Children who enjoy reading very much are five times more likely to score above average than below average in reading tests, new research by the National Literacy Trust has revealed. Conversely, of children who do not read outside of the classroom, 45 per are below average readers, while only nine per cent are above average readers.
The study of 17,000 school pupils is the largest ever study of children’s attitudes to reading and writing in Britain. It also found that children who consider writing to be boring are three times more likely to be below average writers than above average writers.
“This new evidence supports what our experience tells us about the relationship between pupils enjoying reading, writing and communication and their achievement”, says the Trust’s Director, Jonathan Douglas. “The simple fact is that if children do not enjoy reading in school and do not read outside of the classroom, there will be an impact on their potential achievement both in literacy and across the curriculum.
The findings are published in the 2011/12 Schools Guide to Literacy, which also provides the Trust’s programme to support schools in developing literacy. The Guide suggests that while synthetic phonics play a significant role in the teaching of literacy, they are only part of the picture.
The Guide can be downloaded at: www.literacytrust.org.uk/guide