Reading at Home
• One of the most important things that your child can do at home is read. Whether it is fiction or non-fiction, reading at home will improve your child’s imagination as well as impact their ability to learn new words to spell.
• Browse through the Revision and Homework section on the website for tasks that your child can complete at home. There are a variety of tasks for all ages that will help to improve both reading and writing skills.
• Read the same book as your child; that way, you can discuss the action as it happens and pose questions to your child about the book.
• Read yourself: pupils are a lot more willing to read if they see the adults in their life reading too. Check out our Bestsellers lists for some ideas:
• Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey
• H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
• My Family and Other Superheroes by Jonathan Edwards
• Five Children on the Western Front by Kate Saunders
• The Book of You by Claire Kendal
• The Murder Bag by Tony Parsons
• Visit your local library with your child.
• Whilst watching a television programme or film, pause it. Ask your child to predict what they think will happen next using the information they have already been given, or summarise what they have already seen.
• Encourage your child to write a diary or review regularly. Focus on neat handwriting and spelling.
What to do if your child says…
• Reading this book is boring: you can expose them to another kind of reading at home that is related to their interests.
• I don't have the time: School, friends, sports, homework, television, and chores all compete for their time. Perhaps create a schedule to make time for reading.
• It's too hard: For some children, reading is a slow, difficult process. If your child is having a hard time reading, find interesting books and materials written at a level that matches your child's reading ability (more information below).
• It's not important: Often children don't appreciate how reading can be purposeful or relevant to their lives. Find reading materials on subjects that do matter to your child.
• It's no fun: For some children, especially those who have difficulty reading, books cause anxiety. Even for children with strong reading skills, pressure from school and home that emphasise reading for performance can make reading seem like a chore. Our advice: take the pressure off reading so that your children can enjoy it.
Recommended books for Years 7 and 8
The Winter Horses- Philip Kerr
River Daughter- Jane Hardstaff
The Bell Between Worlds- Ian Johnstone
A breathtaking tale of survival set in Ukraine during the dark days of WWII. Based on true events, a young girl must set out on a treacherous journey through the frozen Ukrainian forest to save the only two surviving horses and herself. This sensitive, inspiring tale captures the power of sacrifice, the endurance of the human spirit and the astonishing loyalty of animals.
Moss, the river daughter of the title, first appeared in Jane Hardstaff’s much-praised debut The Executioner’s Daughter, a thrilling novel that cleverly mixed the supernatural with a convincing historical background. In this new adventure, the Riverwitch calls Moss back to London and the Tower. Something dark and evil is threatening the Thames and the city, and only Moss can defeat it.
Sylas Tate steps into the unusual Shop of Things and, through his remarkable powers of imagination and his ability to do magic, he is swept off on an adventure into another world known simply as Other. But Other is not any arbitrary creation. Sylas soon finds that it is only in Other that he will be able to find the part of himself that is missing and become whole.
Recommended books for Year 9
Noughts and Crosses - Malorie Blackman
The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman
Stormbreaker – Anthony Horowitz
Callum is a Nought but his best friend Sephy is a Cross - the daughter of one of the most influential politicians in the country. The story focuses on their relationship, which is frowned upon by society, and explores the discrimination they encounter at every turn.
After his family are killed, Bod is brought up in a graveyard by ghosts – an array of century-spanning characters who care for him, impart wisdom and even teach body-fading skills. But Bod sometimes goes beyond the graveyard into the world of the living – and here his life is under threat from the sinister man Jack, who has pursued him since he was a baby.
Fourteen-year-old Alex Rider finds his life turned upside down on discovering that his late uncle wasn't a mild-mannered banker, but instead a field agent for MI6. Soon, Alex himself is dragged into the world of espionage and intrigue.
Recommended books for Years 10 and 11
Picture Perfect- Holly Smale
Creature of the Night - Kate Thompson
Harriet Manners, heroine of the best-selling Geek Girl, is back for an equally engaging third adventure. On the brink of her sixteenth birthday, Harriet is still juggling the vast gulf between her naturally studious nature and the drama of life as a model with the addition of a genuine boyfriend as well. All looks set for a great time in sixth form when Harriet is suddenly relocated to America when her father gets a new job. Is this the beginning of a whole new life for Harriet? Can she keep hold of all the pieces in her roller coaster life?
Furious at being moved to the country by his mother, 14-year-old Bobby thinks of nothing but getting back to the city; back to his life of drink, drugs and driving stolen cars. But he's reluctantly drawn into country ways and, helping on a local farm, he finds he's calmed by discovering things he is good at. Gradually, Bobby begins to reflect on his old life.
Useful Idiots - Jan Mark
Revolver - Marcus Sedgwick
Set in a dystopian future, the UK is now partly under water as a result of climate change and has been renamed the Rhine Delta islands. It is a hi-tech era in which history is controlled by the authorities and archaeology has become taboo. When a storm uncovers a human skull in the watery wastelands, it brings the old and the new worlds into direct conflict.
Alone in a remote hut in the Arctic Circle and with only the frozen corpse of his father for company, 15-year-old Sig hears a knock at the door. Behind it is a giant of a man. He's armed, he's come for some gold he believes the recently deceased owes him, and he isn't leaving without it. As the back story of gold prospecting and scams unravels, Sig is busy calculating how he will balance his pacifist principles with the knowledge that his father's gun is near to hand.
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