Dear Parents and Carers,

R
eading is a key skill that lays the foundations for all future learning and is therefore something that we give high priority.  In order to become fluent and confident readers children need to be able to recognise and decode unfamiliar words as well as to develop an understanding of what they are reading.  In order to develop their word recognition skills all children through the reception year and KS1 are taught phonics daily.

Phonics teaches the children about the sounds that they hear in words and links this to the letters that represent them in words.  It is one of the important strategies that all children  need to acquire in order to read and write well.  As well as phonics the children also learn about other strategies that can help them understand what they are reading such as talking about the characters and plot within the book and using clues within the text and the pictures to predict what might happen next in the story.

Practising reading skills regularly is important in becoming a fluent reader. In school this is undertaken in a number of ways, including:

  • Reading to a teacher, teaching assistant or parent volunteer.
  • Regular guided reading sessions when they will read and talk about a book with a small group of children in the class and supported by a teacher or teaching assistant. They may also be doing activities such as working with words and sounds, listening to and reading with an audio book, reading together, playing word games or making sentences.
  • Reading new and familiar books independently for enjoyment and pleasure.

However regular practice with an adult at home is essential in helping your child to become a confident reader.

Below are some tips that may help you when reading with your child. Also on the parent area of our school website you will find some useful videos which explain a little bit more about phonics as well as how to correctly articulate the sounds in words so that you can reinforce at home the work we are doing with your child in school. The address for our website is:
www.kngnrtn.bham.sch.uk  and the link to the videos is via the parent button on the left hand side of the home page.

In order to encourage regular home reading if your child reads to you at least three times each week just for a few minutes and you record this in his or her diary they will receive a weekly stamp in their blue card in recognition of their hard work. This will go towards achieving a gold certificate once the card is completed.

Finally regularly praising and encouraging your child means that they will also come to enjoy reading and develop a love of books. This gives them a wonderful start to their education and life beyond school.

What can I do to help my child at Reception, Year 1 and 2?

  • As well as reading aloud to someone who is listening carefully and giving help where needed, children need to talk about the book and be read to themselves.
  • Try to take a regular time as often as you can to read and enjoy books. Visiting the library is an excellent way to do this – it is a great free resource!
  • You could read a book to your child and get him/ her to join in when he/she can. Children can do this best with rhymes and repeating patterns of words and at the end of sentences.
  • Audio books are excellent, as they can let your child experience books that he/she couldn’t manage on his/her own.
  • Check your child really understands the book by asking them to retell the story to you.
  • When your child reads and gets a word wrong, allow them to complete the sentence before correcting them. Children can often work out the ‘difficult’ word by understanding the rest of the sentence. You can also help your child to break down ‘difficult’ words into sounds or parts that they recognise.
  • Re-read books that are familiar to your child:

i) They enjoy and get satisfaction from re-reading good books. This helps to turn them on to reading and gives them confidence.
ii) When they know most of the words, they can then turn their attention to reading fluently and with expression
iii) Children can read on their own without having to wait for someone to help them. This means they can do more reading which helps them to become better readers.
iv) When children know most of the words, they can learn about common letter strings, about forming new words from the ones they already know and about similarities and differences between words.

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