- a new approach to reading

As a trust, FCAT  has always been passionate about books and fully committed to improving the reading of all of our students while they are with us. This year we are very excited to announce that we are working with other schools in our trust to ensure that reading continues to be at the forefront of everything we do and that our students are all given the opportunity to read as many texts as possible!

School timetables have been adjusted to ensure reading time has been given in form time so students can read and enjoy more books with their tutor. Each term, classes will be given a new text which they will read together, whilst exploring the big ideas in the text and learning what it can teach them about the world. Teachers have carefully selected books that they think students will enjoy and that will broaden their experience and knowledge as much as possible. Most of the time the teacher will read while the text is followed, although there are opportunities for keen readers to read to their class. The definition of a literary canon is a group of books that are considered to be valuable; FCAT firmly believes that this selection of books will really help improve both the reading and the general knowledge of our students.

Below is the list of books that we will be reading together this year-

Year 7 - The first children's book from Times journalist, two-time Olympian and best-selling mindset author Matthew Syed, it uses examples of successful people from Mozart to Serena Williams to demonstrate that success really is earned rather than given, and that talent can be acquired. With hard work and determination, practice and self-belief, and, most importantly, a Growth Mindset, there's no reason why anyone can't achieve anything.

Year 7 - First published in 1954, this novel is now regarded as a classic; a compelling story about a group of very ordinary small boys marooned on a desert island. At first it seems as though it is all going to be great fun, but this is short lived as the island turns into a nightmarish and primitive world of panic and death.

Year 7 - The Spook's Apprentice is the first book in Joseph Delaney's terrifying Wardstone Chronicles - over 3 million copies sold worldwide!' Someone has to stand against the dark. And you're the only one who can'For years, the local Spook has been keeping the County safe from evil.
Now his time is coming to an end, but who will take over?
Many apprentices have tried. Some floundered, some fled, some failed to stay alive.
Just one boy is left. Thomas Ward. He is the last hope. But does he stand a chance against Mother Malkin, the most dangerous witch in the County?

Year 8 - The book is written in a diary style, and focuses on the worries and regrets of a teenager who believes himself to be an intellectual.[1] The story is set in 1981 and 1982, and in the background it refers to some of the historic world events of the time, such as the Falklands War and the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana as well as the birth of Prince William Apart from the humorous events described in the diary, a lot of the book's humour originates from the unreliable narration of Mole, who naïvely, yet confidently, misinterprets events around him.

Year 8 - Anne Frank wrote her diary until her family were betrayed and caught by the Nazis in occupied Holland in 1942. Just 13 years old at the time, Anne invites us to  share her lengthy isolation and gives us an insight into her personality and spirited view of life!.

Year 8 - This novel is a murder mystery story like no other. The detective, and narrator, is Christopher Boone. Christoper is fifteen and has Asperger’s, a form of autism. He has never gone further than the end of the road on his own, but when he finds a neighbour's dog murdered he sets off on a terrifying journey that will turn his whole world upside down.

Year 9 - Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with humour, the irrationality of adult attitudes to race and class in the American Deep South of the thirties. The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina of one man’s struggle for justice. 

Year 9 - The best selling memoir of youngest ever Nobel Prize winner, Malala Yousafzai, the girl who was shot by the Taliban on the way to school. This autobiography will inspire and inform in equal measure, as students learn about life in a very different world.

Year 9 - In one of the most acclaimed and strange novels of recent years, Kazuo Ishiguro imagines the lives of a group of students growing up in a darkly skewed version of contemporary England. Narrated by Kathy, as an adult, this story is an account of her childhood at the seemingly idyllic Hailsham School, and with the fate that has always awaited her and her closest friends.

Year 10 - This haunting vision of the future, tells the story of Offred, living in the Republic of Gilead. As a female, her only function is to breed. If she refuses, she will be hung or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. Offred’s journey is one of isolation and fear but ultimately bravery in the face of oppression.

Year 10 - This is a collection of over one hundred of the world’s most entertaining, inspiring and unusual letters. From Queen Elizabeth II’s recipe for drop scones sent to the president of America to the first recorded use of the expression “OMG” in a letter to Winston Churchill. From Leonardo da Vinci’s job application letter to Gandhi’s appeal for calm to Hilter….this collection explores some key historical moments while capturing the essence of humanity.

Year 10 - Where the Crawdads Sing is part bildungsroman and part crime drama, centred around Kya, a wild and unkempt girl. The book follows the ups and downs of her life. She lives a lonely life, but her story is a hopeful one as well. With a little help, she's able to survive and even learn to read.