Focus on Reading
“Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light.” Vera Nazarian
Research published by the National Literacy Trust in 2011 said that children who read for pleasure enjoy better opportunities throughout life because they have gained a richer vocabulary, more knowledge, critical thinking skills and a self-directed learning framework.
Teachers and parents should be unapologetic about encouraging children to enjoy reading and focusing energy and expertise on nurturing positive reading behaviours, as both are vital to an individual’s success at school and their economic and social capital later in life. Studies show that reading a variety of literature independently by the age of 15 is the single biggest indicator of future success.
The word ‘reading’ includes a number of skills. Students need to be taught what reading approach they should use until they are able to select the appropriate approach for themselves:
- Continuous reading – uninterrupted reading of extended text.
- Skimming – glancing quickly through a text to get the gist, e.g. the sub-headings in a textbook.
- Scanning – searching for a particular piece of information.
- Close reading – careful study of a text which includes pausing to look back or to think in order to examine a text in detail, including text marking.
- Predicting – using information read to explain what could happen next.
- Reading between the lines – using word choice and punctuation to infer hidden meaning.
Reading Skills for Parents
Evidence shows that when family members talk to their children, read with them, share books and take them to the library, they help children to develop important literacy skills. Parents and carersare a crucial influence on what their children experience and achieve. By encouraging your child to read at home, you will help them achieve more at school.
You can help develop your child’s reading skills at home by:
- Setting a good example by reading in front of them at home
- Providing a variety of reading material: books, newspapers, magazines, recipes, websites
- Discussing the books that you are reading as a family
- Joining and visiting the local library
- Using advisory websites (e.g. Literacy Trust, Good Reads, lovereading4kids) to find good books to interest young people
- When books are made into films reward your child for reading the book by taking them to see it.
Le Rocquier Reading Club
Close reading (zooming)
Other reading strategies