Reading for Pleasure


Reading Cloud

At Holyhead, we acknowledge the significant impact that reading can have on attainment, creativity and wellbeing of our students; and have invested greatly over the last few years in giving students access to a selection of reading opportunities. Students will have access to challenging subject specific reading material whilst in lessons but it is vital that students continue to develop their reading in their own time. To support this, not only can students borrow books in the traditional manner from our newly refurbished library; but they can also borrow books from our extensive eBook collection using Sora

How do I borrow ebooks?

Download and read over 2,000 eBooks and audiobooks via student Chromebooks, mobile phones or other electronic devices.  All of the books have been carefully chosen with secondary age students in mind.  We have sent some suggested reads available on Sora to all students and they can ask for more personalised recommendations by sending a message to

Key Stage 4

Students in years 10 – 13 are encouraged to use the Sora website to access our online collection of ebooks.

What’s trending at the moment?

Why not check out some of the Collections that are available on Sora now.    Collections are lists of books that are grouped together based on genre, format, theme, or appeal term.  

A small selection have been added to this page but there are many more on Sora.   Please click on the collection links below and have a look:-

Holyhead School Collection
These books have been carefully selected by our English Department

Number of Books – 24
Link –
New and Never on Hold
Recent additions that are always available

Number of Books – 125
Link –
Football Fever

Number of Books – 24
Link –
Read the Rainbow – LGBT+ Titles

Number of Books – 43
Link –
Read With Your Ears
A large collection of audio books.

Number of Books – 608
Link –

Key Stage 3

Students in years 7 – 9 are encouraged to use the Reading Cloud website to reserve books from our on-site Library situated in 708 or download eBooks and audiobooks from our on-line collection of ebooks.

Reading Cloud is linked to Accelerated Reader

What is Accelerated Reader?

Accelerated reader is a proven reading support programme that puts students in control of their reading development. Through completion of STAR assessments, students are provided with a reading code which supports them to select appropriate fiction material for their reading abilities. Once they have enjoyed their new book, students complete an online comprehension quiz based on the story. Over time, students collect points for each quiz which will automatically enter them into a whole school competition, regularly rewarded. Students can choose from 100s of books, all linked with quizzes and are encouraged to participate in the programme as much as possible. Students are also regularly assessed via the programme so that teachers can see the continued progress that students are making. 

How can I help?

Studies show that reading for pleasure makes a big difference to children’s educational performance. Here’s how you can get your child off to a great start.  

Evidence suggests that children who read for enjoyment every day not only perform better in reading tests than those who don’t, but also develop a broader vocabulary, increased general knowledge and a better understanding of other cultures. In fact, reading for pleasure is more likely to determine whether a child does well at school than their social or economic background. Just 10 minutes of reading a day can make a significant difference!

What difference can I make as a parent?

You can make a huge difference! Parents are the most important educators in a child’s life – even more important than their teachers – and it’s never too late to start reading together.  Reading doesn’t just have to be a book; find a comic, listen to an audiobook in the car, find a blog or online article….the options are endless! Find out what interests them, help them to find books that will be engaging and fun, and spend time reading the books they bring home from school together.

Building vocabulary and understanding

Learning to read is about listening and understanding as well as working out what’s printed on the page. Through hearing reading material being read aloud, children are exposed to a wide range of words. This helps them build their own vocabulary and improve their understanding when they listen, which is vital as they develop their ability to read. It’s important for them to understand how stories work too. Even if your child doesn’t understand every word, they’ll hear new sounds, words and phrases which they can then try out, copying what they have heard. Research even suggests that listening to suitable podcasts supports young adults with building vocabulary.

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