How To Support Your Child With Their Reading 

For a parent, when a child begins to learn to read in Reception, it can be quite a daunting time.  Not knowing how the scheme is taught, or how letters should sound, could potentially, if said incorrectly, confuse the child. Our wonderful Reception teacher Mrs Helen Morgan has provided some invaluable pointers on how to aid your child at this very important stage in their school journey.

  • Reading should be a fun experience. Some children love to read their book as soon as they get home, others prefer to play for a while and then do it, and for some, reading first thing in the morning is better. Find a time that works best for you. If your child is too tired or really doesn’t want to do it, just leave it and come back to it later.
  • Talking about the pictures is key. Not only can children tell the story using just the pictures, but they provide clues about what the text might say. Asking lots of questions as you read also helps – these can be talking about what you can see on a current page, recalling what has already happened or predicting what might happen next.
  • Reception children begin by learning the single letter sounds (t, a, s) and, once these are secure, move onto double/triple letter sounds (digraphs & trigraphs), where two or three letters together make a different sound eg: sh (fish), ai (rain) or igh (night). It is very important that when you are practising these with your child that you say the soft sound and don’t add an ‘uh’ at the end (eg: mmmm not muh) as this can distort the sounds when it comes to blending them together to read a word.
  • The next step is learning what to do with the letter sounds in order to read or write words (blending and segmenting). Some children pick this up very quickly and may even be able to do this before they can recognise the letters, but for others it is a longer journey and they may not have mastered it until they reach Year 1. Be patient…it will happen even if it seems like it’s never going to!
  • The simplest books only have two or three words per page and these gradually increase as the books become harder. At this stage your child won’t be ‘reading’ all of the words, but instead should use initial letter clues together with the pictures. There will also be a lot of repetition. For example, the text may say ‘I am a pirate. I am a fairy. I am a king.’ In each case, each page will also show the pirate, fairy or king and, by using the ‘p’, ‘f’ or ‘k’ at the start of the word together with the picture, your child will successfully read each page.
  • Encourage your child to point to the words as they read. This enables them to track each one and also helps them to focus on what they are reading, rather than flying through as they can remember the predictive pattern of the text.
  • Very quickly your child will be reading simple sentences made up of simple phonetic words (those that they can ‘sound out’, eg: c-a-t…cat), tricky words (words like I, the, go, no, was that are commonly occurring words that are taught in class and need to be learnt as they cannot be sounded out) and harder/longer words that your child isn’t yet ready to work out or hasn’t been taught yet. Again, the pictures can be used to help work these out, or it may be better to tell them the word in order to keep the flow going or to avoid frustration.
  • Re-reading the same pages or books more than once builds confidence. If your child has had to work out a lot of words on a page, re-reading it to them, pointing to each word as you go provides a good model of how to read and helps consolidate learning.

If you’d like to come and meet our brilliant teachers and see for yourselves the unrivalled opportunity here at Chafyn Grove, book your space at our whole school open days on March 2nd-4th. Please click here.