Highly engaging and motivated the staff

Rochelle Thompson, Deputy Head, Kings School

Boys Literacy : History of Underachievement

Boys’ underachievement in literacy is a significant concern for schools across the country. In a National Literacy Trust survey, 76% of UK schools said boys in their school did not do as well in reading as girls. 82% of schools have developed their own strategies to tackle this.

The issue is deep-seated. Test results consistently show this is a long-term and international trend. Boys’ attitudes towards reading and writing, the amount of time they spend reading and their achievement in literacy are all poorer than those of girls.

Boys Literacy and Reading

Research undertaken by the Department for Education found that reading for pleasure is the single most influential factor in indicating pupils’ future success. This leaves boys at a significant disadvantage when it comes to academic attainment and, subsequently, in obtaining university offers. 

The Boys’ Reading Commission has found that boys’ underachievement
in reading is associated with the interplay of three factors:

  • The home and family environment, where girls are more likely to be bought books and taken to the library, and where mothers are more likely to support and role model reading;
  • The school environment, where teachers may have a limited knowledge of contemporary and attractive texts for boys and where boys may not be given the opportunity to develop their identity as a reader through experiencing reading for
  • Male gender identities which do not value learning and reading as a mark of success.

What are the solutions?

  • Do your boys need a different approach? How can you support their learning to improve engagement, motivation and inspiration?
  • How can they be encouraged to become quality writers? How can they learn to reflect and improve their work?
  • What inspires boys to read? What do they need to enjoy reading and use this to improve their writing? How can they be encouraged to read ‘widely’?
  • What are their strengths and how can good teaching and the curriculum influence boys’ progress in Reading & Writing?

This course provides a useful insight into how to support and challenge boys to achieve better in Reading & Writing. The strategies and ideas also support teaching & learning in Reading & Writing to benefit all pupils – girls too!

Understanding Boys

• What does the evidence tell us about how boys think and feel?
• Exploring Socio-Cultural issues related to boys and linking to learning

Teaching & Learning

• Creating ‘boy friendly’ learning environment
• Engaging boys with Reading
• Directing the development of boys’ writing

Whole-School Strategies

• Celebrating boys’ literacy development
• Involving parents

‘Reading 4 Writing’ – a curriculum approach

• Explore how we link reading and writing to promote boys’ progress
• Marking for improvement strategies

Free CPD Consultation

If you want to learn more about this or other In-school INSET courses, then don’t hesitate to get in touch in one of the following ways:

Our enquires form

Email: enquiries@jmcinset.com

Call: +44 208 5314812

Contact us today for a FREE consultation on your development needs.


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