Literacy and Numeracy at NTC

Literacy Information

How can I help my son with his reading?

Reading for Talk is a brilliant way to encourage reading with your child.

It is really important that your son reads at home, with you. Not only will reading at home with your son help his learning, but it is a really good way for you to build your communication skills with each other through the discussion that reading generates.

Here are some tips for reading together:

If your son is a reluctant reader, go to the library/bookshop or surf the internet together to find something he might like to read. Discussing the books you both might enjoy reading together is much better than getting into an argument about what you think your child should be reading.

Sometimes, some boys prefer to read non-fiction texts and magazines. This is absolutely fine, and will help you to generate a discussion about what you are reading.

The most important thing to do when reading is to talk about the content of the book. You can even pretend you did not know some of the facts that you might be reading about – pretending to learn along with your child will put him at his ease.
Ask your child what specific words mean as you come across them – try using a dictionary (using your Smartphone is another way to engage his interest as you both look up words together). You can also ask your son how characters or people might be feeling about certain situations that arise out of the book that you are reading – engaging his emotional intelligence as you encourage him to think about others is really essential to his general awareness of the world and his understanding of it.
If your son is in GLAS (Year 7 and 8 students only), don’t forget that he has a Reading Passport that he needs to fill in. This covers a number of genres, including reading a magazine. We award 50 VIVOs every time a passport is filled in, as well as 5 VIVOs every time a page is completed.
Audio books are another wonderful resource that you can use to engage your child in a story. Stories were always traditionally told before people started to write them down. Your library will have a good selection, and there are thousands available online. You can listen to them in the car together – but remember to talk about what you are hearing at some point.
If your son is in Key Stage 4, he will be studying either: ‘Of Mice and Men’ by John Steinbeck or ‘Heroes’ by Robert Cormier’s. Check with your son’s English teacher as to what novel he is studying. Buying the book for your son and reading it together will really help your son to learn the plot and characters. Encourage him to talk about the issues that the book raises and ensure that he reads the book regularly – reading the book once is definitely not enough!  He should keep it by his bed and it is fine to just delve into exerts of the story – this is what will happen in the exam, and he will need to focus on one small part of the novel only for much of it.
There are thousands of online websites to help you with your son’s reading, and we of course are happy to support you in school. If you do require any further help, please do not hesitate to contact Ms Johnson, the Director of Literacy,


Get Gravesham Reading

Get Gravesham Reading is an initiative that launched this year in order to do exactly what it says on the tin – get people in our local area to read more! Of course our particular focus is on young people and as a GGR school we have implemented a number of reading interventions to ensure that all of our students receive the best possible opportunities to read widely, thus enhancing their literacy needs and their abilities to access the curriculum.

One of the initiatives that we are running in Years 7 and 8 are the Reading Passports. Every student will be issued with a new one in September 2013. We will be encouraging all students to participate in this scheme, which encourages children to read a wide variety of genres. There are prizes of 100 VIVOS that will be awarded by Ms Johnson to the students who can demonstrate excellent progress with their reading and completion of Reading Passports, so let’s get reading!

Key Stage 4 Reading Zone

Last year, the Key Stage 4 Reading Zone was set up in Zone 3, where Key Stage 4 (Years 9 to 11) students have their English lessons, in order to encourage our older students to read more widely around the curriculum, and to extend their knowledge further of fiction texts. All students are asked if they would like to take part. This builds on the excellent reading interventions that take place in Key Stage Three.

We are really pleased with the participation of the students; we have had a really good response and it has been so fantastic to see our older boys reading for pleasure, or just taking some time to read the newspaper. We have also set up a similar zone in the Sixth Form Area, where students can sit and read a topical magazine, or the daily news at their leisure.

As a parent, we of course would appreciate your support if you could encourage your child to read widely throughout his school life, in order to equip him with the literacy skills he needs to be able to access a wide variety of texts in his adult life. If you are concerned about your son’s reading from Year 9, or if you would like to support this scheme by encouraging him to take part, please contact Ms Johnson.

Here is a list of the most popular books being read by our students at NTC at Key Stage 4:

Jack London- White Fang
Michael Lawrence- Ryan’s Brain
Michael Lawrence- Maggot Pie
J.K Rowling- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
J.K Rowling- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
J.K Rowling- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
J.K Rowling- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
J.K Rowling- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Danny Dyer-  Straight up Autobiography
Top Gear 100 Fastest Car
Top Gear 100 Maddest Cars
Maggie Stiefvater -Raven Boys
Lemony Snicket- Series of unfortunate events series
Simon Levay- When Science goes wrong
Michael Morpugo -Private Peaceful
J.R.R Tolkien -The Hobbit-There and back again
J.R.R Tolkien – Lord of the Rings the fellowship of the ring
J.R.R Tolkien  – Lord of the Rings the two towers
J.R.R Tolkien  – Lord of the Rings Return of the King
Peter Kay Auto Biography
C.S. Lewis – The Lion Witch & the Wardrobe
Suzanne Collins – The Hunger Games-
Suzanne Collins – The Hunger Games-Catching Fire
Suzanne Collins –  The Hunger Games-Mocking Bird
Garth Nix – Confusion of Princes
Paulo Coelho -The Alchemist
Nick Arnold – Horrible Science Deadly Diseases
Andy McNab – Recoil
Roald Dahl – Boy
James Dashner series – The Maze Runner
Chris Ryan – Kill Zone
Best Book of useless Information
Ultimate book of useless information
Roald Dahl- Going Solo
Machine Gunners
Steve Cole – Z-Rex
Jeff Kinney- Diary of a whimpy kid
Michelle Paver – Wolf brother
David Beckham-My Side
Chris Ryan – Crossfire
Andy Mcnab-  Recoil
Chris Ryan- The one that got away
Geography without the boring bits
Nick Arnold – Horrible Science Freaky Food
Dan Brown – The Davinci Code
Roald Dahl – Charlie and The Chocolate Factory
Jeremy Clarkson – And Another Thing
R.L Stine – Goosebumps
Stephanie Meyer- Twilight Trilogy
Terry Deary – The Terrible Tudors