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It’s all about the Buzz

In this technological age there are so many distractions that encouraging children to read can be a real challenge
Pupils deliberate over the covers and blurbs and literally create a ‘buzz’ about books by discussing their choice with their peers

As children progress to Senior School they take on the responsibility of reading in their own time. Cokethorpe School has recognised the importance of building on the great start made in the Junior School to ensure pupils progress to the higher levels of reading and comprehension required to excel at the Senior level.


Under the guidance of the School Librarian, Mrs Nicola Patrick, Cokethorpe has implemented a series of programmes designed specifically for First and Second Form pupils to kick-start a positive reading habit.

Pupils joining the First Form jump straight into the first activity – ‘Book Buzz’. Book Buzz enables pupils to choose a book to keep from a selection of twelve very diverse books.  Pupils deliberate over the covers and blurbs and literally create a ‘buzz’ about books by discussing their choice with their peers. 

Book Buzz is about sparking a passion for reading and the early enthusiasm does not have time to wain before pupils are introduced to the Accelerated Reader Programme. This programme has been designed to help pupils select books that match their current reading ability and to ensure that their levels of comprehension, a skill that is key to learning, develops alongside reading. Mrs Patrick has made a few improvements of her own to the scheme to increase the fun and introduce a competitive element.

Mrs Patrick explains how the Programme works, ‘as pupils enter the First Form they complete a test, which enables us to accurately pinpoint an appropriate book level range for each individual child. All of the books in the Library are colour coded with the colour corresponding to these different levels. This provides the pupils with clear guidance on choosing the right books. Each pupil also receives a personal reading log and once they have finished a book they update their log. The great thing about the Accelerated Reading Programme which makes it stand out from other traditional schemes, is that pupils also complete a short online comprehension quiz that tests their understanding of the book they have just finished and the results are recorded on their log.’

Mrs Patrick has added some motivational features to the Programme to help maintain interest levels. Every time a pupil scores 100% on the comprehension quiz they are entered into a prize raffle drawn by the Headmaster. The reading log also records the number of words read and once a pupil has accumulated enough words they become a member of the 'Millionaires Club'. In addition pupils also score House points as a combined reward for books read and quiz scores that count towards a House Trophy awarded to the House with the most points.

‘The pupils have responded very well to the programmes and I am starting to see pupils in the Library that I would not usually see. They are showing a new found excitement and enthusiasm for reading and more importantly they are taking control of their own progression.’