Reading at Sheffield Park Academy

Research has shown that students who read for 20 minutes a day will see huge benefits across all of their academic subjects compared to students who read for 5 minutes or less. Reading can also benefit young people in countless other ways, including:

  • A widened imagination and higher levels of creativity.
  • Helping them to empathise with others.
  • Exposure to multiple cultures, ideas and worlds.
  • Improved writing skills.
  • Expanded vocabulary.
  • Better mental health.
  • Improved critical-thinking skills.

Reading is embedded in the curriculum with all students expected to read in class, both aloud and independently in all subjects. All teachers use the same strategy for reading so student shave continuity and consistency.

In addition to usual lessons, students will have the following dedicated opportunities to read or be read to:

  • In form time twice a week, for all students in Y7-10.
  • In weekly library and literacy lessons, for all students in Y7-Y9.

Sparx Reader

Sparx is an online platform which personalises each child’s homework, creating a personalised experience tailored to their level of understanding and learning pace. Using Sparx Reader, students have access to a wide range of online books which can be read on a phone, laptop or any device with internet access.  

All students in Year 7-10 are set reading homework each week on Sparx Reader. Students need to collect 300 SRP per week to complete their homework. This equates to around 30 minutes of slow, concise and accurate reading per week. As students read, they will be asked comprehension questions to check their understanding and to ensure they are reading accurately and correctly. Tasks are personalised based on each student's reading ability so that every student can be successful with their reading. The books that a student can choose from are carefully chosen so that the text is accessible yet suitably challenging.


How parents can support reading:

  • Monitor their completion of Sparx Reader each week and discuss what they have read.
  • Ask them to read their Sparx Reader book to you.
  • Take turns to read to each other.  If they find reading difficult, they can start off with a paragraph and build up to a whole page and then a chapter.
  • Make time to read together if you can.
  • Let your child choose what to read, rather than choosing what you think they should read.  If they want to re-read a book, or series of books, or stick with a type of book (e.g. horror) then let them.
  • Encourage your child to read magazines, comics, newspapers and the internet, as well as books. 
  • Find things they can read that fit with their interests, or a shared interest.
  • Read to them.  Even when your child is in secondary school this may be something they enjoy, and it will help their own reading to have a role model at home.
  • Buy books as presents.  Don’t forget TV tie-ins and books about interests such as games or music.

Not a confident reader yourself?

  • talk to your child about what they are reading.  Ask them questions.  Have things in the house (magazines, newspapers) that they can read and tell you about.
  • listen to audiobooks together.  If you join your local library you will be able to borrow these online, but there are lots available for free on YouTube.


Children who enjoy reading for pleasure will do better at school.  Let them enjoy their reading, take an interest in what they are reading and try and find at least 10 minutes during the day to support them.



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