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Reading with Your Child

Early literacy skills are key to your child’s future success. Research from the University of Edinburgh proves that children who can read well at age seven do better academically as teenagers.


The study found that children with a good reading ability at primary school end up performing much better in their teens in tests for abstract thinking, general cognition and pattern finding. Early reading even improves their mathematics skills.


We encourage our parents to support their children in their reading journey by putting aside a few minutes each day to try to listen to their child read their school book. If they – or their child – are tired, we suggest five minutes in the morning. Everyone tends to be much fresher and willing first thing!


The books sent home for reading, with Jungle Books (reading record), are carefully selected to match each child’s phonics progress. We encourage every reading book to be read three times in order for your child to become confident, fluent and enthusiastic readers.


The first time your child reads the book, time will be spent on decoding and word recognition. The second time is aimed to develop fluency and prosody. And the third time is an opportunity to develop comprehension skills making links to their own life and the world around them. Inside your child's jungle book you will find a list of comprehension questions. Please select a couple to discuss each time your child reads.


Your child will also select a ‘real’ book from our library to enjoy with you at home.

Top 12 tips on how to hear your child read aloud to you


  1. Try to get in the habit of having your child read to you every day. Choose a quiet, undistracted time and snuggle up. You could make a den using a cloth over a table and include it in your story as a castle or a cave etc.
  2. For children under the age of seven, 5 - 10 minutes is usually long enough. Little and often is best.
  3. If it’s a new book, always start by having a look at the book’s cover, title, pictures and characters. Let your child hold the book and turn the pages.
  4. Use different voices for different characters. Add in sound effects like splashing in puddles, beeping car horns or animal sounds.
  5. When your child tries to 'sound out' words, encourage them to use phonetic letter sounds rather than 'alphabet names'. So, for ‘cat’ you would say c-a-t; not CAT.
  6. If your child is reluctant, don’t pressurise them. If they lose interest, then do something else and come back to it at another time.
  7. Maintain the flow. If your child mispronounces a word, don’t interrupt immediately. Instead allow opportunity for self-correction. It’s better to tell a child some unknown words or give clues from the pictures to keep things moving rather than insisting on them trying to build them all up from the sounds of the letters.
  8. Use the pause, prompt, praise technique. If they make a mistake, pause for a few seconds to see if they self-correct, then prompt by asking: “Does that makes sense?” Or give the sound they’re struggling with, or help them sound it out. Then praise them for finishing the page or trying hard.
  9. Be positive. Don’t correct every word if what they’re reading makes sense e.g. if the child reads ‘his mum’ and it says ‘his mother’ – just carry on.
  10. If your child says something nearly right to start with, that’s fine. Try not to say “No, that's wrong,” but “Let's read it together”, and point to the words as you say them. Only help if they’re really stuck and boost your child's confidence with constant praise for even the smallest achievement.
  11. Make sure the book is the right level to build up your child’s confidence. Struggling with a book with lots of unknown words is pointless for your child. Flow gets lost and words can’t be understood. You need to smooth their path because discouraged children can easily become reluctant readers. If you are concerned about the book level your child has brought home from school, please speak to their class teacher. 
  12. Remember, there’s more to being a good reader than just being able to read the words accurately. Always talk to your child about the book; about the pictures, the characters and ask them what was their favourite part. You will then be able to see how well they have understood and help them develop better comprehension skills.

To find out more about supporting your child at home please click on the links below.