Creative writing questions have become increasingly popular choices in 11+ papers. This topic is often underestimated and is approached as an easy task, but can be difficult for a lot of students.
Encouraging students to read is one of the most beneficial things that parents and teachers should aim to do. Reading can be a challenge for many students as they may find the concept quite boring due to the slow-paced nature of the activity. However, reading is an activity that is hugely beneficial for all students, as such they should be pushed to start as early as possible. An emphasis on reading helps to develop higher levels of focus and concentration and strengthens students understanding of the wider world. Reading has been proven to broaden the developing mind and strengthen concepts and ideas that further build their curiosity. Additionally, it is shown to reduce stress and increase relaxation – an investigation into the benefits of reading has proven that individuals who had read for at least six minutes a day exhibited slower heart rates, less muscle tension, and reduced stress levels.
For younger students, it is recommended for them to start reading books as early as possible, with a greater number of illustrations. This helps children with their visual understanding of the storyboard and encourages them to start questioning concepts and build curiosity.
Check out our top 3 favourite story books for young readers.
- Spot The Difference – Under the Sea
Spot the difference is a fun Search and Solve Picture Book, ideal for children aged 3-6. If your child loves solving puzzles you can purchase the book HERE. Why not check out the entire Spot the Difference Collection for more family fun.
- The Slightly Annoying Elephant
A hilarious illustrated children’s picture book from number-one bestselling author David Walliams. Big blue and bossy The Slightly Annoying Elephant will keep you laughing all week. Check it out HERE.
- I’m a Buzz, Buzz Bee
For all the budding biologists, Gosia Kozdron’s stunning picture book helps students learn about all the life cycle of bees and explore their adventures. Available to purchase now from Amazon.
With today’s advancing technology, children don’t need to have physical books; technological devices such as iPads, kindles and tablets allow for a more interactive and enjoyable reading experience. This provides a way to get kids excited about reading and story time. Below are some very popular resources you may choose to use with your kids.
Online reading Apps:
- Adventure Academy:
Online interactive activities for reading, maths and science for students in primary school. You can access the website by clicking here.
Homer also includes activities to develop children’s numeracy, creativity or logical thinking. Expert-Designed, Kid-Powered, Playful Learning. Explore Homers essential early learning app made to help kids build the confidence they need for school and life. Thoughtfully made educational games for kids aged 2-8. More information can be accessed by clicking here.
Extra source of information about recommendations for reading apps that you can download. More information can be accessed by clicking here.
Children up to age 10 and slightly older should be challenged to read books in varied genres, which can include books in fiction and non-fiction categories. Reading is a great way for older children to understand emotions and feelings – by exploring the characters within the story they better understand the people around them as they are able to empathise with them and start identifying the right from wrong.
There are several different reading genres, the more the student explores the greater their understanding of varied subject matters will be. Exploring a range of genres involves allowing a balance of both fiction and non-fiction within your child’s reading.
Non-fiction texts include biographies, encyclopaedias and historical literature. The study of autobiographies is a new and exciting way to inspire children – it helps to incentivise children through the study of successful individuals. Examples of fictional books can include folk tales, fairy tales, short stories and novels. Fantasy is a very popular fictional genre amongst children. One of the most compelling reasons for giving children fantasy is that it comments on social reality through indirections such as metaphors and can therefore deal with complex moral questions in a more playful and exaggerated manner.
Poetry is a style of writing that is unique to the students’ creative thoughts, feelings, or emotions. Students of all age groups are told to think creatively in schools – poetry is one of the more challenging styles and studying poetry can give students a new appreciation of music, theatre and the arts.
A helpful tip to follow whilst reading is to encourage the student to keep a reading journal alongside their preferred read. Within this journal, they can mention a summary of the story, the settings of the story, the main plot, alongside displaying their own opinions about what they enjoyed or disliked about the story; perhaps how they would change the plot or an aspect of the story they disliked. This motivates the student to think creatively and outside the box.
If the student is thoroughly enjoying the reading process, they can part take in competitions that allow them to display their creative academic side. They are also able to win prizes to incentivise them further. Some examples of these types of competition details can be found on: Literacy competitions website, Competitions-for-children and Reading-competition-challenge. If you are looking for extra support with your child’s reading or want to find out their reading level don’t hesitate to book a free academic evaluation with us by phone or our website!
Top five reads for kids ages 5-7:
Big Bad Bun
Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross (Andersen)
Big Bad Bun (formerly known as Fluff) has run away from home to join the Hell Bunnies. He passed the initiation ceremony of being buried up to his nose in cowpats, and has since gone on to do all sorts of baaaaad things, like getting his ear pierced and never washing his whiskers.
Where the Wild Things Are
Maurice Sendak (Red Fox)
Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak, is the story of a little boy and main character of the story, named Max. After his mother sends him to bed without dinner, Max falls asleep and his room immediately transforms into a moonlit forest surrounded by a vast ocean.
The Wild Washerwomen
John Yeoman and Quentin Blake (Andersen)
Once upon a time there were seven unhappy washerwomen. They had far too much washing to do and the owner of the laundry, Mr Balthazar Tight, was simply dreadful! So they decide to go on strike. They are so happy with their newfound freedom that it seems nobody can control them. Until along come seven woodcutters, eager to teach them a lesson. But perhaps the washerwomen will teach the woodcutters a thing or two instead, and everyone might just live happily ever after…
The Man on the Moon
Simon Bartram (Templar)
Bob has a job with a difference – he takes tours to the moon in his space rocket. He also cleans up space litter, sweeps out craters and monitors aliens. Bob is the Man who works on the Moon but doesn’t believe in aliens. One day he realises that he is lonely and needs a friend.
The Cat in the Hat
Dr Seuss (HarperCollins)
The story takes place on a rainy day when two siblings are home alone with their pet fish while their parents are out of town. A tall cat wearing a hat appears and creates havoc in the house, leaving it destroyed when his friends show up to help him clean everything up before their mother gets back from her trip.
Top 5 reads for kids aged 8-11:
The Lost Diary of Sami Star
Author: Karen McCombie
The Lost Diary of Sami Star is a heart-warming, inclusive tale of finding friendship in unlikely places and learning to be comfortable with who you are. Being at home is hard for Hannah. With Mum, Dad and Vix always fighting they’ve got no time for her or her worries, she might as well be invisible.
Author: Sangma Francis & Lisk Feng
These five kids join 15 of the top young mountaineers in the country. Once there, a legendary mountaineer puts them through a torturous training process, cutting a few each week until a final five are chosen to comprise the youngest team ever to try to reach the summit of Everest.
BOOT: Small Robot Big Adventure
Author: Shane Hegarty Illustrator: Ben Mantle
Boot is a toy who wakes up in a junkyard with only two and a half memories. Confused, he sets off to find his owner Beth, but immediately finds himself in danger as Flint, the junkyard keeper, attempts to destroy him.
Young Heroes: Inspirational Children from Around the World
Author: Lula Bridgeport Illustrator: Federica Frenna / Isabel Munoz / Julianna Swaney
This appealing, colourful book acknowledges the unsung heroes of our everyday lives, going above and beyond to help others behind the scenes. It also acts as an aspirational guide for kids who might not have considered some of these options as viable careers.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone
Author: J.K Rowling
It is a story about Harry Potter, an orphan brought up by his aunt and uncle because his parents were killed when he was a baby. Harry is unloved by his uncle and aunt but everything changes when he is invited to join Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and he finds out he’s a wizard.
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Whilst the content of the 11-Plus exam can vary slightly depending on the area of the country you are in; the main structure of the exam is the same and children undertake this every year to gain access to selective secondary schools.
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After a long school year, no one can deny that a well-earned break is needed, not only for yourselves but your child or children. Why not make the most of this time you all have as a family.