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Beyond Booked Up

Beyond Booked Up

This English project ignites pupils' interest in books and reading by introducing them to a range of the very best writing across a number of different formats.

Age group


Policy Area

Creating a literate environment,Improving the quality of teaching,Increasing participation

People Involved

Government and policy makers, Librarians, Teachers and Educational specialists


  • to develop 11- to 13-year-olds speaking, listening, writing and reading skills by introducing them to a range of literature

  • to support and encourage their interest in reading


Beyond Booked Up is an English literacy project which was launched in 2011. It aims to develop 11- to 13-year-old literacy skills by bringing them closer to a wide range of literary formats such as play scripts and performance poetry. It is free of charge for students of economic disadvantaged schools which are usually identified by the Department of Education. In 2013/14, approximately 370 schools were registered for the programme.

The conceptual basis of the project focuses on the importance of engagement with reading, particularly for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Research has shown that pupils at more disadvantaged schools are less than half as likely to attain the expected literacy standards at age 11 than pupils at less disadvantaged schools. The project motivates these students to engage in reading, speaking and listening and helps them to overcome problems they might have been dealing with.

All participating students have the opportunity to choose and keep a book from a selection of 12 titles. The titles and a guide on developing literacy skills are provided to each school library by the programme. Based on these titles, students are invited to read short play scripts, compare them to other literature formats, such as comic books, poems and graphic novels, and, at the end, write their own stories. Additional events, such as poetry workshops and guidance are provides throughout the programme. 

The evaluation has shown that staff and students were very positive about the high quality presentation and format of the resources including the students' workbooks. Students also felt that their confidence had improved through being involved in such activities.

The funding for this project is provided by the Department of Education on an annual basis.

Project website

Beyond Booked Up

Project Materials


Original Website(only available to targeted students)