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Reading at home

Children must read at home throughtout their time at primary school, the table above shows the progression through the reading scheme that we use for home readers, these are the books that we send home and change regularly within school. 10 minutes of reading time per day can make a huge difference to your child's attainment. We use the Oxford Reading Scheme within school.

Use sound strategies to tackle a new word.

  • Ask your child to sound out an unknown word. Look at the letters in a difficult word and have your child pronounce each sound, or phoneme. Then see if they can blend the sounds together to pronounce the word.
  • Help them memorise irregular words. Explain that words like where, hour, or sign are hard to sound out since they don't follow normal sound patterns. Point these words out when you're reading to help your child learn to recognise them on their own. In school we call these 'red' words.
  • Use suffixes, prefixes, and root words. If your child knows the word day, guide them to define new words like yesterday or daily. Similarly, if they knows what pre- means, it's easy to learn new words like prepare or preschool.

Use the story to help your child learn.

  • Ask your child what word or idea would make sense in the plot of the story when they get stuck on an unfamiliar word.
  • Encourage your child to look at illustrations, pictures, titles, or graphs to figure out the meaning of new words.

Give support and encouragement.

  • Challenge your child to figure out new words, but always supply the word before they become frustrated.
  • After your child has read a story, reread it aloud yourself so that they can enjoy it without interruption.

Be a good role model. Let your child see you reading and share your excitement when you enjoy a great book of your own.

Make reading a priority. Whether it's 10 minutes every night before bed or an hour every Sunday morning, it helps to set aside a specific time for reading. This kind of special "together time" can go a long way toward getting your child interested in books.

Create the right atmosphere. Find a quiet comfortable place to listen to your child read. While you don't need to build a special reading space, it helps to ensure that, even in a busy home, there's a quiet place for reading.

Make reading fun. Children may not get excited about the idea of quiet time spent curled up on the couch. Why not make it fun by turning reading sessions into impromptu theatre performances? Play around with funny voices to impersonate animals or unusual characters in stories. You'll get to release some tension, and your child will learn to think of reading as fun rather than work.

Keep reading aloud to your child. Don't stop reading aloud to your child once they learn to read by themselves. When you read to your child, you let your child enjoy books that are beyond their independent reading level and build their vocabulary by exposing them to new words. Reading aloud is also a chance for you to model reading smoothly and with expression.

Introduce new books. Each year there is one book that seems to steal the hearts and minds of all children. While it may seem like the only book your child wants to read, it's important to remember that there are millions of books that will suit your child's interests and capture their imagination. 

Reading within school

For guided reading we introduced Project X throughout the school. The aim was to improve the image of reading through an exciting range of new books aimed at encouraging children (especially boys) to read more.

Project X is a reading scheme for 21st Century children, it is aimed mainly at boys but girls also enjoy the exciting adventurers of Max, Cat, Tiger and Ant. It aims to close the gender gap between boys and girls that exists throughout the country.

The books are extremely high quality; the illustrations and graphics are incredibly life-like and appeal to children of all ages. The scheme is not just limited to books; the school also makes use of the high quality software that Project X has created. The ICT suites and the classrooms all have access to this software which brings the stories of Project X to life. Animations help to make the stories more exciting and accessible to children of all reading abilities. From this software the children are then provided with a wide range of guided reading opportunities and writing opportunities based around the stories and characters.

If you want to know more, please feel free to contact the school, or you can look on the Oxford University Press website. Keep checking our website for more details on Project X and any upcoming competitions.