Case study: How Summer Book Club boosted reading for pleasure in QEII High School 

Students reading The Cyimes Seekers in interesting places

Case study: How Summer Book Club boosted reading for pleasure in QEII High School 

Introduction

Summer Book Club is our free book club to help students with the transition from primary to secondary school. Learn how QEII High School participated, with students and teachers wholeheartedly embracing the programme. Teachers modelled reading for pleasure for the pupils, the PTA supplied the books and even author Ross Montgomery got involved.

Background  

In 2023, 10,000 children from UK schools participated in Summer Book Club. Everyone read The Chime Seekers by award-winning author Ross Montgomery. We provided free activity packs for teachers to use in class and a free live author Q&A. Our partner, Walker Books, provided reduced-price books for schools and made the e-book available for 99p. 

What happened

Olivia Edwards, Associate Assistant Head and Head of English at QEII High School on the Isle of Man, sent us the link to the school’s Facebook page to show how they were promoting the reading of The Chime Seekers.

The page was filled with photos of students and teachers reading their copies of the book during the summer holidays in various places. At the school’s request, we commented on and shared posts and told Ross Montgomery, who did the same.

There was even a competition for the teachers to see who could read The Chime Seeks in the most exciting location. Ross judged the winner of the teacher’s competition. In his own words: 

“It’s hard to choose between kittens, a steam train, a motorbike, a mineshaft and a horse, but I think extra points have to go to Mr Horton for absolutely nailing a thigh chokehold while enjoying the merits of literature”.

When the students started in September, they talked about the book during tutor time and in English lessons. They even contributed questions to the Q&A with Ross.

Testimonial

“I signed up for the project as it was clear that we needed to develop a love of reading in the school. I liked the fact that all of Year 6 could read it and then have something in common when they arrived. 

“Our School Association recognised that this was an opportunity for improvement and funded the costs of the books. I then created a welcome pack for each Year 6, with the activities, a book, and a welcome letter. These were hand-delivered to students before the end of the school year. Alongside this, I ran a social media campaign where teachers and students were tasked with taking photos of themselves reading the book in different locations to prove that you can read anywhere.

“I cannot believe how successful the campaign was – we had teachers getting very competitive over their pictures, and it was lovely to see our new Year 7s get involved too. I had very few students who didn’t read any of the book at all, and as the Isle of Man is well known for its “little people”, the story worked really well in our context.

“On arrival at our school, students discussed the book with their tutors and did some work in English lessons. It was great to hear the discussions around the characters and the plot. It gave a clear message to the community that we value reading for pleasure, and we continue to promote this through library lessons and tutor reading.”

Olivia Edwards, Associate Assistant Head and Head of English, QEII High School

Sign up for this year’s Summer Book Club

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