How we teach reading – answers for parents
How will my child be taught to read?
We start teaching phonics in Reception. This means that they learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down. This is essential for reading, but it also helps children learn to spell well. We teach the children simple ways of remembering these sounds and letters.
When they are ready, children practise reading (and spelling) what we call ‘tricky words’, such as ‘once,’ ‘have,’ ‘said’ and ‘where’. They also practise their reading with books that match the phonics and the ‘tricky words’ they know. They start thinking that they can read and this does wonders for their confidence.
The teachers read to the children too so the children get to know all sorts of stories, poetry and information books. They learn many more words this way and it also helps their writing.
What can I do to help? Is there anything that I shouldn't do?
Children start reading wordless books however they soon move onto reading word and sentences in school. Please trust your child’s teacher to choose the book(s) that will help your child the most.
Your child will bring home a picture book that they know well. Please don’t say ‘This is too easy.’ Instead, encourage your child to tell you the story out loud and ask them questions about things that happen or what they think about some of the characters in the story.
We know parents and carers are very busy people but please find time to read to your child as much as possible. This helps them to learn about books and stories. They also learn new words and what they mean. Show that you are interested in reading yourself and talk about reading as a family. You can find out about good stories to read to your child here:
My child has difficulty pronouncing some sounds. Will this stop him learning to read through phonics?
This isn’t a problem for learning to read as long as we know what sound the child is trying to say. This is not something to worry about. Many children have a few sounds that they can hear clearly but find it difficult to say particularly the sounds l, r, w, th, s, sh and j. Often they say a t-sound for the c-sound; "tttssh" for the s-sound; "w" for the r-sound and "r" for the l-sound. You can help your child by encouraging him or her to look at your mouth when you say the sound. They can easily learn to read, even if they find one or two sounds difficult to say.