Help with Reading
Lostock Gralam Church of England Primary School
Reading Information Booklet for Parents
Reading is one of the most important skills your child will learn in the early years of school.
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go” Dr. Seuss
Here at Lostock Gralam, we are dedicated to ensuring that all of our children are not only able to read confidently, but are also able to enjoy reading. Therefore we feel that it is important to create a partnership with parents to ensure your child gets the most out of reading.
We hope this booklet will give you a few tips and suggestions as to how to create a good reading environment within your home, promoting reading as a positive and lifelong skill.
How is reading taught at school?
At Lostock Gralam, we follow the Foundation Stage Curriculum and the National Literacy Strategy to teach reading. Children are taught the key skills of reading through whole class Shared Reading, through small group Guided Reading sessions and by listening to them read individually.
In foundation stage the children are taught phonics where they are introduced to a new sound each day. They see the letter, how it is written and learn an action while saying the sound it makes. When the first six sounds (phonemes) have been learned, the children begin to blend them to make simple words. This approach to phonics continues throughout key stage 1 but in a slightly different format.
Each class throughout the school has a Guided Reading session each day where the children work in groups on various activities. There are four or five groups in each class, each group at around the same level in their reading.
The teacher will focus on one particular group. The rest of the class will work in groups on various activities. During this time they will discuss the book your child is reading, listen to your child read and ask focused questions to assess your child’s understanding. Books will come home on a regular basis either a group reader or from the class selection of books. Children are encouraged to bring home their own choice of books from a selection matched to their ability.
Your child needs to be encouraged to read stories, all kinds of information text, poetry, plays, magazines and newspapers. They also need to be able to choose the kinds of books they enjoy.
As the children progress through school, they may begin to feel that they do not need to read aloud. All children, regardless of ability, will benefit from reading to someone. It gives them the chance to read fluently with expression in order to keep the listener’s attention.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
- Read familiar books
- Make sure your child sees you reading
- Tell stories to each other
- Place labels around the house
- Talk about your plans
- Talk about characters, plot and setting
- Write shopping lists together
- Write messages on a message board
- Retell stories from the pictures
- Read to your child every day
- Talk about what might happen next
- Find books in libraries and bookshops
- Continue to read every day with your child
- Make sure they are exposed to a wide range of reading
- Find interesting articles in newspapers and encourage your child to tell you about it
- Read magazines and comics
- Take an interest in books written by favourite authors
- Plan a cookery session using a recipe
- Encourage your child to read for different purposes
- Support your child’s school research
There are two strands to reading:
- Decoding – where they segment and blend words to pronounce them.
- Comprehension – where children understand what the author is saying and can discuss events within the story.
Successful readers can decode words, both familiar and new, and understand the text they are reading.
Here are some ways you can support your child with their reading comprehension skills at home:
- Discuss what your child has read. Ask your child probing questions about the book and connect events to his or her own life. For example, say “I wonder why that girl did that?” or “How do you think he felt? Why?”
- Help your child to monitor their understanding. Teach them to continually ask themselves whether they understand what they are reading.
- Help your child go back to the text to support his or her answers.
- Discuss the meaning of unknown words, both those they hear and those they read.
- Discuss what your child has learned from reading information text.
On the following pages are samples of similar questions to the ones we ask at school. We hope you will find these useful when reading with your child.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- What if my child can’t read some of the words?
Encourage your child to look at the initial sound. If it is phonetically regular then they can sound out the phonemes. Your child could miss out the word and continue reading the sentence, the content may provide the clue. If this is still proving difficult then say the word to keep the meaning of the story and come back to it later.
- What if my child makes a mistake?
If the ‘mistake’ makes sense, let the child continue reading. The mistakes that matter are the ones that don’t make sense. The most important thing about reading is that the meaning is clear.
- Should I cover up the pictures?
NO! Encourage the child to look closely at the pictures to help them with their predictions. (We often ask children to look at the pictures before they begin to read the words so they know what the story is about.
- What if my friend’s child seems to be reading a harder book?
It is normal to be concerned about your child’s progress but please remember that children develop at different rates. Learning to read is not a race! For some children learning to read will seem to happen easily and quickly. For others more time and support will be needed. For all children praise, encouragement, reassurance and pleasure are vital factors towards becoming a confident reader.
If you have any queries about your child’s reading book or you want advice on how to help your child with their reading, the class teacher will be happy to help.
- Choose a quiet time
- Make reading enjoyable
- Be positive
- Regular reading
- Talk about the books
- Read familiar books
- Allow for self correction
- Communicate with teachers in the homework diary
- Visit the library
- Read a variety
We have also produced a leaflet to help your child with writing. called
‘How to Improve Your child’s Writing’
www.bbc.co.uk/schools (follow the primary literacy link)
(follow the watch and listen primary literacy link)
www.phonicsplay.co.uk (free resources available)
www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk go to the literacy zone
Please follow the link below for free online games, resources and worksheets.