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We love reading at ELC! Whale hunting...a carrot in soup...Cymbeline Igloo...

One of the key ways to boost chances of success in the 11+, Upton Hall or St. Anselm's exams is through regular reading. Those who know Rodge will know that he is always looking to boost the engagement and enjoyment students have with reading. One rule that he always follows though is that he will read the book himself. No 'taking the word of the blurb' for it or what a publisher has to say.

Current recommendations are The Heart of the Samurai, Once and Boy Underwater. All of these books have stories that stick in the mind. Japanese culture 1841 is explored in one, the Holocaust through the eyes of a child through 'Once' and mental health through the Boy Underwater.

When looking for 'Recommended Reads', Rodge looks for stories that will stimulate questions from the reader and provide opportunity for discussion with parents about topics that may not usually come up. Through these conversations, the vocabulary of the young person will develop even more strongly and of course, that will be set them up perfectly for success in the 11+, Upton Hall and St. Anselm's exams.

Another aspect we look for with the 'Recommended Reads' is for books that parents can read with their child. We want stories that will hold the interest not only of the child but also of the parent. A book that will be manageable after a day at work and possibly even be something that both readers will look forward to.

As noted earlier, reading is a key aspect of boosting the liklihood of success in entrance exams such as the 11+. Not only will the vocabulary of the children expand but the regular reading will also enhance concentration and focus as well as the ability to understand the questions themselves.

One question we are often asked is 'How long should my child read for?'. Obviously, this could be similar to 'How long is a piece of string?'. That isn't much help though and we do prefer to try to be helpful. Ideally, we encourage 15 minutes of reading a night. Often we hear of this increasingly rapidly to 20,30,60 minutes or the 'turn out the light and go to sleep!' level. Research is now consistently proving that regular reading will support a rapid growth in reading age for students. Again, if success in the Wirral 11+, Upton Hall or St. Anselm's exam is part of the increased focus with reading, the boost of the reading age is essential as there are a range of question types there that will deeply explore the vocabulary strength of the student.

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