We believe that a close partnership with parents is essential for children to benefit most from their time at Somerlea Park.
We hope that the information here will enable you to support your child’s reading at home.
Pupils have a colour-banded book or a reading scheme book which is appropriate for their level of reading. Children are able to select text from a colour or level band and will be moved to a different level when their teacher judges them to be ready. A record of individual progress is kept by the teacher and discussed with the child for example in guided reading sessions. The children also have their own record books for their reading in which a parent or child may make a comment. When a child is judged to be ready they will become a ‘free reader’ which means that they have a free choice of any reading book.
Children will bring home their reading book every day. We ask that you try to find 5 –10 minutes a day to spend reading with your child. Of course we realise that this may not always be possible, but any support you can offer will be of great benefit to your child.
Oxford Reading Tree – For children working on the early stages of reading we use the Oxford Reading Tree scheme for individual readers. These fun character stories are perfect for early reading with familiar settings, real-life scenarios and humorous illustrations to hook children into reading. They are designed to enable children to practise decoding skills and start to develop broad rich language skills. Each book is aligned to Letters and Sounds and includes inside cover notes for adults to offer support in decoding, tackling tricky works and developing children's language comprehension.
Read, Write Inc Phonics – At Somerlea we use the Read, Write Inc scheme which helps develops children phonic and reading skills. Read, Write Inc helps children how to learn quickly and easily. The National Curriculum teaches phonics systemically and Read, Write Inc mirrors this approach. They use hooks, such as pictures to help the children remember the letter and the sound it makes. Read, Write Inc builds children’s confidence and helps them learn to say and write sounds. Children also read story books linked to the sounds they are learning, they also get lots of stories read to them which helps build their love of learning.
Fresh Start – Is a reading and writing Intervention where older children are taught to read and write fluently. Through rigorous assessment children are taught at just the right level to ensure that maximum progress is made. This intervention engages older children by using comic strips, quizzes and amusing stories. In addition is also teaches children simple and effective spelling strategies which in turn increases their confidence in writing.
We have found that Fresh Start and Read, Write Inc are very effective interventions at narrowing the gap in Reading and Writing with Pupil Premium children.
Switch On - Switch-on Reading is an intensive 10-week literacy intervention. It is delivered on a one to one basis by staff, most commonly teaching assistants, who have been trained in the approach. The purpose of Switch-on is to achieve functional literacy for as many pupils as possible, and so to close the reading achievement gap for vulnerable children working below age-expected levels. It is inspired by the well-established intervention Reading Recovery, which is teacher led and delivered over a 12-20 week period.
E Books - In early 2015 we will be introducing ‘E Books’, an online reading book library, which can be accessed both at home and in school.
We also offer reading/phonics workshops for parents/carers through the year.
Follow the links for advice on how to support your child’s reading and for free online reading resources:
How can I help my child at home?
Please encourage them to use a range of strategies to help them read new words. Remind them to sound out, using their phonic knowledge to help them, and reinforce vocabulary by checking their understanding of unfamiliar words.
When you are reading with your child, you can help them to improve their understanding by discussing what they have read.
- Ask them questions about the text, their ideas about what could happen next or whether they are enjoying the book.
- Encourage them to tell you about the characters and what stories and information they have learned.
- Discuss their opinions about the story and how they might change it.
Discussing a book is an important skill which children need to develop as part of their reading comprehension. Let them see you, and join you in, reading; books (both fiction and non-fiction), newspapers, magazines, letters, instructions, leaflets, charts, signs etc. and remember your child will like to hear you read to them, as much as they like reading to you! You can make it a game or challenge perhaps by taking turns. Read a comic or anything else they choose, as long as they are reading and enjoying it then it is a skill they will carry into the future.
Here are some useful questions to ask your children:
- When/where does the story take place?
- How did...happen?
- What is the main character like?
- Which character do you like best and why?
- Which words tell us that this character is angry/happy/sad/excited.
- What does that word mean? Can you tell me another word that means the same thing?
- What word could you use instead of ...?
- Discuss illustrations in the book and how they help the reader.
- Can you predict the outcome of a chapter/episode?
- Can you tell me what you think about ...?
- What makes you think that …?
- Could the story be improved? How?
- Can you invent a new title?
- Would you recommend this story? Who to?
10 Tips on Hearing Your Child Read
- Choose a quiet time Set aside a quiet 10-15 minutes with no distractions.
- Make reading enjoyable Make reading an enjoyable experience. Try not to pressurise if your child is reluctant.
- Maintain the flow If your child mispronounces allow them the opportunity for self-correction. If your child does try to 'sound out' words, encourage the use of letter sounds – they will be familiar with this from their phonic sessions.
- Be positive If your child says something wrong to start with that is fine. Say 'Let's read it together' and point to the words as you say them. Boost your child's confidence with constant praise for even the smallest achievement.
- Success is the key Parents anxious for a child to progress can mistakenly give a child a book that is too difficult. This can have the opposite effect to the one they are wanting. Remember 'Nothing succeeds like success'. Struggling with a book with many unknown words is pointless. Flow is lost, text cannot be understood and children can easily become reluctant reader.
- Visit the Library Encourage your child to use the public library regularly. There are also a variety of reading resources on the internet
- Regular practice Try to read with your child on most school days. 'Little and often' is best!
- Communicate Your child will have a reading diary from school. Please try to communicate regularly with positive comments and inform us promptly of any concerns you may have.
- Talk about the books Always talk to your child about the book; about the pictures, the characters, how they think the story will end and their favourite part. You will then be able to see how well they have understood as well as helping them to develop good comprehension skills.
- Variety is important Remember children need to experience a variety of reading materials e.g. picture books, newspapers, comics, a wide variety of stories, magazines, poems, and information books.
Thank you for taking the time to read this – we hope it proves useful. The most important thing is that we encourage our children to enjoy a life-long skill.
If we can support you in any way please ask as we’re only too happy to help. If you would be interested in coming in to help us with reading as a volunteer; please let us know. We are always seeking parental involvement.