16 October 2017

Reading is more important than ever

Getting students, especially boys, to read is not as simple as it used to be but the importance of reading hasn't changed; in fact it is more important than ever. With the popularity of the Internet there has been an explosion of online content. It has changed how we live, work and communicate. Before we can access and analyse this content we need to be effective readers. Learning to read is one of the most essential skills that your child will acquire. Sharing responsibility between school and home will help to ensure the acquisition of those skills.

An Independent Reader needs to develop the following skills and strategies:

  • Phonemic awareness so that they can hear the individual speech sounds and can aurally segment and blend them.
  • Phonic knowledge so that they can associate the sounds of letters with their written form to develop strong word attack skills.
  • An extensive vocabulary. We know that children who have failed to acquire a large vocabulary of spoken word struggle to understand what the words mean when they meet them in print.
  • An extensive bank of highly familiar words that they can read automatically by sight without the need to use decoding strategies. Sight words facilitate early success in reading and improve reading fluency.
  • Reading fluency so that they can read effortlessly at a reasonable rate.
  • Reading comprehension so that they can make sense of the words in context.

Home Reading

Children learn about the importance of reading as they watch their family reading and writing in everyday life. Whether reading a novel, sharing a story, using a recipe, making a shopping list, writing a birthday card or reading a street sign, children observe the value of reading and writing.

Home reading should be an enjoyable activity rather than one that creates pressure. If your child is tired, reluctant or experiencing some difficulty with reading Warwick Norman, Junior School Librarian and your son's classroom teacher will be able to assist with some strategies.

Andrea McNally

Head of Junior School

Written By: Andrea McNally