How to support your child with reading

Students at St Katherine’s read for at least twenty minutes every day at home. 

Why: Research demonstrates that children who read frequently and read for enjoyment do better in every subject across the curriculum. (Clark, 2011, Clark and Douglass 2011) See D of E report.  

It has also been shown that reading can support mental well being, increase vocabulary and develop empathy. 

When: Our lives are increasingly busy, so giving time to reading is really important. One of the most important ways you can support your child’s reading is to help them plan when they will do their reading. Some students find it best to do it straight away when they come home from school. 

Reading should be prioritised, because we know it has the most impact on students’ progress in every subject. 

Students often struggle with the distraction of a mobile phone, so you can help them by ‘looking after’ their phone for them while they read! If at all possible, a quiet place to read is ideal.

What book shall I read? Finding a book that your child is interested in is key to enjoyment. Here are some suggestions tailored to Year 7, Year 8, Year 9 and Year 10/11

Our wonderful school librarian, Ms Wyld is always on hand with more personalised suggestions, so remind your child to pop in and speak to her before school starts, at break or lunch. Or, you can drop her an email

How: Being read to is a wonderful thing at any age. If you have time and patience, share a book together. Reading to your child can form all or part of their reading homework. Many parents also find it great to do paired reading: you read four pages, they read a page.  This can make the book more fast paced and exciting, and therefore helps with understanding. 

Audio books are another great option. FREE legal audio books can be accessed from the public library. Ms Wyld can help students to set this up at school and guide them towards suitable books. Audio books can be especially good for students with dyslexia. Please note, parents are responsible for overseeing students’ choices. 

And most essentially, get your child to talk about what is happening in their book - ask them questions, such as: 

  • Who is the main character?
  • What are they trying to do?
  • Why are they doing that?
  • Do you like the character(s)?
  • Are you enjoying the book?
  • What’s interesting about this book?

If your child recounts the story, and relates to it, they will understand it better and enjoy reading more. 

And then… 

Don’t forget to remind your student to quiz their book as soon as they finish reading it (years 7 and 8) and earn house points. 

And, for students in years 7 to 9, support your child to record their reading every day on their reading log. Five praise points are available every library lesson for completed reading logs.

If you would like more information about Accelerated Reader, see our parent guide here

Finally, we would love to hear from you, and are here to help support your child to read in a huge range of ways. Please do not hesitate to contact Immalee Wild - Lead on Reading - on or Lucy Wyld - librarian - on