With the first half term behind us, we have a very clear view on how well your child is reading and what needs to happen next in order for them to make even more progress. All children are asked to take a book home regularly. This MUST be returned. (Failing to return a book may result in parents being asked to pay for the lost book.)
Initially in the early years, books may have pictures only. All children will have a Reading Record Book in which the school will record the titles of books. We ask that parents also complete the Reading Record Book when they hear their child read. At times parents and carers aren’t always sure what to write. We are asking that you note a ‘new’ word discovered or one that the child did not know the meaning of. This will help us at school support development of vocabulary. Please aim to read at least 3 times a week.
In school, we will hear your child read individually or within a group. This will provide the teacher with an opportunity to monitor the child’s independent reading skills, the suitability of the book they are reading and their readiness to progress to the next one. Alongside reading books, where appropriate children may also be given words to learn, appropriate to their reading development. These words are what we call “tricky words” and cannot be sounded out such as ‘come’ and ‘who’ but have to be learned by sight. Some children may be given specific letter sounds (phonemes) to practice at home as well.
Please take the time to look at the accompanying leaflet from the BookTrust for a range of ways to enjoy reading at home.
Remember, part of learning to read is developing a love of books because it creates the motivation to learn. It is very important to read to your child as well as listen to them reading. This applies to all age children up to Year 6. The child can be the listener and will learn a great deal from hearing an experienced reader read aloud, such as seeing how the pages are turned, how expression is used and different voices used for different characters, how the plot develops and so on.
For fluent readers, rather than hearing them read page after page, please focus on hearing them read one or two pages and then focus on asking them questions such as, ‘What do you think the character is feeling?’, ‘What do you think that word means?’, ‘Why do you think that word is written in italics/bold/capitals?’ and ‘Why do you think that character acted that way?’
Above all, always use plenty of praise and encouragement during reading and enjoy sharing books with your child. Do not hesitate to discuss with the staff if you have any questions or concerns.