Enjoyment and Choice

Enjoyment and Choice is one of the organisers in the Curriculum for Excellence Literacy and English Experiences and Outcomes for Reading. This places importance on children having an element of choice in what they read.

In order to do this and to increase motivation, classes were presented with a range of stimulating reading materials at an appropriate level of challenge and they were asked to pick what they wanted to read. Giving students this choice allowed them to choose books that spoke to their interests and  students were engaged from the beginning of the activity.


Student Led Book Groups

S3 pupils talking about books.

Welcome to https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/dd/stjohnsliteraturecircles. The English Department have launched a new initiative in an attempt to get S2 and S3 pupils reading for pleasure – student led book groups.

These were introduced in August with every pupil in S2 and S3. They, like adult book groups, involve working together to read and talk about books. The groups are pupil led, so we feel empowered in our learning and supported by our peers. Moreover, we make all the decisions! We were given a choice of books to read at the start of August and we all voted on our favourites. The books were from a wide range of authors but all were challenging and stimulating. In letting us pick the books, we were far more engaged. We also pick how many pages we want to read each week and we meet at the end of a lesson to discuss our views and talk about what we have read.

In my class, I feel everyone enjoys this period. I like being able to talk about the books we are reading, and it has encouraged me to read books I would not have read before. My group are currently reading “I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban”. This is an autobiography and not something I would ordinarily have picked up. I usually read fiction and though it has taken a while for me to get into the book, I am now really enjoying learning about a different culture that is so far removed from my own.

Although it is early days, I feel the literature circles will motivate more pupils to read for enjoyment in our school. I am already looking forward to receiving my next book and reading something I would never have considered.

Ruth Black (S3)

S3 pupils talking about books.

What Are We Reading?

Pupils are reading a number of books from the lists below.

• Crow Boy by Philip Caveney
• Eagle Strike by Anthony Horowitz
• Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson
• The Bubble Wrap Boy by Phil Earle
• Blame my Brain by Nicola Morgan
• Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson
• Clockwork Sparrow by Katherine Woodfine
• Letters from the Lighthouse by Emma Carroll
• The Switch by Anthony Horowitz
• Soldier’s Game by James Killgore
• Wishful Thinking by Ali Sparks
• The Boy who Sailed the Ocean in an Armchair by Lara Williamson
• Just Call Me Spaghetti-hoop Boy by Lara Williamson
• Out of the Depths by Cathy MacPhail
• An Eagle in the Snow by Michael Morpurgo

• The Red Ribbon by Lucy Adlington
• Notes on Being Teenage by Rosalind Jana
• Hour of Bees by Lindsay Eagar
• The Last Summer of Us by Maggie Harcourt
• Silverfin by Charlie Higson
• Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy
• Keeper by Mal Peet
• I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
• Moonrise by Sarah Crossan
• The Fastest Boy in the World by Elizabeth Laurd
• The Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan
• Amazon Adventure by Willard Price
• Life on the Refrigerator Door by Alice Kulpers
• Until We Win by Linda Newbury
• Evil Within by Catherine MacPhail
• The Harder They Fall by Bali Rai
• Flesh and Blood by Chris Priestley
• Over The Line by Tom Palmer
• Bracemouth by Sita Brahmachari


A time for pupils to read, wonder, discuss and share ideas about books.

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