Part of castle school education trust

"Castle School Education Trust is committed to high quality education across the primary, secondary and sixth form key stages. Our schools cover the South Gloucestershire area. We encourage independence within each school within a strong framework of values."

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To report a child's absence for years 7-11 please email or call 01454 862395.  For 6th Form please call 01454 862333.  



At Downend we want all of our students to become confident and fluent readers because confident reading is one of the most important indicators of success in education. Reading regularly gives students access to a wealth of experience and knowledge as well as broadening their vocabulary. Research shows that both knowledge and vocabulary are vital to academic success as well as having emotional and social benefits  

We know, from years of experience, that keeping students reading through secondary school isn’t always easy. During the school day, we encourage students to read widely by creating time for reading in tutor time and in Accelerated Reader lessons. Our library is exceptionally well resourced and all our pupils have access to a wide range of reading materials.

Key Stage Three

Please CLICK HERE to view The KS3 Downend Reading Curriculum.

When designing a reading curriculum for our students, we focus on:

What we all read together: It is important both parents and students know what we are reading at school and so we have created a Downend Reading Curriculum that shows you what all our students will read in a variety of lessons. These are the texts that everyone will read.

What we all read independently: We also want to encourage students to read quality books in their own time and in the independent reading sessions at school. The Downend Reading Curriculum gives each year group a suggested reading list, from which we would expect them to read at least three books over the course of the school year; the details of these can be read by clicking on the link above.  The books on the list can all be borrowed from the library and should form part of what your child reads each year.

What we can choose to read: The expectation is also that students should independently read, in tutor time and at home, an average of a book a term. There are lots of other suggestions of what could be read during the year on the link above and these include a variety of books suggested by the English department to complement the English curriculum. English and Accelerated Reader teachers will encourage students to select books at the right ability level from this list but there is still plenty of opportunity for students to select their own reading material.   

Key Stage Four

As students move into KS4, the reading demands are driven, in part, by the subjects students have chosen. However, we do still expect students to read in tutor time and encourage them to read independently as much as possible, for all the reasons outlined above. We have put together the list below to support students in choosing suitable texts.