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Sixth Form Reading Group

Withington comes together with schools from across Manchester to foster independent reading outside the classroom. 


Withington Girls’ School joined the Sixth Form Reading Group in 2013, which had been founded by The Manchester Grammar School and Altrincham Grammar School for Girls. Manchester High School for Girls joined in 2014. The group reads a wide-range of books, from all historical periods and on themes students may not have studied in the course of their GCSEs or A levels.


Schools take it in turns to host Reading Group, in either their library or Sixth Form common room. Withington’s Head of English coordinates the organisation of the meetings, and attends the meeting to assist the discussion.  


Sixth Form Reading Group challenges students to expand their reading beyond their A level specifications, which informs their understanding of English literature as a whole.  The discussion-based nature of the group improves confidence in communicating ideas, which in turn helps expression in lessons and exams. It is also a chance to strengthen links between the participating schools, in a friendly environment where students can meet other enthusiastic readers and foster their love of independent reading. 

Pupil Involvement

Discussions are usually led by a Sixth Form pupil at the host school, who provides a summary of the book and further prompts for discussion throughout the meeting. Year 11 pupils from all schools are invited to the final meeting of the academic year, as a way of introducing them to reading group before Sixth Form.


Attendance varies between smaller discussion groups of about 15 pupils to groups of over 40 pupils when a more popular book is being discussed.


Reading group meets once every half term, from 4:30 to 6:00pm after school.