Supporting your child's reading at home

At St Chad’s, teaching our children to become confident and fluent readers is of paramount importance to us. To further develop our phonics teaching, we have recently adopted the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised as our new phonics and early reading programme. This is a systematic synthetic phonics programme which enables teachers to support children in developing their phonics knowledge - and in securing the word recognition skills - to support them as fluent readers.
Although your child will be taught to read daily at school, you can have a huge impact on their reading journey by continuing their practice at home. Once a week, your child will bring home:

 A reading practice book: This book has been carefully matched to your child's current phonic stage and they should be able to read it fluently and independently. If your child is reading this book with little help, please don't worry that it is 'too easy': your child needs to develop fluency and confidence in reading. Listen to them read the book. Remember to give them lots of praise and celebrate their success! If they cannot read a word, read it to them. After they have finished reading, talk about the book together. Reading practice books will be distributed on Fridays and must be returned the following Thursday. To support with our ongoing teacher assessments in school, we ask that you record your child reading their practice book once a week at home and load this to their individual portfolio page on Class Dojo

A sharing book: If children are to become lifelong readers, it is essential that they are encouraged to read for pleasure. To help foster a love of reading, children will choose a book to share and enjoy with you at home once a week from our school library. Your child is not expected to read this book independently - it is for you to read to or with your child. Again, it is good to talk about the book with your child, but please do not turn the discussion into a test. Discuss the pictures, enjoy the story, predict what might happen next, use different voices for the characters and explore facts in non-fiction books. The goal is enjoyment! Each class will have an allocated day to choose and return their haring book. Please ensure that books are returned within the allocated time frame. 

Frequency of reading at home
As a school, we expect that all children read their school book to an adult at home at least three times a week and that parents/carers submit one video recording a week via Class Dojo. Video recordings are an incredibly useful assessment tool for teachers. They allow your child’s class teacher to assess how well your child is using and applying their learning outside of school, independently. Re-reading the same book at home will help your child to become more fluent, practise their expression when reading aloud and develop a deeper understanding of the text. We praise and reward reading at home through Class Dojo
Supporting you to support your child's reading at home....
At St Chad's, we recognise the important role that parents can carers play in fostering an enjoyment in their child from a young age which is why we are committed to supporting all of our parents in becoming skilled and confident readers. Throughout the year we hold a number of parent workshops to support with all aspects of home reading, including early reading skills, phonics and shared reading time. In addition to our parent workshops, we organise bespoke parent classes, including ESOL classes which are delivered by an outside adult trainer. Further information about our parent workshops, classes and events can be found here.
As a school, we recognise that many of our parents and carers are acquiring English themselves, which is why many of of our sharing reading books can be accessed via YouTube on channels such as Books Read Aloud for Kids and Story Time Out Loud. Simply type in the title of the book and search the videos (we always recommend English channels, wherever possible). We expect that parents/carers using YouTube are still involved in their child's reading experience at home and that children are not left to play the video by themselves. If you are using YouTube reading videos then please ensure that you:
  • Sit with with your child and hold the book together 
  • Encourage your child to turn the pages as the story is being told on the video
  • Talk about the book with your child: discuss the pictures and enjoy the story
It is important that your child is supervised at all times when accessing reading videos online.
Mrs Sohanpal runs a reading parent workshop in school every Friday from 3pm for any parent that is struggling to support with their child's home reading. You will have the opportunity to sit with your child to hear them read with Mrs Sohanpal providing any necessary support. 

Storytime with....

We have recorded our school's 'daily read aloud' books. Every class has a book which they regularly read together. These books change half-termly and are stories that we want our children to know back to front and inside out. They represent a range of authors and genres, with due thought to themes, diversity and inclusivity. We share our new half termly 'read alouds' on Class Dojo and in our newsletters and encourage parents/carers to join in the reading fun at home.  You can find more information about our school's daily read aloud books here. If you would like to access our school's recordings to enjoy at home with your child, please click here.

Taking care of our books at home...

As  a school, we have invested a lot of money in high-quality phonics books and beautiful sharing books for our children. We ask that you help your child and other family members to ensure that books are well looked after at and respected at home. Please ensure that books are:

  • kept somewhere safe at home
  • returned to school on the days requested
  • not stored in book bags with water bottles (in the past, we have had lots of books damaged by spillages)
  • not drawn in
  • not creased (support your child in turning pages with care) 
Of course, accidents happen but please take as much care as possible to avoid these, especially if you have younger siblings at home. Should any books be damaged or lost outside of school, they would need to be replaced. Therefore, if this were to occur, we would request that the cost of the book be covered by the family. 

Other helpful resources 

We are very blessed to have a superb local library and encourage parents and carers to make use of this wonderful community resource. Each year, we organise a trip to the library in our Reception class: all parents are encouraged to attend and register their child for a library card. We are visited annually by the BookStart team.

Below, you will find a useful booklet to help you support your child's reading comprehension skills at home using our 'St Chad's Super 6' characters.