Education Matters

How to improve boys’ literacy

Posted by Jason Cheers on Nov 13, 2015 6:00:00 AM

How to improve boys’ literacyLiteracy is at the core of learning. As a parent, you can have a profound impact on your son’s literacy learning, especially in relation to reading.

Evidence from around the globe has shown that boys, in general, demonstrate weaker literacy skills in comparison with girls. At Trinity our emphasis is on ‘which boys’ rather than ‘all boys’, as we acknowledge the individual needs boys bring to their literacy learning, as well as their unique social and cultural backgrounds.

We aim to challenge societal notions that limit boys’ development of literacy skills to ensure they have every opportunity to achieve the best educational outcomes in all areas of their schooling life. Parents are essential in delivering the ‘reading for pleasure and purpose’ message to all boys – something that is vital in shaping their attitudes towards literacy and their willingness to learn.

Here are five key strategies you can use to support your son’s reading at home:

  1. Have a wide variety of books (fiction and non-fiction) and other forms of reading material available throughout the house. Boys tend to enjoy reading stories that reflect the image they have of themselves – graphic novels, books in series, humour, action and adventure books are great examples to engage boys.
  2. Allow your son choice over his reading, and value this choice – regardless of the perceived quality or educational value.
  3. Have regular conversations, in a casual and non-judgemental way, about the books your son is reading as well as the books you are reading. Showing your son the importance that reading has in your life can have a positive impact.
  4. Talk with your son about the purpose and role that the book he is reading for school has in relation to his learning. This is especially important when the book doesn’t necessarily fit within the genre he is typically engaged with.
  5. Ensure role modelling is demonstrated towards reading at home. According to researchers, fathers and male adult role models play a critical role in a boy’s literacy development. If boys don’t see the male adults in their lives reading and discussing the books they’re reading (not just magazines and newspapers), they are not receiving key messages about the importance reading has to the lives of boys and men.

It is crucial that we continue to work together, school and home, in providing the very best learning environment for our boys to enhance their literacy skills, and for them to grow and develop into fine young men.

The School’s library website promotes a range of valuable books for boys at

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Topics: Literacy, Reading