Literacy at SMSJ

We wish for our SMSJ families to encourage a love of reading at home. We want our children to have the opportunity to use their imaginations and escape into literature, which over time, and with the turning of every page, will allow them to become exposed to other cultures, countries and characters, to allow them to become well-read individuals.

We firmly believe in academic research which clearly illustrates the benefits of reading to boost academic progress across all curriculum subjects.

Early Years  Julia Donaldson

Key Stage One Roald Dahl

Key Stage Two David Walliams

Key Stage Three/Four A recommended reading list is in the pupil planner.

We also wish to direct you to the following website, which lists the yearly winners of the Carnegie Children's Book Awards for the last 80 years. 

The following link will direct you to even more age specific texts  

The Power of Reading Reading is very important to us at SMSJ and so pupils are given the opportunity to read the following texts once a week during PAM Time with their peers and PAM tutors.

Year 7 - Tales of the Unexpected and When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit

Year 8 - Al Capone Does My Shirts

Year 9 - Short Stories and Blood Brothers

Year 10 - Of Mice and Men

Year 11 - Short Stories from around the world and Sticky Fingers

We recognise the power of reading at SMSJ and children will be awarded with Bronze, Silver and Gold badges to reward and acknowledge their passion for reading in Year 7 and 8.  Please review the pupil planners for more information about our Power of Reading initiative and see a list of recommended authors and texts to encourage reading at home.

You may also find the following resources helpful:

Oxford Owl 

Developed for children aged 3–11 years old. Help your young child learn to read, and love to read, with a range of over 100 free eBooks. 

You need to register for this site but it is free and they have a variety of ebooks that you can read or listen to. The books are graded according to age and there are additional teacher resources. 

Storyline online -

The SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s award-winning children’s literacy website, Storyline Online, streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations. Readers include Viola Davis, Chris Pine, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Costner, Annette Bening, James Earl Jones, Betty White and dozens more.

This is an amazing site, the stories have morals to them and even as an adult you will enjoy them, look out for the 'Library Lion' video (, it's our favourite. 

Literacy Trust -

This site offers some really good teaching resources.

Aesop's Tales - 

Poem hunter -

This site has poems on almost all subjects.

Readly -

This app allows you access to 100s of magazines across the globe, and there are even back copies. My daughter reads the First News paper First News is a weekly newspaper aimed at 7 to 14-year-olds that aims to get kids talking about the news in an easy to understand and non-threatening way.

We cover issues which are relevant to children and which specifically affect them. Inside you’ll find a mix of world news and UK news, but also loads of fun stuff, such as entertainment, games, animals, sport and puzzles.

However it is priced at 99p for the first month, but you can get a 3 month trial for 99p here (

If you join the library service in Barnet then you can use your library card to access

Newspapers and magazines

Download the Pressreader app, sign in with your library card for free then read from thousands of newspapers and magazines from 100 countries in 60 languages. After 30 days log out and sign in again. Choose from The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Jewish Chronicle, Empire, Elle and lots more. You can also download a step by step guide to help get you started on the desktop version. 

RBdigital magazines: Read from a choice selection of popular magazines including New Scientist, The Economist, National Geographic, Radio Times, Good Housekeeping, Men's Health, Hello! and many more titles - with back issues also available. 

A Parent's Guide to Renaissance Accelerated Reader 360  

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