Upper primary to early secondary


Reading is still important

As children get older you might find that they lose interest in books as other things come into their lives. It’s important to try to create a reading culture in your home – let your son/daughter see you reading, talk about the books you like and continue to read to your child for as long as you can. This creates an association of comfort and closeness with reading.

The Scottish Book Trust offers advice on sharing books with your child: http://www.scottishbooktrust.com/learning/learning-resources/resource/reading-with-children-and-teenagers-top-tips-sheets-for-parents 

Remember as well that not eveyone likes fiction (made up stories). Some children may not enjoy stories, but they might be fascinated by sport or cars or films or animals – non fiction books can be a great way to encourage reading as well.

non-fiction is great to read too

http://www.scottishbooktrust.com/ offers ideas for how to get back into reading with your child, booklists for different ages, information about writing competitions and lots more – it’s well worth a visit. They also have a section where you can see authors talking about their writing, aimed at different ages – http://www.scottishbooktrust.com/authors-live

Brightly also offers a range of advice about reading with your child and what to read

Oxford Owls has 250 free eBooks which you can access once you’ve registered as well as support materials which you can use.

The Reading Agency has information on reading including summer reading challenges your child can take part in.

Puffin books have great links, activities and ideas for reading

Education Scotland’s Parentzone has further advice on enouraging reading, including fun ideas to encourage good reading habits and videos on how to encourage teenagers to read

The National Literacy Tust also has some good ideas and resources on their Words for Life website.

More booklists can be found for the following ages, amongst others:

11 + readers

Moving from primary to secondary school

12-13 year olds

Ideas for manga titles (Japanese style comic books)

Perhaps your child finds the act of reading difficult. While it is important for them still to read text to improve their skills, there are many audio books which can also be accessed. Audio books are also a great thing to play in the car or download onto a tablet or phone, whether someone finds reading difficult or not.
Try playing audiobooks in the car or at home

Some useful sites include:




The 1st Minister’s Reading Challenge is designed for pupils in P4 to P7 and aims to encourage a lifeling love of reading.


Just as when your children were younger, it’s important to keep asking questions, but knowing what type of questions to ask can be difficult.

Here are some links to pages which explain how you can develop your child’s deep levels of understanding and analysis by using questions which encourage higher order thinking skills (sometimes called HOTs)



Developing thinking skills is a key part of developing literacy


You can carry on encouraging your child to write stories and play with language.

Read Write Think have some good ideas for how to go about this: http://www.readwritethink.org/parent-afterschool-resources/tips-howtos/help-child-write-story-a-30593.html

If you’re worried about basic skills, there are some sites which can help to further develop these:


You could also use the Argyll and Bute literacy box resources:

Reminder cards for basic skills

Reminders of literacy skills

Engaging Boys

If you are concerned that your son is not engaging in literacy, this advice from Oxford Owl may be useful: How to encourage boys to learn