Help your child with Reading

  • Listen to your child read every day if possible, even if it is for 5 minutes. 

  • Encourage them to segment (break up) words into their sound parts and then blend them (push them back together) to read the whole word. 

  • Read their decodable book 3 times. First time to focus on decoding unfamiliar words, second time to become more fluent and third time to add in expression. 

  • Discuss their reading - can they guess (predict) what will happen next? Ask them to retell the story so far or talk about the characters. Use Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval and Sequencing skills (children know these as VIPERS) as we do in English and guided reading in class. See link below for some examples of questions to ask children for each skill. KS1 Reading Vipers ( 

  • Try not to make reading a chore but set aside a little bit of time whenever you can, even if they read to you whilst in the car or cooking dinner. 

  • Read stories to them at bedtime so they hear you modelling expression and the use of rich vocabulary  

  • Discuss new word meanings with them to broaden vocabulary. 

  • Adults sit and read a book, magazine or newspaper so the children see you modelling your passion for reading to them. 

  • Visit a library, use digital/eBooks with your child, let children read newspapers and magazines that are appropriate for their age. 

Top tips for reading at home 

Before Reading 

If it is the first time your child has read the book, look at the cover and title with them to predict what they think the book might be about. Make links to other books read with similar themes, the same characters and/or similar authors/illustrators. Give them time to flick through the book (do a picture walk). 

During reading

Ask your child many questions about the characters in the book as you read the story. Have your child use his/her finger to follow the direction of the text (top to bottom, left to right). Have your child look at the sentences and see if he/she can identify any of the sounds in the words or any of the High Frequency words they have learnt. Discuss the meaning of any unfamiliar words. 

How to help your child read a word 

Which letter phonemes do you recognise? Can you blend them together? Does the word make sense? Read the sentence again to check. Is there another word that would make sense? Is it a word you know? Have you read the word before? Is it on another page? Are there any bits of the word you recognise? Miss out the word, say ‘mmmm’, finish the sentence. Then go back and work out what the word was. In a rhyming book, think of a word that rhymes. Use the first 1 or 2 sounds with another strategy. Always go back and read the sentence again! 

After reading  

Discuss with your child what they liked/disliked about the story. Can your child think of another title for the book and why? Did the story have a sad or happy ending? Can your child think of a different ending for the story? Can your child think of another character which he/she might want to add to the story and why? With richer picture books, you can ask, ‘what was the big idea of the story?’ 

Quick access to links that support reading: 

Top Tips for Supporting Key Stage One Reading | Twinkl - YouTube 

Modelling reading between child and adult  

Books for KS1 children aged 4-7 | School Reading List  

Books for KS2 children aged 7-11 | School Reading List 

Recommended books for secondary school students aged 11-16 ( 

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