As children become young adults, and life becomes ever busier, please don’t underestimate the importance of continuing to read to your sons and daughters! A recent consumer survey has found that only 32% of British children are read to daily by an adult, and most parents stop reading to their child by the age of nine. This is despite the evidence which goes to show that students benefit hugely from being read to, even as they get older. It helps their imagination, their vocabulary, their mental health and their ability to empathise with others.
At St. Aldhelm’s Academy, we are working really hard to build on students’ literacy skills and encourage a real love for reading. As part of this mission, students in Y7 and Y8 have a one hour Accelerated Reading lesson every week, and students across all year groups have 20 minutes silent reading in their English lesson once a week. Teachers have ‘What I’m Reading’ posters to encourage conversations about what is currently on our bookshelves, and – as many of you know – we have also introduced reading in tutor time, so that all SAA students will leave us in Year 11 having read 12 books in tutor time alone.
You can help us by reading out loud to your children a few times a week, having discussions with them about books, encouraging them to join Rossmore Library so that they have access to a huge range of books for free, or offering to let them choose one which they would like in their Christmas stocking in a few weeks’ time! If you or your child struggles with finding appropriate or entertaining books, please see the posters below, which suggest what students in Y7 or Y8 might enjoy based on what they enjoyed in primary school. Alternatively, check out the website https://www.bookdepository.com/category/3391/Teen-Young-Adult which offers recommendations based on age and on genre.