St John's Beaumont
St John's Beaumont
St John's Beaumont


We believe the purpose of homework is two-fold: firstly it plays an important role in helping pupils to consolidate their learning: developing something they ‘know’ into something they ‘understand’. Secondly, it plays an invaluable role as children get older in helping them to develop the independence and organisation that is so important later in their life or more obviously when they move to their senior school.

Children start to bring homework home from Reception. Worksheets reflect what the children have already learned in class and usually includes some literacy and numeracy work in addition to reading, high frequency words and spelling.

In Middle School (Years 3-5), homework is addressed during academic lessons, where the child’s needs can be reviewed and skills consolidated effectively. Boys are given work to complete independently in much the same way that they would for more traditional homework but this is completed under the supervision of the class teacher.

Students in the Upper School (Years 6 to 8) will be increasingly set work as they move through this part of the school, which we will expect them to complete independently. The purpose of setting work in this manner is to encourage pupils to use their time effectively and develop independent study habits and the level of organisation expected of them at senior school.

Reading List

A list of books recommended by St John's Beaumont's Head of English for children aged 6 to 13.

Please use this guide to encourage your son to develop and enjoy his reading.  There are many reasons to read: to educate ourselves, for entertainment, to promote thought and reflection, to name but a few.

This list is not exhaustive but it does suggest superb reading for all students.  It contains recommendations from our pupils as well as from the English Department.  Let us begin by considering some of the thoughts expressed about books and reading which have been made by people from all fields of human endeavour.

Mr S Gibbons

Year 3 - Bellarmine

There’s more to life than books … but not much more.


Various authors - Aesop's FablesCollage of recommended reading for Year 3 Bellarmine at St John's Beaumont, including Fantastic Mr Fox, The Worst Witch, Horrid Henry Meets the Queen and Flat Stanley

Allan Ahlberg – Any Title

Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales

Enid Blyton Famous Five and Secret Seven

Michael Bond - Paddington

Jeff Brown – Flat Stanley

Lewis Carroll – Alice in Wonderland

Roald Dahl - Fantastic Mr Fox

Dick King-Smith The Hodgeheg

A. A Milne – Winnie the Pooh

Jill Murphy – The Worst Witch

Francesca Simon – Horrid Henry

Oscar Wilde – The Selfish Giant


The English department recommends: 
Lots of classics and timeless favourites here. Jill Murphy’s pre-Potter school of witchcraft is great fun whilst AA Milne is still a pure joy.
The real recommendation is to try all of them!

Year 4 - Lower Elements

The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them. Twain

Lynne Reid Banks – The Indian in the CupboardCollage of recommended reading for Year 4 Lower Elements at St John's Beaumont, including The BFG, Indian in the Cupboard, Bill's New Frock and Spud Murphy.

Sir J.M. Barrie – Peter Pan

L. Frank Baum – The Wizard of Oz

Hilaire Belloc – Cautionary Verses

Eoin Colfer – The Legend of Spud Murphy

Roald Dahl – The Twits, The BFG, Charlie stories

Anne Fine – Bill’s New Frock

Norman Hunter – The Incredible Adventures of Professor Branestawm

Ted Hughes – The Iron Man

Mary Norton – The Borrowers

Michael Rosen Poetry (various)


The English department recommends: Aim to read all of them over the next twelve months.  Be sure to read the poetry selections.

Year 5 - Upper Elements

You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture.
Just get people to stop reading them.

Mohandas Gandhi

Allan Ahlberg – Please Mrs Butler (poetry)Collage of recommended reading for Year 5 Upper Elements at St John's Beaumont, including Just William, The Wreck of the Zanzibar, Harry Potter and Four of Diamonds

Nina Bawden – The Peppermint Pig

James Berry – A Thief in the Village

Enid Blyton – The Adventure Series

Frances Hodges Burnett – The Secret Garden

Eoin Colfer – Artemis Fowl series

Frank Cottrell Boyce – Millions

Helen Cresswell – Moondial

Richmal Crompton – Just William

Alan Garner – Elidor

Kenneth Grahame – Wind in the Willows                                       

Anthony Horowitz – The Diamond Brothers

Gene Kemp – Tyke Tiler

Dick King-Smith The Sheep Pig

George Layton – The Fib

C.S Lewis – The Chronicles of Narnia

Michael Morpurgo – The Wreck of the Zanzibar

Robert C.O’Brien – Mrs Frisby and the Rats of Nimh

J.K Rowling – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Robert Louis Stevenson – Treasure Island

The English department recommends: Richmal Crompton his genius still shines brightly – the William books are so much more than period pieces. Other favourites would include Artemis Fowl and Conrad’s War.

Year 6 - Lower Figures

I find television to be very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go in the other room and read a book.
Groucho Marx

David Almond – SkelligCollage of recommended reading for Year 6 Lower Figures at St John's Beaumont, including Tom's Midnight Garden, The Swap, The Hobbitt and Five Children and It

Roald Dahl Boy and Going Solo

Franklin W. Dixon – Hardy Boys

Russell Hoban – The Mouse and his Child

Anthony Horowitz – Alex Rider stories

Rudyard Kipling The Jungle Book

George Layton – The Swap

Penelope Lively – The Ghost of Thomas Kempe

Bill Naughton – My Pal Spadger, The Goalkeeper’s Revenge

Edith Nesbit – Five Children and It

Philippa Pearce – Tom’s Midnight Garden

Philip Pullman – The Ruby in the Smoke

Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson stories

J. K Rowling – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Lemony Snicket – A Series of Unfortunate Events

Jonathan Swift – Gulliver’s Travels

J. R. R Tolkien – The Hobbit


The English department recommends: Roald Dahl’s autobiographies are wonderful. Hoban’s book is beautifully realized – deep, moving and satisfying at many levels. Penelope Lively is one of the finest writers of the latter part of the twentieth century.  The Pullman, Riordan and Layton are also great reads. Probably best to aim to read them all over the next twelve months.


Year 7 - Upper Figures

Richard Adams – Watership DownCollage of recommended reading for Year 7 Upper Figures at St John's Beaumont, including The Science of Discworld, The Whitby Witches, Silverfin and When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit

Nina Bawden – Carrie’s War

John Buchan – The 39 Steps

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes

Helen Cresswell – Bagthorpes Unlimited

Charles Dickens – David Copperfield

Anne Fine – Flour Babies

Anne Frank – Diary of a Young Girl

Alan Gibbons – Shadow of the Minotaur

H. Rider Haggard – King Solomon’s Mines

Charlie Higson – Silverfin

Robin Jarvis – The Whitby Witches

Judith Kerr - When Hitler stole Pink Rabbit

Jack London – The Call of the Wild

James Vance Marshall – Walkabout

Michael Morpurgo – War Horse

Robert Muchamore – The Recruit * Parental Advisory re other Cherub books*

William Nicholson – The Wind Singer

Terry Pratchett – The Science of Discworld

Robert Louis Stevenson – Kidnapped

Jules Verne – Around the World in 80 Days

* The Cherub books are rightly popular, providing an exuberant and lively reading experience for twenty-first century young people. Please bear in mind that as the central character progresses through his teens the books’ content becomes, on occasion, progressively more ‘adult’ in terms of subject-matter and the experiences of the hero.

Year 8 - Rudiments

The wise man reads both books and life itself.
Lin Yutang                                      

Douglas Adams – Hitchhiker’s Guide to the GalaxyCollage of recommended reading for Year 8 Rudiments at St John's Beaumont, including The time Machine, The Promise, Jamaica inn and Cider with Rosie

Charles Dickens – Great Expectations

Daphne Du Maurier – Jamaica Inn

John Meade Falkner – Moonfleet

Laurie Lee – Cider with Rosie

Philip Pullman – Northern Lights

Celia Rees – Witch Child

Philip Reeve – Mortal Engines

Mildred Taylor – Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry

Mark Twain – Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn

H. G Wells – The Time Machine

Oscar Wilde – The Importance of Being Earnest

P. G Wodehouse – Jeeves and Wooster stories

Robert Westall – Fathom Five, The Devil on the Road, The Promise.

The English department recommends: Great Expectations is the must-read here. It’s gripping, humorous and terrifying by turn. Lee’s Cider With Rosie is one of the essentials too - early years autobiography, beautifully written with a poetic yet approachable style. Again all of these should be read – the late Robert Westall is a personal favourite whilst Wodehouse is simply the most comic English writer there will ever be – urbane, dry and hilarious every time.



where next?





Nursery & Pre-prep

Nursery & Pre-prep

Middle School

Middle School



Upper School

Upper School