Better Reading, Better Grades

Posted on: March 25, 2014

At Herman Academy, our vision is for all children to acquire  knowledge, skills and understanding that will contribute  to them becoming motivated and aspirational young. We work tirelessly every single day to ensure that the learning your child has is the best it can be for their stage of development. To this end, we are engaging with the Norfolk Raising Readers Initiative and ask you to share in this with us.

If there’s one thing you as a parent can do at home to improve your child’s life, support the academy and improve the community around them, it’s to make sure they read.

Poor reading is linked to failure in education, poor job prospects and poor health. It’s also linked to crime and social isolation.

In contrast, people who read well are more likely to do well at school, make friends and have a better social life, get a good job, live in better housing, be healthier and live longer.

‘Children who read with their parents every day….gained significantly higher scores in exams sat at 15…the average improvement was found to be the equivalent of six months’ extra schooling compared with children who did not have the same level of encouragement from parents.The study also found that the highest-achieving children still received encouragement from parents well into their teens.’

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Even if you are not a confident reader yourself, you can make sure children in your family are.

If you can spare ten minutes a day to read with a child you can make a huge difference to their development. You don’t have to read a book, you could read a comic, magazine article or a story you have made up yourself.

Here are a few ideas that you could use to liven up story time.

  • Do the voices Try to make sure each character talks differently – this makes the story come to life for the listeners.  You could try making them talk higher or deeper, faster or slower, or even in different accents. If you have trouble thinking up voices, ask your audience to give you ideas for how a certain character might talk – they could even read one character’s lines for you…
  • Get with the programme Make sure you have a regular slot in which to read every day.  This makes sure you don’t forget about it, and stops everyone forgetting the plot! (This idea is used by lots of soaps, where there are lots of different stories to keep in mind, like Hollyoaks or Neighbours).
  • Go for a journey If you have a regular reading time every day, choose a longer chapter book.  It’ll be more of an experience for you and your listener, and helps build their memory and understanding.
  • Keep them guessing Ask questions every so often to find out what everyone thinks might happen next. This can help to build the suspense and make it more interesting for your listeners…
  • Make sure they’re still with you Recap what’s happened every few pages to make sure your listeners know what’s going on (especially important if they’re younger).
  • Always leave ’em wanting more Quit reading at an exciting point in the story – maybe at the end of a chapter or even in the middle of a sentence! TV dramas use cliffhangers like this to make sure their audience comes back tomorrow to find out what happened – yours will too.

There are some excellent ideas and links to other resources on the Norfolk County Council website.

Category: Academy news