Hamstead Hall Academy

Hamstead Hall Academy
Part of the Hamstead Hall Academy Trust Hamstead Hall Sixth Form

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Summer Reading Information

As you know, as part of Hamstead Hall Academy’s drive to improve standards in Reading for all of our pupils, your son/daughter recently completed an online Reading test in school which assessed your child’s Reading Age.  The results have now been shared with both students and parents/carers.

Reading is a critical skill for success in school and beyond.  Research has found that Reading for pleasure is a more powerful factor in life achievement than a child’s social and economic background.  It has also concluded that young people who read books more than once a week, gain higher results in all GCSE subjects including Mathematics and Science.  For these reasons, we will do everything we can in school to support pupils to improve their reading skills.  In order to monitor progress in Reading throughout their schooling, students will take the online Reading Test twice each school year; September and March.

It would, therefore, be very helpful, if over the six week summer break, your child read regularly.  The government has recently published a list of strategies which can be used in the home to support children’s reading development.  You may find these helpful so they are reproduced below:

  • Encourage your child to read Reading helps your child’s wellbeing, develops imagination and has educational benefits too. Just a few minutes a day can have a big impact on children of all ages.
  • Encourage reading choice Give children lots of opportunities to read different things in their own time - it doesn’t just have to be books. There’s fiction, non-fiction, poetry, comics, magazines, recipes and much more. Try leaving interesting reading material in different places around the home and see who picks it up.
  • Read together Choose a favourite time to read together as a family and enjoy it. This might be everyone reading the same book together, reading different things at the same time, or getting your children to read to each other. This time spent reading together can be relaxing for all.
  • Create a comfortable environment Make a calm, comfortable place for your family to relax and read independently - or together.
  • Make use of your local library – it’s FREE Visit the library and explore all sorts of reading ideas. Local libraries also offer brilliant online materials, including audiobooks and ebooks to borrow. Visit the ‘Libraries Connected’ website for more digital library services and resources.
  • Talk about books This is a great way to make connections, develop understanding and make reading even more enjoyable. Start by discussing the front cover and talking about what it reveals and suggests the book could be about. Then talk about what you’ve been reading and share ideas. You could discuss something that happened that surprised you, or something new that you found out. You could talk about how the book makes you feel and whether it reminds you of anything.
  • Bring reading to life You could try cooking a recipe you’ve read together. Would you recommend it to a friend? Alternatively, discuss an interesting article you’ve read.
  • Engage your child in reading in a way that suits him/her You know your child best and you’ll know the best times for your child to read. If (s)he has special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) then short, creative activities may be the way to get them most interested. If English is an additional language, encourage reading in a child’s first language, as well as in English. What matters most is that young people enjoy reading.

If you would like further information about useful reading resources, please do visit the library section of the school website https://www.hamsteadhall.com/Library  

Yours faithfully,


Eileen Mawdsley

Assistant Head of School

Language and Learning