2 Home school readingThe most important message of all is that you both enjoy reading together. Happy reading!
3 Here are some activities to support your child with their reading talking with your child; reading lots of stories to your child; visiting the library and choosing books together; reading writing you see in shops and on signs and packaging;
4 letting your child see you reading, e.g. shopping lists; making simple books together for you or your child to write in; making up your own stories; learning nursery rhymes together.
5 As far as possible, your child should have the chance to read with you or another family member for five or ten minutes every day. It is better to spend a short time reading every day than to do it in one long block. Reading a bed time story to your child is a lovely relaxing way to finishing off the day calmly.
6 These are the most important things we, as parents and teachers, want beginner readers to learn about reading: that more experienced readers - parents, older brothers and sisters, teachers - make reading a shared and enjoyable experience that the beginner reader really wants to join in; how to look at a book, e.g. to look at the cover and title and flick through to get an idea of the story or type of book;
7 how to hold a book the right way up and turn the pages; how to retell what happens in the story and relate this to things that happen in their own lives; understand the differences between print and pictures and that print carries meaning that never changes; begin to recognise different types of stories, e.g. that stories starting ‘once upon a time' usually end 'happy ever after': the importance of the child following the more experienced reader pointing to the text so that the child hears the words and sees the text at the same time.
8 Beginner readers rely on having another person to read the text aloud Beginner readers rely on having another person to read the text aloud. They may still not be clear that print carries meaning - that is why it is so important for the more experienced reader to point to the words while reading them.
9 Reading at schoolIn their time spent on literacy every day, the children will experience all sorts of books - alphabet and counting books, picture books, nursery rhyme collections, poetry books, traditional stories and fairy tales from all around the world, information books, pop-up and flap books. Many of the books do not have a lot of words - some don't have any. Books that have a repeated pattern in the story or rhythm and rhyme help children to remember. They will soon join in with the repeated words and even sentences.
10 The children will experience different kinds of reading at school: They will often start their literacy time with their teacher teaching them how to read from a Big Book. This is called Shared Reading; The children will have regular opportunities to practise the reading skills they have been taught in small groups. This is called Guided Reading; They will practise their reading individually on a regular basis.
11 Beginning to readThe first thing your child learns about books and reading is your attitude. Enjoy sharing books together as often as you can.Find a quiet, comfortable place where you can sit together without interruption.Sit in a good light.Choose a book together.Look at the cover and talk about the title.Encourage your child to hold the book and turn the pages.
12 Look at the pictures together Look at the pictures together. Talk about the characters and the things that are going on.Illustrations in a book help your child understand what the story is about. Never cover them up - they are important clues for beginner readers.Follow under the words with your finger as you read, so your child sees and hears the words at the same time.This also teaches beginner readers that print goes from left to right and from the top to bottom of a page.Let your child read the book to you in his or her own way, turning the pages and looking at the pictures.
13 Read the same book over and over again if you both enjoy it Read the same book over and over again if you both enjoy it. This helps your child remember the story and recognise some of the words that are repeated.Don't be afraid to stop and talk about the story and pictures.Take the session bit by bit. Give your child the chance to read alone. Offer help when it is needed and give lots of praise and reassurance.Always stop if you or your child are not enjoying your reading time together.
14 Four key reading strategies: Phonics - reading words by distinguishing between sounds in words (e.g. d-u-ck) and recognising how that sound is represented by a letter or letters of the alphabet.Contextual - working out how to read words by making connections with previous knowledge of words or situations (e.g. reading ‘woof’ in a story about a dog) or looking at the illustrations.
15 Grammatical - working out how to read words from a knowledge of how sentences work (e.g. ‘he likes jam’ not ‘he like jam’).Word recognition - recognising individual words or parts of words by sight.
16 Ideas for general reading activities Clap out the beats or syllables in your child’s name. Which person’s name in your family has the most syllables?Enjoy spotting rhyming words in stories and poems. Play around with inventing new words that rhyme, even if they are nonsense words!Encourage your child to talk about the story at any time, even if this interrupts your reading. Talking is part of sharing the enjoyment of reading.
17 Check that your child knows where to start reading and how to follow the print by asking, ‘Where do you begin?’ or ‘What do you do next?’ at the start of a new page or line.Use the book language your child will have met in school. These are words such as title, author, illustration, capital letter, full stop.Ask, ‘What’s going to happen?’ ‘Can you guess?’ This will encourage your child to be imaginative and to predict how the story might turn out.
18 Phonics and readingThe phonic strategy is a very important strategy at this early stage of a child’s reading development.The words we speak are made up of sounds called phonemes. There are 44 phonemes in English: sounds such as ‘ee’, ’ow’, ’sh’ and ‘m’.When we use the phonic strategy we recognise the letters of the alphabet and give them a sound or phoneme. We combine the phonemes to pronounce a word. This is called ‘blending’.
19 We teach the children the initial sounds by using ‘Jolly Phonics’ which gives the children a story and action to go with each of the 44 phonemes.The first words children read using the phonic strategy are simple consonant-vowel-consonant words such as c-a-t, m-a-n and s-u-n.When we sound out phonemes for children it is important to articulate the sounds as clearly as possible.Some commonly used words are very difficult for young children to read if a phonic strategy is used, e.g. ‘said’ and ‘come’. These words are easier to read if they are taught within the context of a sentence, e.g. by asking ‘What word would make sense there?’ or as target words learnt by sight.
20 The NationalLiteracyStrategy givesa set of 45target words tobe learnt bythe end ofReception.Ithisgoingmumuplooktheynodadweawayalllikeplaygetandinaonamwentatcatwasfortoofhecomemeisdayshesaidtheseegodogityoubigyesaremycan
21 Developing independence as a reader If you find that your child stumbles over five or more words on the first page of the book, it would be better for you to read the book or to save it for another time.Remind your child of the different ways of working out unfamiliar words such as: asking ‘what would make sense there?’ ‘sounding out’ the phonemes in the word and blending them together to make a good guess at the word; recognising whole words and parts of words; working out words from reading the whole sentence, by reading to the end of the sentence or going back to the beginning and re-reading; working out words from the pictures or from their own knowledge.
22 In understanding and responding to stories and poems, children should be able to: say why they chose the book; talk about what they liked about the book - the pictures, the characters, whether they have read another book in the same series or by the same author; talk about the characters and what happened in the book; say what might happen next in the story, or how it might end; retell the story in their own words; learn a rhyme, poem or short passage by heart.
23 From learning about simple information books, children should know the importance of: the content and index pages; page numbers headings and captions; how to get information from pictures. how to use alphabetically organiseddictionaries to look up the meaning ofwords and check spellings.
24 The most important message of all is that you both enjoy reading together. Happy reading!