Improving Your Child’s Reading Age

What is a Reading Age and why is it important?

At Ashton on Mersey School we believe that all pupils require excellent reading skills in order to learn, communicate and thrive. A child’s Reading Age takes into account the types of words which they can read independently and the level of vocabulary which they are able to understand.

Building Learning Power

Building Learning Power

Ideally, a child’s Reading Age should be in line with or above their actual age; some children will reach a Reading Age which is several years higher than their actual age. However, this can be a challenge for some pupils. This is why we aim to ensure that all pupils are given the opportunity to boost their reading age and skills in a variety of different ways.

‘The combined effect on children’s progress of reading books often, going to the library regularly and reading newspapers at 16 was four times greater than the advantage children gained from having a parent with a degree.’

Institute Of Education research study by Dr Alice Sullivan and Matt Brown

What are we doing in school to improve Reading Ages?

  • DEAR (Drop Everything and Read): an initiative to bring a love of reading and to ensure all pupils are reading regularly.
  • Reading Buddies: A scheme managed by the library which links struggling pupils with both parents and senior pupils in order to give them the support needed to build confidence.
  • Dedicated Reading Lesson: Your child will have a lesson dedicated to reading which will take place a minimum of once a fortnight. These lessons take place either in the classroom or in the library and help to improve extended concentration skills.
  • Lexia Programme: This programme is designed to target an individual’s reading weaknesses and provide personalised intervention for that pupil. Last year a small group of pupils were involved in piloting the Lexia programme at Ashton on Mersey School and on average they made Reading Age progress of two years within the six month trial.
  • Intervention: Support and guidance is offered to pupils who struggle with their reading by experienced members of the English Faculty.

What can you do at home?

  • Regular Reading: The most important thing to help boost your child’s reading is to make sure that they regularly take part in reading a variety of challenging texts. A list of recommended reading for different age groups is available in the links section below; if you are unsure about which books your child should be reading then take a look for a little bit of inspiration.
  • Library Visits: Has your child ever visited your local library? In school, pupils have access to a well-managed and generously stocked library. Giving them the chance to experience this in the local community can boost their interest, enjoyment, and give them real world reading experience.
  • Preparation: You can help to ensure that your child is well prepared for the reading initiatives currently taking place in school by making sure they have a reading book with them every day.
  • Exposure: It is extremely beneficial for pupils to have as much exposure to reading as possible so that they know that reading is an integral part of everyday life. Some things to try:
    • Talk about reading – Ask them what they are enjoying reading at the moment and tell them about some of your favourite ever books.
    • Don’t just read books – Try newspapers, magazines, comics or even the internet.
    • Let them read what they are interested in – There are so many fantastic children’s authors now which you may not have heard of. If you are unsure whether a book is suitable, reading the blurb on the back and the first few pages should give you a clearer picture.
  • Rewards: Ensuring that reading has a high profile in your home will promote a healthy interest in books. Rewarding reading can also help reluctant readers to get into a good routine whilst also supporting avid readers to continue their good practice.

When and where can I find out my child’s Reading Age?

We will assess your child’s reading age regularly in order to identify their reading needs. This enables us to track your child’s progress and areas for development throughout the year.

Your child will be tested regularly in school and this information will be available on pupil reports. Pupils will be given information about their Reading Age from their English teacher.

Recommended Reading

Girls’ Recommended Reading list Adobe PDF

Boys’ Recommended Reading list Adobe PDF

Useful Links

  1. To become a Reading Volunteer at Ashton on Mersey School, contact our school librarian:
    Stephanie Booth –
  2. Find a selection of books suitable for your child:
  3. Ashton on Mersey Parents in Partnership Information:
  4. KS3 English Bitesize:
  5. KS4 English Bitesize:
  6. Trafford Council Library Information: