Reading at Home

 

Taking an active interest in your child’s learning is one of the best ways you can help your child to do better in school and in life. Learning is not just about what happens in school. Children are learning all the time through what they see, hear and do. Research proves that a good reading ability aids success not just in school but also in later life!

  • Remember: a good 10 minutes is much better than a difficult half hour!
  • It helps to plan a quality, quiet time to read together that happens at a similar time each day if you can make it part of a routine it will be easier to keep it going.
  • If you are unsure or you want some extra help then all you have to do is speak to your child’s class teacher who will be happy to help.
  • Children will be given reading books from a range of schemes including Oxford Reading Tree, Rigby Star and Pearson.

 How Reading Develops

In school children are taught a range of strategies from 'Letters and Sounds' they can use to help them work out unknown words. For example:

  • Phonics - If they can sound the word out using the phonics they know then encourage this as the first way of reading the word
  • Using the picture as a clue (this is not cheating!)
  • Using picture clues along with the first letter in the word
  • Predicting what the word could be from the context it is in i.e. working out what word makes sense in that sentence.

 As children’s reading skills develop they adopt a range of good reading behaviours. These include:

  • Reading from left to right and matching each spoken word to a written one
  • Recognising when they have made a mistake and correcting themselves
  • Re-reading to correct and re-reading to check
  • Making meaningful but not always accurate guesses
  • Reading with expression i.e. changing the tone of their voice in response to what is happening in the book. Audio books are a great way of hearing good examples of this!

As children progress further they:

  • Take notice of punctuation i.e. pausing at full stops
  • Follow print with their eyes and begin to read without saying the words out loud
  • Scan the text for information
  • Read more fluently

  How to read with your child

Some parents can be unsure of the correct way to help their child with reading at home below is the structure that we follow in school along with some helpful questions you could ask:

Step 1: Spend time introducing the book, do a walk through where you and your child look at the pages in the book without reading the words. This gives the child an idea about what the book is about which will help them when it comes to the actual reading. Ask questions like…

What do you think this book is about?

What do you think might happen in the story?

What can we see on the front cover?

Have we read this book before?

 

Step 2: Remind children of the different ways they can work out an unknown word. We always use sounding out as the first strategy but children could also look at the pictures or look at the first letter and use the rest of the sentence to work out a word that fits. (If none of these strategies work then it’s OK to tell the child the word especially if it’s a word they might not know.)

Step 3: Reading the words keep reminding children about the strategies from Step 2 if they get stuck say things like:

Can you sound the word out, start by sounding the letters and then put them together to read the word.

Look at the picture that might help you work out the word

What sound does the word begin with? Let’s read the rest of the sentence and see if we can work out what word would fit.

 

Step 4: Asking questions about what has been read. This is an important part of the reading session as it enables you to see if they have understood what they have read. More confident readers will also be able to answers to questions by finding evidence in the text. You might ask them to retell you the story or part of the story or ask questions about what has happened in the story.

For more detailed information about what to do at each band see the chart at the bottom of this page

 

Top Tips!

  • Remind your child to point to each word individually rather than continuously run their finger underneath if they are still learning to match one to one.
  • Alternate saying well done or that was good by telling your child what was good i.e. that was great sounding out or well done you used the picture to work out what the words said
  • Remember not to expect your child to work out a word that is not in their vocabulary if it’s a new word or a word they don’t know the meaning of they are less likely to be able to read them correctly.
  • Reading should be an enjoyable experience so if either you or your child are getting stressed it’s better to have a positive shorter session than a longer session where it becomes a battle!
  • Don’t forget to record your child’s reading in their reading diaries, for older children encourage them to write their own comments about their reading.

 

Pink Band

Look through the book together talking about the pictures.

Please help your child to:

Find the title

Look at the front cover and predict what the book will be about

Turn the pages one by one

Point to each word as they read

Use the pictures to help them with the text

Find key words in the book when they have finished reading 

Red Band

Look through the book together talking about the pictures.

Please help your child to:

Find and recall the title

Read key words by sight (don’t sound them out)

Read simple three letter words by blending sounds

Start reading more fluently while continuing to track the print

Check their reading makes sense and sounds right. Encourage your child to re-read

sentences if they need to.

Yellow Band

Look through the book together talking about the pictures.

Please help your child to:

Read the title

Follow the print with their eyes; they may need to finger-point at times of difficulty

Take note of punctuation in their reading (Take a breath at full stops and commas)

Begin to use expression when reading speech

Use familiar words to read unknown words, for example ‘look’ for ‘took’

Check their reading makes sense and sounds right

Blue Band

Look through the book together talking about the pictures.

Please help your child to:

Follow the print with their eyes; they may still need to finger-point at times of difficulty

Re-read to improve fluency and develop meaning

Find familiar words in longer words e.g. inside, today

Talk about the book and show they understand what they have read

Green Band

Look though the book together talking about the pictures.

Please help your child to:

Read fluently, paying attention to punctuation

Follow the print with their eyes, rarely finger-pointing

Stop half way through the story and predict what might happen next?

Talk about the characters and plot in the stories

Use the contents page and glossary in non-fiction books to find information

Change the tone of their voice when reading.

Orange Band

Please help your child to:

Read fluently, relying less on the illustrations

Pay attention to a range of punctuation (!, ?, “ ”)

Blend sounds in unfamiliar words fluently and check meaning

Use the contents page in non-fiction books to choose which sections of the book to read

Infer meaning from the text, for example talk about why a character acted as they did even though this is not written in the text

Turquoise Band

Please help your child to:

Use punctuation to read with a greater range of expression

Tackle complex words using known vocabulary, phonic knowledge and syllables

Find their way around alphabetically ordered texts such as indexes, glossaries and

dictionaries

Retell the story

Purple Band

Please encourage your child to:

Read silently or quietly at a more rapid pace

Read with intonation and expression

Use their knowledge of long vowel sounds to read unfamiliar words

Retell stories using the time connectives e.g. first, then, next, finally

Identify and describe characters

Gold Band

Please encourage your child to:

Read silently or quietly at a more rapid pace

Use a bookmark to keep their place in longer books

Locate and interpret information in non-fiction books

Scan the text to find the answers to questions

White Band

Please encourage your child to:

Read silently most of the time

Sustain their interest in longer texts, marking their place ready to return after a break

Search for and find information in the text

Notice the spelling of unfamiliar words

Express reasoned opinions about what they have read

Compare what they have read with other books

Lime Band and above

Please encourage your child to:

Read silently if they are reading independently

Discuss the meaning of new words and consider why the author has used them

Notice the spelling of unfamiliar words

Discuss how the author has created tension/ humour/ excitement in the text.