Supporting literacy learning in high school

You can support your child to develop their literacy skills through a range of speaking, listening, reading and writing activities.

In high school, students will develop and use literacy skills in all their subjects. Strong literacy skills, including good vocabulary knowledge, can influence success in all areas of learning throughout high school.

Speaking and listening

Developing speaking and listening skills is important for children to socialise, make friends and actively participate in learning activities.

  • Encourage your child to share what they are learning at school. Listen, ask questions, and discuss these topics with them.

  • Share stories from your world. Sharing memories, family traditions and history can support students in understanding their place in the broader world.

  • Introduce new words relevant to your child’s culture, experience and interests.

  • Listen to your child and encourage them to tell stories, retell favourite events or create new stories based on their surroundings.

  • Encourage creativity – use visual cues such as family photographs or people you see on a walk to create new ‘characters’, situations and events.

  • Encourage your child to listen to audio books, podcasts or stories from friends and family.


Encourage your child to read widely on subjects that interest them, both fiction and non-fiction, and share their reading with others. This will support your child to build a love of reading.

  • Encourage your child to read a range of reading materials, including books, magazines and online texts. Some of these may be about topics studied at school.

  • Talk about and share your favourite stories or books from your childhood. Children learn to love and value reading by watching, copying and interacting with others.

  • Encourage your child to borrow books or e-books from school, local or online libraries. Browse the library collection online with your child, talking about the books and covers that interest them.

  • Ask your child for reading recommendations. After reading, talk about and compare your favourite parts, characters, events and/or writing.

  • Encourage your child to read print versions of their favourite film or TV shows. Talk about how the story or character may differ and which they prefer.

  • Model reading at home, discussing news, sport or topics that interest you and your child.


Encourage your child to write in different forms about topics that interest them. This will support children to explore how messages can be communicated in different ways.

  • Look at the writing tasks your child is doing in different subjects at school. Discuss these pieces and encourage your child to share what they see as their strengths and areas for improvement.

  • Have a booklet, journal or diary that your child can write or draw in daily.

  • Ask your child to draw or write about things they like to do, or on an issue that is important to them.

  • Encourage your child to write their own story. Create illustrations and ‘publish’ digitally or in print.

  • Encourage your child to write about their world – their observations through a window, or of a family member or a pet.

  • Ask your child to write a book, film or game recommendation.

  • Providing encouragement, support and positive literacy learning experiences will benefit your child in their high school years. Developing strong literacy skills prepares young people for success in everyday life after school.


  • Teaching and learning


  • Back to school
  • High school
  • Learning
  • Preparing

Business Unit:

  • Communication and Engagement
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