Newmarket Academy


Newmarket Academy is a Reading School 

We have significantly invested in reading at our school, which includes a well-resourced library, the Newmarket 60 must-reads, a free book for all year 7 and 8 students, and a robust intervention programme. Reading is an important strand of literacy, which also includes writing and oracy.  

Literacy is at the core of our culture at Newmarket Academy. Lessons are designed to ensure reading and writing opportunities are frequent. Our curriculum also places emphasis on developing excellent oracy skills. There are three broad areas that form our approach: curriculum, intervention, and culture.  

Students at Newmarket Academy can expect to learn how to read forensically, communicate effectively using ambitious vocabulary, and read with prosody.  

Newmarket 60 must reads

The House on Mango Street – Sandra Cisneros

Pigeon English – Stephen Kelman

The Hobbit – J. R. R. Tolkien

A History of Britain in 21 Women – Jenni Murray

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian – Sherman Alexie

The Declaration – Gemma Malley

The Guilded Ones by Namina Forna

1984 – George Orwell

His Dark Materials Trilogy – Philip Pullman

Sophie’s World – Jostein Gaarder

Pax – Sara Pennypacker

Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom – Catherine Clinton

Matilda – Roald Dahl

Wolf Hollow – Lauren Wolk

Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro

The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini

Show us who you are -Elle McNicoll

Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Frankenstein – Mary Shelley

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier – Ishmael Beah

Hunger Games trilogy – Suzanne Collins

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief –

Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

Black Beauty – Anna Sewell

Wide Sargasso Sea – Jean Rhys

The Book Thief – Marcus Zusak – Rick Riordan

Love from A to Z – S.K. Ali

Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson

Wildspark – Vashti Hardy

The Butterfly Lion – Michael Morpurgo

The Perks of being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky

Life of Pi – Yann Martel

Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain

The Sun Is Also a Star – Nicola Yoon

Kensuke’s Kingdom – Michael Morpurgo

A Passage to India – E. M.Forster

Noughts and Crosses – Malorie Blackman

The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas

In The Sea There Are Crocodiles – Fabio Geda

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet – Becky Chambers

The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Night Time – Mark Haddon

War of the Worlds – H G Wells

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave

10,000 Doors of January – Alix Harrow

Torn Apart: The Partition of India (1947) – Swapna Haddow

To The Lighthouse – Virginia Woolf

The Graveyard Book – Neil Gaiman

The Power – Naomi Alderman

The Call of the Wild – Jack London

The Last Days of Archie Maxwell – Annabel Pitcher

Home Fire – Kamila Shamsie

The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck

City of the Beasts – Isabel Allende

Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury

The Story of Tracy Beaker – Jacqueline Wilson

Little Women – Louisa May Alcott

The Time Machine – H G Wells

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – Benjamin Alire Saenz

Everything All At Once – Katrina Leno


Each subject has ensured developing literacy is explicitly planned into their curriculum. In year 7 a student’s literacy proficiency is forensically analysed to make sure lessons are tailored appropriately and to ascertain whether intervention is needed. Emphasis is placed on reading because we know that in order for students to be able to access our ambitious curriculum, they need to be able to read.  

Each subject area has word lists that feature tier two (advanced high frequency) vocabulary and tier three (subject-specific words) and these are explicitly taught using techniques, such as exploring etymology and the use of Frayer models.  

We also have reading lists to support the academic journey and the acquisition of wider contextual knowledge.  

We expect our students to embrace a no opt-out approach when taking part in oracy activities, which includes answering targeted questions, delivering presentations, debating, or reading from texts. Students will be given rehearsal time and reading will be modelled in the first instance to ensure confidence is built. 


Every Key Stage 3 student is tested using the Access Reading Test, which provides a raw score and a reading age. Any student significantly under their reading age is placed on an intervention programme. Most students under their reading age will be placed on the Lexia programme. Additional intervention is put in place in the form of Fresh Start which is designed to rapidly improve word recognition, fluency, and basic comprehension. If the young person in your care is in need of additional support, you will be contacted.  

What we can do to support you: 

  • A newsletter once per week full of lots of helpful tips, news, and essential reads.  
  • Provide reading books from our library. 
  • A termly coffee morning where reading and wider literacy is discussed. 
  • Additional reading material that is tailored to reading age.  
  • Reading lists. 

What can you do at home to support a reading culture? 

  • Model an enjoyment of reading.  
  • Make reading part of the daily routine. Why not have a designated reading time? 
  • Ask about what is being read.  
  • Make contact with the school and ask to borrow books from our library. 

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