How to support your child with reading

At AMSI, we recognise the importance of working closely with parents and carers to support pupil progress. One of the easiest but most important ways that parents and carers can support their child’s progress at home is to encourage them to read. We recommend that every student should be reading for around 30-45 minutes per day: ideally, this should be part of their daily routine.

In order to support parents and carers, we have outlined some key advice for ensuring that your child develops the reading habits that will support their academic progress at school.

How can I support my child with their reading?

The following guide, from the Department for Education, is designed specifically for parents and carers and has excellent advice on how to support your child.

DFES guide

What books should my child be reading?

Check out some of the sites below for comprehensive reading lists to suit students of all tastes and ages:

Book Trust

A list of the 24 best books written in the last 100 years for 12-14 year olds.

Love Reading 4 Schools

Year 7 Reading List

Year 8 Reading List

Year 9 Reading List

Year 10/ 11 Reading List

Reluctant readers (Y7-9)

Reading List

Diverse Voices

Reading List

The CILIP Carnegie Award Shortlist


Where can I find books for my child to read?

As well as the school library, Islington has several public libraries with extensive children’s fiction sections, which are all free to join. The nearest libraries to AMSI are:

North Library

Manor Gardens, London N7 6JX

N4 Library

26 Blackstock Rd, Finsbury Park, London N4 2DW

Archway Library

23 Highgate Hill, Archway, London N19 5LP

My child used to read a lot but has now lost interest: what can I do?

Here are some tips from Book Trust for promoting reading in your home with older children:

  1. Ensure that your children see you reading. It doesn’t matter if it’s the newspaper, a cookery book, romantic novel, detective mystery, short stories, computer manual, magazine – anything!
  2. Encourage children to join in – ask a child to read out a recipe for you as you cook, or the TV listings when you are watching TV.
  3. Give books or book tokens as presents (and encourage others to do so!)
  4. Visit the local library together on a regular basis, and enjoy spending time choosing new books.
  5. Encourage children to carry a book at all times so they can read on journeys or in spare moments – you can do this, too!
  6. Keep reading together. There are lots of books that both adults and young people can enjoy. Try The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon, the Harry Potter series, or The Life of Pi by Yann Martel. Read books you can all talk about but make the talk light-hearted, not testing or over-questioning.
  7. Go to libraries or bookshops when authors are visiting. Children and teenagers love meeting their favourite writers – Jacqueline Wilson and Anthony Horowitz always have signing queues that are miles long!
  8. Make sure your home is a reading home – have a family bookshelf and make sure there are shelves in your children’s bedrooms as well.
  9. Don’t panic if your child reads the same book over and over again – let’s be honest, we’ve probably all done it!
  10. Encourage your children and their friends to swap books with each other. This will encourage them to talk and think about the books they are reading

My child says they don’t like reading: what can I do?

Author Jeff Norton has some advice for children (and parents of children) who are reluctant readers: Article