Richard Challoner School


Reading is unarguably one of the most important things your child should be doing! This is true generally, but perhaps even more so at the moment when you consider the impact that reading can have on wellbeing as well as the potential opportunities it presents for families and friends to talk together.

Consider setting time aside to read an article/ chapter/ short story together, or to read separately and then discuss together – it is through these interactions that you can support not only their development of reading and comprehension skills, but also the development of their love of reading. If your child has grandparents, or other elderly/vulnerable relatives who are isolated at home, maybe they could even read to them over the phone?

Discussions could start with simple questions like:

  • What was the story/ article about?
  • Who was your favourite character? Why?
  • What do you think happens next?
  • How do you think person X was feeling when Y happened?

Discussion points with a more academic focus might include:

  • Make predictions: using the cover, pictures, or opening paragraph, what do you think is going to happen?
  • Ask questions: can you think of questions to test someone else on this story or information? Can you answer your own questions?!
  • Clarify: are there any words or ideas you don’t understand? How can you check these?
  • Summarise: can you give a summary of everything that happened in the story? What was the main point of the text you’ve read?

Students in years 7-11 have access to a whole host of support materials via a showbie group called ‘Literacy’ which is maintained and updated by Miss Morkane. If your son has not yet joined this group, please encourage him to do so via the showbie code that has been emailed

Subject teams may also point your child in the direction of some subject specific reading via SMHW or existing Showbie groups. Why not take a look with them?

We also have an online subscription to the website ‘Complete Issues' (the username for which has been emailed to parents and students) which is a fantastic source of really interesting short articles on a huge range of modern themes (particularly good for yr9-13). There really is something for everyone (and would be great as a family discussion activity!) but could be especially good for those students who say “I don’t like reading” or “‘I don’t enjoy fiction”.

Please use the links at the bottom of the page to access a range of recommended reading books.

If you need persuading any further about why reading is a central part of the schedules we’ve put together…

  • Put simply, reading impacts performance in every subject.
    • Reading has more impact on the success of a person than socio-economic/educational status of parents (OECD/PISA 2009).
    • Reading aids with cognitive development and impacts across the curriculum – likely to do ‘significantly better’, with a 9.9% advantage in Maths by age 16! (IoE, London, 2013).
    • Science achievement: Researchers found that the strongest factor affecting pupils’ science scores is reading comprehension (EEF, September 2017)
    • Reading improves teenagers’ vocabulary by 26% regardless of background (Centre for Longitudinal Studies, November 2017)
  • Reading develops confidence and improves self-esteem
  • Reading can help young people to understand complex issues from the safe fictional world of a book
  • Reading is proven to increase empathy!
  • Reading is enjoyable, fun and relaxing (for fluent readers if they have the right book)