10 top tips to encourage children to read
Reading helps your child’s wellbeing, develops imagination and has educational benefits too. Just a few minutes a day can have a big impact on children of all ages.
Try to read to your child every day. It’s a special time to snuggle up and enjoy a story. Stories matter and children love re-reading them and poring over the pictures. Try adding funny voices to bring characters to life.
Give children lots of opportunities to read different things in their own time - it doesn’t just have to be books. There’s fiction, non-fiction, poetry, comics, magazines, recipes and much more. Try leaving interesting reading material in different places around the home and see who picks it up.
Choose a favourite time to read together as a family and enjoy it. This might be everyone reading the same book together, reading different things at the same time, or getting your children to read to each other. This time spent reading together can be relaxing for all.
Make a calm, comfortable place for your family to relax and read independently - or together.
Libraries in England are able to open from 4 July, so visit them when you’re able to and explore all sorts of reading ideas. Local libraries also offer brilliant online materials, including audiobooks and ebooks to borrow. See Libraries Connected for more digital library services and resources.
This is a great way to make connections, develop understanding and make reading even more enjoyable. Start by discussing the front cover and talking about what it reveals and suggests the book could be about. Then talk about what you’ve been reading and share ideas. You could discuss something that happened that surprised you, or something new that you found out. You could talk about how the book makes you feel and whether it reminds you of anything.
You could try cooking a recipe you’ve read together. Would you recommend it to a friend? Alternatively, play a game where you pretend to be the characters in a book, or discuss an interesting article you’ve read.
Play games that involve making connections between pictures, objects and words, such as reading about an object and finding similar things in your home. You could organise treasure hunts related to what you’re reading. Try creating your child’s very own book by using photos from your day and adding captions.
You know your child best and you’ll know the best times for your child to read. If they have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) then short, creative activities may be the way to get them most interested. If English is an additional language, encourage reading in a child’s first language, as well as in English. What matters most is that they enjoy it.
Approach to the teaching of Phonics at Great Horwood School in Key Stage 1
The teaching of phonics is an important part of the curriculum in Foundation stage and Key Stage 1.
We follow the National phonics programme, ‘Letters and Sounds’, where children are taught the 44 phonemes that make up all the sounds required for reading and spelling. These phonemes include those made by just one letter and those that are made by two or more (diagraphs and trigraphs).
Children are also introduced to the ‘Read Write Inc’ letter formation rhymes to support handwriting and rhymes to support learning of digraphs and trigraphs.
As the children move through the scheme and are secure in the first set of sounds, they are introduced to alternative ways of representing the same sound, eg ‘ee’ can be represented as ‘ee’, ‘ea’, ‘e-e’, ‘e’ …
We ensure that our teaching of phonics is rigorous, structured and enjoyable. Children have discrete, daily phonics sessions where they are introduced to new phonemes, can practise and revise previous learning and have plenty of opportunities to apply the knowledge they have.
Children work with pace and are encouraged to apply their knowledge across the curriculum with any reading or writing activities.
Within phase 2 children are introduce to alien words, here the children have to use their knowledge of phonics to blend sounds and read the words. Children are taught these by showing an alien picture next to the word to encourage them to blend the sounds they see rather than try and make them real words. Within all phases children are exposed to alien words that contain phoneme from all different phases.
At Great Horwood we use a variety of reading scheme books that are colour coded into bands that the children are able to choose from. This is with adult supervision in Early Years and those working on Phase 1-6 phonics. The teachers will endeavour to ensure that the curent reading book reflects the current phonic phase being taught. Older Free readers are able to choose books from an appropriate colour band.
Reading scheme books that are used include: Oxford Reading Tree, Usborne Beginner Books, and Big Cat Phonics.