Drop in on DEAR 3.2

The current focus of the Authors Page on the DEAR Homepage is…

Giles Andreae and his hilarious book Pants!


 Pants by Giles Andreae and read by Lenny Henry .


Something a little bit silly in the lead up to National Love Libraries Day

Book of the Week




 Click HERE to find out if this book is still available from the MRC.


Reading Enjoyment, Attitudes, Behaviour, and Attainment

Last week I shared a summary of the NLT (National Literacy Trust) research report called “Mapping the interrelationships of reading enjoyment, attitudes, behaviour and attainment” and the full report is available to download here.

Part of my summary is below and has obvious links for our continued focus on Reading for Pleasure to feed into Literacy levels and attitudes.


Reading Behaviour (whether they take part in reading and/or literacy activities)

Reading Enjoyment (is reading a positive experience)

Reading Attitudes (what they think about reading)

Reading Attainment (reading ability level or how well they can read)

It is often said that there is appositive relationship between enjoyment, attitudes, behaviour and attainment, with pupils who enjoy reading or writing having more positive attitudes towards it, doing more and thereby getting better at it. This report starts to explore this hypothesis based upon research including their own.

The findings underscore the importance of developing effective methods to encourage children and young people to read for pleasure.

Evidence for a relationship between reading attainment and reading enjoyment

The evidence of a relationship between these is equivocally positive. However which comes first?

The relationship between reading attitudes and attainment

Is clear and the evidence more unanimous in that research has repeatedly found that positive reading attitudes are linked to achievement.

Those who are not good at reading often develop negative attitudes towards it. Creating a vicious circle with a widening the gap between them and their peers… These negative attitudes can often be reversed by intervention programmes that helped to improve their skills, change their view of themselves as readers, thereby motivating them to persevere and improve.

Pupils who read for fun had higher reading achievement than those reading for fun less frequently.

As reading amount increases, reading achievement increases, which, in turn, increases reading amount.

Behaviour and attainment

87% of students who said they read for fun at least once a month attained a proficient reading level. The highest scorers were children who read for pleasure every day.

Evidence shows that those identified as reluctant and disaffected readers became drawn into reading as their perceptions of their abilities as readers and self-confidence improved.

Those who read below their expected level for their age are less likely to be reading every day.

More young people who were reading below the level expected for their age agreed with statements such as reading is more for girls than boys; that reading is hard; that they cannot find things to read that interest them; and that they do not read as well as their class mates.

Research consistently shows that those who read more are better readers!



The findings underscore the importance of developing effective methods to encourage young people to read for pleasure.

Causality is no doubt complex in that enjoyment, attitudes, behaviour and attainment reinforce one another.

The paper found that the model of best fit is one where reading enjoyment is a doubly powerful source of influence, being related to attainment both directly and indirectly through its relationship with reading behaviour, which in turn, is related to reading attainment.  

Reading Behaviour is perhaps the only element that definitely cannot be removed from the cycle. You may not have positive attitudes about reading, but as long as you still do it, you will still do better than if you do not do it at all and have positive attitudes. Could attitudes and enjoyment be described as enhancers?





Coming Soon Author Visit…

Part of our celebrations for World Book Day on 1st March 2012 we have invited Author Malcolm Rose to our Academy.


He will be spending the morning with our Year 8 students before visitng a neighboring school in the afternoon.

He writes thrillers and adventure stories all with a scientific thread – his characters quite often use forensic science.

Students will be able to pre-order his books for signing on the day.

Carnegie Long List – continuing the challenge to read them all….

I’m setting myself the challenge to read all of the books on the long list before the winner is announced. 52 titles in 6 months. That’s 2 a week….. I’d better get reading!

Since my last post I have read….

We Can Be Heroes by Catherine Bruton

The author has spent a great deal of time researching the childen who lost a parent in the 9-11 attacks, this has clearly fed heavily into this book and provides a realistic touch to an otherwise improbable story. Overactive imaginations, racial misunderstandings and a scattering of broken homes all lead to a hyped up summer adventure., or should that be mis-adventure!


Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

Another grief striken book. Andi is still grieving for her brother, her mother is isn’t coping and her father is often absent. He does whisk her off to Paris to work on her school work whilst her Mum is in hospital, and that’s where the story really begins. Apart from the clunky consequences that littered the story I really enjoyed reading it. Who else cuold combine grief with ghosts and the French Revolution but Donnelly? A gripping read, that almost went off the rails – but just managed to retain enough realism at the end to be a satisfying and educating read.

Everybody Jam by Ali Lewis

Another story about grief. (This Carnegie long list is getting really depressing!) This time set in the Australian outback. Danny lost his brother a year ago and no one talks about it, but his sister reveals that she’s pregnant, a so a  ‘Pommie’ comes to stay to help and during the annual Muster, and a drought that threatens their livelihood events take hold of Danny and help him to accept and move on.




 Books I’ve read so far….




Wikipedia – Last Weeks Blackout

On Wednesday last week Wikipedia went on strike and withdrew its English based Wikipedia site.


Well there’s a bill in the U.S. Senate that if passed would put publishing freedom severely at risk, and could shut down entire sites at the whim of media companies. Fight for the Future created this nifty video to sum it up better than I can.

Since many students often use Wikipedia as their first (and often only (don’t get me started!)) source of information I thought I’d promote some alternatives duing ‘Blackout Wednesday”. These were displayed on the Academy screens.

As they say if you need to know more about how to access any of these databases – then please pop into the MRC and ask one of the team.







Book of the Week


 Click HERE to find out if this book is still available from the MRC.