High levels of literacy have a significant role to play in boys’ educational success.
Research has shown that reading for pleasure outweighs every social advantage, including parental income, in the future success of the child. (Progress in International Reading Literacy Study – PIRLS, 2011)
Standards of literacy underpin wider academic attainment. Literacy supports progress in all subjects.
This is why we have a carefully designed programme outlined below to develop boys’ literacy at all stages of their education.
We work to maximise each boys’ literacy to produce boys and young men who:
We hope that the following information will help support and guide your son on his reading journey at Newcastle School for Boys from 3 to18.
EARLY YEARS FOUNDATION STAGE
Looking at books
Boys who come to school knowing about books and stories, and who regard books as a source of enjoyment, excitement and information, will already understand the purpose of reading. Through enjoying books, boys learn the fundamental facts about reading. They learn that words convey meaning, that sentences are made up of several words and that there is a vital link between the spoken word and black squiggles on paper.
Sharing stories with our friends
‘Story time’ forms an important part of our Early Years’ curriculum. Stories promote language development and listening skills. They also develop and enrich boys’ desire to read. Through stories – fact and fiction – we can introduce ideas and topics. Thinking about stories and encouraging reflection and questions, helps boys gain a better understanding of language. Discussing a shared story helps a boy to distinguish between the imaginary world of story, and the real world. Bed-time stories are a wonderful way to share and enjoy a book with your son, discussing what is happening in the pictures and spotting words that he may know.
Playing with words
We introduce letters, words and sentences to explain the nature of writing. The ‘large sentence making approach’ lends itself to explaining these terms, and allows boys to handle words and make sense of print.
At this stage, boys begin making their own reading books by cutting and sticking words and pictures. Through the stages mentioned, your son will have learned to:
These processes develop the skills boys need for reading and writing and encourage confidence in the handling of words. To keep you involved with what he is doing at School, your son will bring his words home in order that you can support and share his learning.
Learning about letters and sounds
Our boys are taught letters and sounds using a multi-sensory approach, based on games, activities and most of all fun! The letters are taught in a specific order and they begin to blend sounds to form simple two and three letter words. They are also taught to segment words.
The boys begin to recognise pairs of letters that form single sounds such as ‘sh’, and, by the end of Reception, most boys can build and spell a wide variety of words using their emerging phonic skills.
INFANTS (Years 1 and 2)
Throughout their time at school, the help you give your son with reading is very important. The more opportunities he has to enjoy reading at home the better. Little and often usually works best, so we would ask that you hear your child read or share a book with them every day.
If your child can’t read a particular word, you could:
Which books can my child choose?
We use both reading scheme and ‘real’ books which are organised into colour bands. Class teachers will advise in reading records on the appropriate level of reading for your son.
JUNIORS (Years 3 to 6)
There are many ways to help encourage junior aged boys to keep reading with passion and interest. Through the junior years you will see your son develop as a reader but also see him develop preferences, tastes and opinions. This can be a critical time in developing a lifelong love of reading and the following will help.
SENIOR SCHOOL (Years 7 to 13)
The gift of reading enables us to become better communicators and listeners and to engage with the wider world more fully. Boys who read for pleasure perform better across the curriculum. Their language and comprehension skills are stronger because they are used to seeing words in a variety of contexts.
Within the English subject area, we encourage reading for pleasure by having a weekly library visit in Years 7 to 9 during which the boys bring a book they are currently reading at home.
According to the age of your son you can help promote reading at home in a number of ways:
We hope that the following list of recommended reads is helpful in supporting your son as he develops a lifelong love of reading.
Nursery and Reception
Hairy Maclary by Lynley Dodd
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson
Harry and the Dinosaurs by Ian Whybrow
Kipper by Mick Inkpen
Percy the Park Keeper by Nick Butterworth
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Anything by Julia Donaldson
The Story of Babar by Jean de Brunhof
Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs byGiles Andreae
Ping Pong Pig by Caroline Jayne Church
Hairy Maclary by Lynley Dodd
How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers
Peace at Last by Jill Murphy
The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton
The Sheep Pig by Dick King-Smith
Just William by Richmal Crompton
The Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling
Any Roald Dahl book, but paricularly The Twits, Fantastic Mr Fox and
George's Marvellous Medicine
Captain Underpants by Dave Pilkey
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown
Horrid Henry by Francesca Simon
Roman Mysteries series by Caroline Lawrence
The Firework-Maker’s Daughter by Philip Pullman
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss
Kensuke’s Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo
Kasper in the Glitter by Philip Ridley
Asterix and Obelix by Goscinny and Uderzo
Anything by Roald Dahl
The Famous Five/Secret Seven by Enid Blyton
Harry Potter by J.K.Rowling
How to Train your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
Gangster Granny by David Walliams
The Tripods Trilogy by John Christopher
Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome
His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Rikki-Tikki-Tavi by Rudyard Kipling
The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks
The Snow Spider by Jenny Nimmo
The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliffe
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
The Hobbit by J.R.R.Tolkien
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S.Lewis
The Silver Sword by Ian Seraillier
The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
The Outsiders by S E Hinton
Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby
Touching the Void by Joe Simpson
Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne
1984 by George Orwell
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
Maze Runner by James Dashner