Passport – ask at the library for more details. Pupils can also strive to achieve membership of the ‘Millionaire’s Club’ which is for those who read one million words through the Accelerated Reader programme, where prizes will be awarded in assembly each term.

Reading Recovery

Reading does not come naturally to many, and for these pupils, particular interventions are put in place to ensure they have the support and expertise to help them move forward in their reading age and boost their confidence as independent readers. We follow the Ruth Miskin ‘Fresh Start’ programme for pupils whose reading age is significantly below their chronological age. This is delivered in pairs and small groups with specially trained staff to work on phonics and decoding to ensure pupils can access the texts needed to make the most of their curriculum and be successful in their lessons.

Pupils who need extra support with reading but are more confident with decoding will have a trained, supportive, older peer mentor who will help with their confidence in reading aloud. There will also be a member of staff to support them in choosing the right book and completing their Bronze award on their Reading Passport.

Parents and carers will receive a letter detailing their child’s progress in reading each term, along with access details for Home Connect, Renaissance Learning’s online tool to help parents and carers monitor their Accelerated Reader progress.

For more information on the library or reading at Burnt Mill, please contact Mrs Teri Jones, Assistant Head Teacher, through the school contact page. You can also follow the @BMAT_reading handle on Twitter.

Be sure to visit:


For AR Book Finder please click on the link below