Literacy Learning

Building Better Readers Parents Guide

BAA How To Support Literacy At Home

BAA Literacy Overview For Parents


Supporting our students’ reading habits remains important to us at Bluecoat Aspley Academy. We realise that this can be tricky at the moment, so we’ve found some resources to help you and your child. Your child will also receive regular email communication from staff, including our library team, with other recommendations and ideas to support their reading.

Access books and activities shared by famous authors from home at the Virtual Library

If at all possible encourage your child to read for 20 minutes each day and then talk about what they’ve read.

Some ideas that might help could include:

  • Reading as a family – everyone reads for 20 minutes and then talks about what they’ve read.
  • Organising an online chat for your child with their friends or family to share about the book that they’re reading.
  • Setting up a book club with friends or family and chat through your thoughts about a book that you’ve all read.
  • Trying to read something a little different – there are plenty of ideas for all the family at https://www.lovereading.co.uk
    and book recommendations each day from librarians at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPUIqlJM0aieXdq-LxKDvWA/live 
  • Using the resources on Accelerated Reader. Year 7 (and some Year 8) students can log in at https://ukhosted26.renlearn.co.uk/2246401 and use their usual password. There are non-fiction articles available as well as lots of quizzes for books that they may be able to access from home. For more information (click here).
  • Completing the Library Challenges for Year 7 and 8 students
    click here
    Considering the ideas and suggestions from the library staff in your regular emails, including ‘First Page Fridays’
  • as well as recording the books you’re reading on your Lockdown log.
    click here
  • click here

Not all reading has to be from the page – Audio books are fantastic:

  • The Kindle App – Play Store/Apple Store, can be used on a phone or tablet so you don’t need a Kindle device. Many older books are available for free on Kindle, newer ones are often on 99p promotions.
  • You may have a Spotify account, did you that audiobooks are also available on this platform?

We realise that not everyone has access to books, in which case you could:

  • Use the National Literacy Trust Virtual School Library – features a different author each week, books are free to read online, there are author videos and linked activities. https://wordsforlife.org.uk/virtual-school-library/
  • Read the National Literacy Trust Book of Hopes – a collection of short stories and poems by popular authors available to read online. https://literacytrust.org.uk/family-zone/9-12/book-hopes/
  • Oxford Owl have an ebook catalogue, which may be suitable for Y7 but might help some of our students who find reading hard. https://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/for-home/find-a-book/library-page/?view=image&query=&type=book&age_group=Age+6-7&level=&level_select=&book_type=&series=

And remember that texts can inspire us:

For those students who have received a book from Bluecoat Aspley, here’s a help sheet that can support your reading.

Click here for help sheet


We love reading what our students’ write so we do hope that they’re finding some time to put pen to paper or to type up their thoughts.

If you’re looking for inspiration, you may want to encourage your child to write thank you notes or ‘thinking of you’ cards to family, friends or those in our community. If they want to thank a teacher, they can send an online message at https://thankateacher.co.uk/thank-a-teacher-day/

Students may want to explore our 200 Word Challenges or have a go at using unusual images at https://www.pobble365.com to ignite your imagination.


We realise that human interaction is limited at the moment but we’re thankful for the technology that is available to help us to stay in touch. Conversations on phones and through online video are a great way to keep in touch and to help our youngsters practise their oracy skills. Make sure that you do check the privacy and safety settings though.

Similarly, during this unprecedented time, our youngsters have plenty of questions. Talking through their fears, anxieties and questions is a great way to support their mental well-being but also to enable them to discuss and refine their verbal skills. There are some ideas and resources to support oracy during this time at https://noisyclassroom.com/category/keep-kids-talking/

Contact Us

Bluecoat Aspley Academy
Aspley Lane

E-mail: office@bluecoataspley.co.uk
Tel: 0115 929 7445

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