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Christopher Hatton

How to help your child read

Our school has chosen Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised as our Phonics and Early Reading scheme. Your child begins their reading journey in Nursery, where they not only develop a love of reading, but also a foundation for Phonics. Throughout EYFS and Year 1, your child has daily Phonics sessions with their class teacher. More information on what exactly your child will be taught, and when, can be found on the Little Wandle parent page here:

Little Wandle Overview

We realise that Phonics includes lots of subject-specific terminology which you may not be familiar with yet. Here is a glossary of all the Phonics terms used in Little Wandle:

 Phonics Glossary

 In order to reinforce the sounds, your child may be sent home with a sticker detailing the sound they have learned that day, as well as a weekly letter including the sounds learned in that week.

 In addition to daily Phonics sessions, in Reception and Year 1 your child takes part in reading practice sessions three times a week. These sessions follow the same structure every time: decoding, prosody and comprehension, and use the same book each time. This book is carefully matched to their current reading phase, containing sounds they have just learned.

Decoding

In the first reading session, the children are introduced to the sounds they will meet in that book, any tricky words and new vocabulary. They practise reading these before they attempt to read the text. You can see an example of a decoding session here:

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Prosody

In the second reading session, the children review their sounds, tricky words and vocabulary, before reading the book again with more fluency. They practise reading sections of the text using expression and reading for meaning. You can see an example of a prosody session here:

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Comprehension

In the third and final reading session, the children review their sounds and words before reading the book again, this time applying their prosody skills they gained in the last session. We then ask the children questions to ensure they have fully understood the text. You can see an example of a comprehension session here: 

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Take home books

Your child will then take home that same book they have read three times in class so they can practise their reading skills with you. As they will already be familiar with the book, they should be able to read the book fluently with little to no help. If they are stuck on a word, please do help them – but let the class teacher know with a note in their reading record of any words they had to sound out or found too challenging.

The reading book and reading record will look like this:

In addition to this, your child will also choose another book from the library which is purely for pleasure, to enjoy with you. They are not expected to read this by themselves!

HOW YOU CAN HELP AT HOME

Practise the sound: When your child comes home with a sound sticker, please do ask them what sound it is that they have learned that day. Can the children think of words that have that sound in them and practise writing the sound?

Ask questions: When your child brings their reading practice book home, please find a quiet space if you can. Sit beside them and share the book between you. Give lots of encouragement as your child reads the book, and help them if they are stuck on a word (but do encourage them to use their sounds and sound out the word before reading it for them). In the back of the book there are suggested questions that you could ask your child about the story. For example: Turn to page 2. What is Mum doing at the start of the book?

Read more then once: Please do read the book more than once. The purpose of reading the same book more than once is to build fluency and confidence. They could read their book to other family members in order to further practise their skills, and to show off how good their reading is getting!

Enjoy a story: We would also like you to read the library book your child brings home with, or most likely to, them. This is their opportunity to enjoy rich storytelling and develop their lifelong love of reading. Again, find a quiet spot if you can, and make this experience enjoyable. Can the two of you make up voices for the characters, make predictions about what will happen next, or make up alternative endings for the stories? You can include as many family members in this experience as you like.

These books will come home once a week, and should be returned the following week on the agreed day. 

In Reception, books are given out on a Wednesday to come back in on the following Monday.

In Year 1, the books are given out on a Friday to come back in on the following Wednesday.

It is vital the books are returned on time, and in good condition, as set out in the Home School Agreement. You can view this agreement here:

 Borrowing books 

If you have any questions please see your child’s teacher – we are happy to support you in any way we can.

Other useful pages

English

Early Years Foundation Stage  

How we teach and learn