Westbourne Prep School’s Guide to Summer Reading

25th July 2018

Childhood is a time when the love of reading and literature has the chance to blossom and with the freedom and flexibility of the summer holidays there is no better time to get reading! Joanna Chinnock, Deputy Head at Wesbourne School shares her ideas to ignite your child’s love of literature and really help them prepare for the busy winter term ahead. September will be here before we know it!

School summer holidays are the perfect time to encourage children to fall in love with reading and a great opportunity to discover reading as one of life’s ultimate relaxation tools. As well as providing an escape from life’s stresses, reading is often cited as being a tonic for the soul and of course, it offers a wonderful opportunity for your child to fully immerse themselves in their imagination.

Across all ages, reading organically increases vocabulary, with children, it encourages problem-solving skills, extends knowledge and develops imagination. All great habits, but learning to enjoy a book takes practice. A child is more likely to become a more habitual reader if they choose a book that interests them. Remember, “you might want your 8-year old to settle down on the beach reading a historical novel, but if they will be more engaged with the most recent ‘Ripley’s Believe it or not’ … let them!”

Summer Reading Can Mean Being Read To!

Westbourne firmly believe that children are never too old to be read to and this is particularly the case with reluctant readers. During the Prep School day, Westbourne children love it when we read a chapter of their class book to them.

Why? It’s relaxing!

It provides a wonderful opportunity for children to lose themselves in the pleasure of an immersive story, drift away for a moment to a desert island, or daydream up to the International Space Station …if only for a fleeting moment!

That said, they are still learning. Children who are read to, learn all important listening and attention skills, as well as learning fluency.

As children grow in confidence and actively choose books of interest to either read independently, or share, they become even more invested in both the stories and their own success.

Summer Reading Means Reading Together

Summer is the perfect time to get children reading out loud, shout it out this summer! Reading out loud develops those all important skills of learning fluency, understanding when to use intonation and exploring how to use expression when reading. Developed within the home, or holiday environment, reading out loud inevitably builds overall confidence.

Westbourne firmly believe that becoming a confident reader is the bedrock of a successful education. Discussing and sharing books with your child can help build empathy and support problem solving around some of life’s challenges.

A great way to develop is to spend time with a child reading a book which is ‘just right’ then explore a book which may be a little more challenging as a ‘read out loud’ book. Confidence and literacy going hand in hand.

You can view Westbourne’s recommended book list here, which includes a range of stories for children from Year 2, to the experienced Prep School Reader.

We hope you enjoy the recommendations – happy reading!