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Bishop Creighton Academy


The teaching of reading skills is good. In early years, children make a good start with their early development of reading because of effective teaching, an encouraging environment and effective links with parents. The teaching of phonics in the early years and Year 1 is strong, and more pupils than previously develop at an appropriate level. The new reading scheme is well used, and good teaching in key stage 2 ensures that the progress that all groups of pupils make in reading is broadly in line with national averages. Ofsted, Feb 2018

Why is reading and learning to read so important?

Reading is one of the first things that children learn when they start school. It is the foundation of all education. When children can read, other subjects then become available to them and independent learning can begin. Those who are unable to read well will find themselves at a constant disadvantage throughout their education.

Reading doesn't only have educational benefits but social ones as well. Reading with your child can be one of the most exciting, memorable and special times for you as a parent. It is not everyday you can help teach your child a skill they will use every single day for the rest of their lives!

Learning to read also helps to instil confidence, independence and self belief that will massively help your child's all round development.

Programmes of study

The programmes of study for reading at key stages 1 and 2 consist of two dimensions:

  • word reading
  • comprehension (both listening and reading)

We aim to develop pupils’ competence in both dimensions;

Skilled word reading involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Underpinning both is the understanding that the letters on the page represent the sounds in spoken words. This is why phonics should be emphasised in the early teaching of reading to beginners (i.e. unskilled readers) when they start school.

Good comprehension draws from linguistic knowledge (in particular of vocabulary and grammar) and on knowledge of the world. Comprehension skills develop through pupils’ experience of high-quality discussion with the teacher, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction. All pupils must be encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum. Reading widely and often increases pupils’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. Reading also feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious young minds.

5 tips to help your child fall in love with reading

  1. Choose books that your child is genuinely interested in.

    This may sound obvious, but asking a child to read about robots if they love trains isn't going to have the same impact!

  2. Pick a quiet and appropriate time to read

    Creating a relaxed environment can really help to ease the pressure some children face when asked to practice their reading.

  3. Talk about the story

    It is important to make reading more than just about 'practicing reading'. Remember that books are stories! Talk about what is happening in the story 'what do you think this book is going to be about?' 'What do you think will happen next?' are great questions to engage your child in the storybook.

  4. Identify tricky words first before you start reading

    Once you start to read regularly you will learn the words that they will find tricky depending on their level. Reading the trickier words together before you start reading will give your child confidence when they see that word during the story.

  5. Give them time to decipher the words

    Giving your child time to decipher the words and not rushing them will increase their confidence. It is important for children to learn the process of how to read words. That is how phonics works. Ask them to take their time, sound it out and blend it back together.