We expect all learners to be reading for 20 minutes every day. Not only does it have huge benefits in preparing learners academically by developing concentration, growing memory, and improving analytical skills, but it also is an excellent way for students to reduce stress and relax after a long day of learning.

"There is a range of different activities which support pupils who join the school with weak literacy skills" - Ofsted 2018

Sometimes students can be reluctant to read; if you find your child becoming a reluctant reader, try these three steps to help re-instate their love of reading.

1)      Make sure they catch you reading - This is particularly pertinent for boys: they need to see male role models reading if they are to become successful readers.

2)      Read with them - Learners will really enjoy discussing with you what they have read. It also gives you opportunity to talk to your child about unfamiliar words, or any important information that arises from the book. By doing this, you will model that reading doesn't have to be taken too seriously. You can have fun and read at the same time.

3)      Get creative - Learners do not need to be reading big Victorian tomes. Some students want to read the classics, and that is absolutely fabulous. But if you find yourself with a reluctant reader, try engaging them with an ebook, or a graphic novel, or even news articles on the internet. All reading is beneficial, especially if it gives students the opportunity to come across new words. It's great to read!

If you have any questions about reading or want guidance on how to read with your children, engage them in reading, or re-enthuse them please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Rebecca Taylor

Head of English

Currently reading Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis De Bernieres.


Students at Cheney school are encouraged regularly to check their work, using purple pen, using the layers of the onion as a guide. This is to help students become truly reflective when it comes to the accuracy of their writing. There is an Onion poster up in every classroom in the school.


There is a known challenge within Schools relating to encouraging boys to read more. The National Literacy Trust has noted that girls continue to outpace boys in their enthusiasm for reading for pleasure. Their latest study also found that nearly twice as many boys as girls said they do not enjoy reading at all, by 13% to 7%. The Guardian published a great article this week, and we have pulled out some key points here:

  • Find writers boys can relate to - finding local writers online, with ideas they will relate to, worries they will share, voices they can recognise and characters that they understand
  • Get Dad reading - The best role models seem to be dads, sports coaches and athletes, men the boys aspire to be. If they experience these men reading and sharing their love of books (any kind of books) then reading is not seen as a female occupation
  • Inspire boys at home - It is often hard to find texts that both parents and teenagers can enjoy together. Reading a series of themed ‘classics’ such as all the James Bond novels, coupled with a weekly pizza and film night is a great way to create a scheduled time in the week without distractions when everyone in the family reads
  • Think about it like sport - Explaining to boys that improving their reading is like sports training or playing an instrument can do the trick: they acknowledge the effort that needs to go into these kinds of activities; knowing the brain is like a muscle that can be trained can often help. The advice I give to parents for reading at home is to find factual subjects boys might be into: sport, cars, music, computers, science; then buy a broadsheet newspaper on the day they read their specialist pull-outs. The interest in content will drive the reading which is often lengthy, with sophisticated levels of vocabulary and sentence structure.
  • Build trust - Throughout the year, choose one of your reluctant readers every week and find a book or magazine or newspaper article about one of his interests. Read things that tap into their interests and, most importantly, be patient.