Why we must encourage young people to read

We are very fortunate to live in a society where technology is fantastically advanced, and information is available to the masses at the touch of a button. For many people, having their minds filled by vivid images from the television or the latest mind-blowing computer game is a great way to relax, so reading is not seen to be of much use or interest.

Reading, however, is crucial to every young person’s success. Reading helps young minds develop socially and intellectually, and inspires creativity and imagination far more than any computer game can do.

It’s not just the act of reading that is important, though – the book chosen for reading needs to be suitably challenging as well, because there is a clear link between reading and comprehending more challenging books, and greater academic achievement.

Research by the Daily Telegraph in 2010 revealed that rising numbers of 13 and 14-year-olds – including the brightest pupils – are opting for simple texts aimed at children towards the end of primary school.

Dundee University analysed the reading habits of 300,144 children in 1,605 primary and secondary schools throughout the UK.  Their report said that although the average book difficulty rose throughout primary school, with children aged seven and eight focusing on texts orientated towards nine-year-olds, on average, Year 9 students – those aged 13 and 14 – were reading books suitable for 10-year-olds.

Reading a suitably challenging book for just 10 minutes per day has clear benefits to every young person. 
Reading:

  • develops good spelling
  • builds vocabulary
  • develops good grammar in the child’s own writing
  • builds a healthy imagination

Please click the links below to find out how you can help your son/daughter’s reading.

How can I encourage my son/daughter to read?

A handy checklist of suggestions for encouraging reluctant readers.

Which reading books are recommended?

A series of reading lists for Key Stage 3, 4 and 5 students.

How do you encourage and support reading at Copleston?

A Document detailing how reading is encouraged and supported at Copleston.