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HDHS is a Reading School

Reading for purpose and pleasure

Reading is something we value greatly and put at the center of everything we do at HDHS. For many reasons students often choose to opt out of reading. At HDHS we are trying to change that mindset and we are developing a culture of reading at our school. The research shows that students who read on average twenty minutes a day are far more successful than students who read less than twenty minutes a day or don’t read. See the attached poster on ‘The Twenty’.

Twenty-Poster-1-1.pdf – 4 MB
Twenty-Poster-2.pdf – 2 MB

Please participate in encouraging students to get their ‘Twenty’ every day. This does not have to be twenty minutes of consecutive reading but at least twenty minutes in total of reading every day. In the same way that people talk about getting their ‘Five a Day’ or how many ‘Steps’ they achieved, we want parents, teachers and most importantly students, openly and regularly discussing their ‘Twenty’.

As a school:

  1. Students are given an opportunity to independently read for at least five minutes in every lesson throughout the day
  2. Homework is often related to reading
  3. All Year 7 and Year 8 students are expected to have reading material on them at all times as part of their expected reading and to read at any available opportunity. An example of this is that students read in assembly while waiting for it to commence. Every opportunity is taken to achieve ‘The Twenty’.

There will be lots of initiatives throughout the year to promote the value of reading and develop a culture of reading at HDHS. We appreciate any suggestions or ideas you have to support the work we are doing. There are two major strands to our reading school:

  1. Reading for purpose- we read to get information and learn more.
  2. Reading for pleasure- we read to escape, hide from the world,enjoy the world, feel an array of emotions, be imaginative……….

Any questions, suggestions, or ideas, please contact me by email at
Assistant Headteacher

HDHS Literacy Calendar

HDHS Literacy Calendar 2020 – 235 KB

Parent Guide for Reluctant Readers

HDHS Parent Guide for Reluctant Readers – 497 KB

Recommended Read of the Fortnight

‘Monster’, by Walter Dean Myers, is an intriguing, thought provoking and moving story about a young man accused of a crime.Is he guilty or is he innocent?
This book has proved to be very popular with HDHS students. Like all good stories, it links to other classics such as our Yr 9 Expected Read ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ and the play ‘Noughts and Crosses’ studied by our Year 7s in the summer term.

The HDHS Expected Reads

This is a selection of chosen books that is bespoke to each year group to develop and shape the character of our students in different ways. These books have merit and significance independently but as a school we see them as a cluster and a progression of ideas and experiences to navigate our students from youth to adulthood.

At HDHS we see these books as a progression of ideas and thought provoking prompts to develop our students’ awareness of the world around them and an awareness of their own identity. We ensure that all of our students take this literary journey to experience the reality of the world we live in. These novel choices are further supported by text choices across the school curriculum and other recommended reads.

These texts are sparking discussion and debate; challenging viewpoints and facilitating a range of emotional reactions.This is simply a literary path that we as educators have created for our students but we encourage them to take detours and many other literary routes along the way. In simple terms we believe that reading leads to reading and that leads to more reading………

 KS4 Wider Reading List

Recommended Reading Lists

HDHS Student Book Reviews

Students at HDHS are busy reading and want to share their reading experiences. These book reviews have been written by HDHS students to express their views about their own reading and to encourage other students to read.

HDHS Student Book Reviews 2020 – 287 KB HDHS-Student-Book-Reviews-2020-Part-2 – 365 KB

Tutor SPaG Time

Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar is an essential part of literacy. HDHS SPaG time during tutor time once a week is an opportunity for students to engage with, reflect on and develop SPaG in a fun and memorable way.

Click here for further details:   HDHS-Tutor-SPaG-Time-Autumn-and-Spring-2019_2020.pdf – 3 MB


Football Writer Matt Oldfield visits HDHS

Popular author Matt Oldfield( writer of the ’Ultimate Football Heroes’ book series) visited HDHS on Wednesday 29th January and delivered an inspiring assembly to Year 7 and Year 8 sending a clear message about the importance of reading for pleasure and purpose. Matt also passed on some valuable tips to inspire some future writers. Students were excited to be given the opportunity to meet Matt Oldfield in person and many students purchased his books.We are grateful to Matt for visiting us and creating a buzz about books and reading.