How can I help my child in English?
In the English department we think that reading is a vital part of every child’s development and ability to succeed in every aspect of school life. The more reading a child does, the more their reading will improve. The key focus here for each stage of your child’s development is a key question attached to their reading. Reading for 15 to 20 minutes a day can improve skills of understanding, analysis and critical thinking if paired with some discussion about the reading taking place. Libraries are great for free reading material, as is the internet and suggested reading material is attached to each key question.
At each stage students should be reading for a minimum of 15 minutes a day and then a discussion based on the key question should take at least 15 minutes.
What is the story about?
Read for at least 15 minutes per day and discuss the content of the material (novels, short stories and graphic novels are best)
Who is the text written for?
Read for at least 15 minutes a day and discuss who the text has been written for (audience) and how your child knows (novels and short stories can still be used, but magazine articles and web pages such as blogs can be a good substitute)
Why has the text been written?
Read for at least 15 minutes a day and discuss why the text has been written (purpose) and how your child knows (newspapers and non-fiction can be added to the reading material to broaden the range)
What effects does the text create?
Students should be reading for more than 15 minutes a day at this stage and should be able to use the tools they have learnt in English lessons to analyse the words and techniques used in the text. They should be able to discuss the effects that a text achieves and how the effect is created (a range of non-fiction should be used such as broadsheet newspapers and film reviews)
How successful is the text at creating effects?
Students should be able to discuss what they have read critically by giving their opinion on any given text. They should be able to tell you how and why a text is or is not successful in some detail.