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Gusford Primary School

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Helping Your KS1 child with reading at home

Helping your KS1 child with Reading at home

Gusford Primary School

Whilst children read at school, individually, in groups and as part of a class, there are also lots of ways that you can support your child at home.

We would encourage you to hear your child read their reading books as often as possible (remember little and often is best), but there are also other ways that you can read with your child or promote the pleasure of reading and here are a few ideas to help you…

Becoming a reader involves the development of important skills;

Ÿ Using language in conversation

Ÿ Listening and responding to stories read aloud

Ÿ Recognising and naming the letters of the alphabet and the sounds that they make

Ÿ Reading often so that recognition of words becomes automatic and easy

Ÿ Learning and using new words

Ÿ Understanding what is read

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Model a love of reading with your child

– let children see that you value books. Seeing adults enjoying reading from books, newspapers, magazines, recipes or menus will make children want to read themselves.

Gusford Primary School

Children learn from the world around them and from seeing labels, notices and signs which are written in print. Encourage children to look for words they know all around them!


Practise the sounds of language – read books with rhymes. Teach your child rhymes, short poems and songs.

Play simple word games eg How many words can you make up that sound like the word ‘cat’?

Gusford Primary School


Gusford Primary School

Help your child take spoken words apart and put them back together. Help your child separate the sounds in words, listen for the beginning and ending sounds and put separate sounds together.


Let children have time to attempt words that they are unsure before you give them the word. Help them to get the initial sound or try breaking the word into smaller sections. If your child is struggling, give them the word but encourage them to re-read the sentence correctly to reinforce the new word they have learnt and hear themselves successfully reading the sentence.

Practice the alphabet by pointing out letters wherever you see them!

Practise the sounds that letters make too.

You could reinforce the letters and sounds your child is learning by cutting out letters, and pictures of things that begin with that letter, from magazines or comics and create a collage.

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Share stories with your child and re-read familiar books. Children learn the patterns of language from hearing stories and need practice in reading comfortably and with expression using books they know.

They may even enjoy reading the story to younger sibling or friend.

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Join your local library – children can have access to hundreds of good quality books, both fiction and non- fiction…and its free!


Play ‘I Spy’ – It’s a good way of showing that every word begins with a letter.

You can also play games where children identify the odd one out in a list like cat, mat, dot, and rat.

Play card games like Bingo, Memory cards, Snap and Go Fish.

Gusford Primary School


Gusford Primary School

Make your favourite recipe together! Read the instructions carefully and enjoy creating something tasty and fun to eat!

Maybe you could even try to write your own recipe!



Ask your child to write a review of their favourite book.

Ÿ What was their favourite part?

Ÿ What did they enjoy about the book?

Ÿ Who were their favourite characters?

Ÿ Would they recommend the book to a friend?


When you next go out for a walk, ask your child to suggest adjectives (describing words) or similes to describe what they see…

Eg. the leaves are golden and crispy

The sea is as sparkly as a diamond necklace

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Keep old newspapers and magazines. Let children cut out the large letters and use them to create words and sentences.

Can they spell their name using lots of different font types?

Write labels under pictures or objects to show them that words belong to things.

Model reading from left to right by pointing to words with your finger, then theirs.

Gusford Primary School


Talk to your child about what is going on in a book or story. Ask questions such as;

Ÿ Which character did you like best? Why?

Ÿ Why was the King upset?

Ÿ What do you think will happen next?

Ÿ How did the girl feel at the end of the story?

Encourage children to use the pictures to support them and discuss new words.


Keep in touch with the school and let us know if books need to be changed or you feel your child is finding the level of books they have been given, or areas of their reading, difficult. Please also feel free to share any reading successes or areas of reading interest that your child really enjoys, with us.

Gusford Primary School


If English is not your family’s first language, look for books that are printed in a dual language. You can talk about books or stories in any language.

Let your children help you with the shopping!

Give them a list of say 5 things that they need to find as you walk around the supermarket together.

Gusford Primary SchoolAs they find them they can tick them off their list!

As they find them they can tick them off their list!


Role-play is a great way to promote the use of story language and allow children to re-tell stories in their own style.

Gusford Primary School

Encourage your child to make masks or puppets of the characters in their favourite story or dress up as different characters. They could create their own play of the story on their own or with their friends – they could even give a performance to family and friends!

Let your child make their own book.Gusford Primary School

It could be a story or information book or just pictures and a few wordsWhat could the title be?

Will your book have illustrations?

Does your story have a beginning, middle or an end?

Will your book need an index?

Create an easy ‘treasure hunt’

Let your child choose a letter.

Challenge them to find say 10 things that begin with that letter eg. ‘P’ – pencil, paper, pineapple, pan…etc

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Alternatively give them a list of 10 things to read and find.

Create a ‘Topic Dictionary’ Eg. Football Dictionary A – attack

B – ball C – captain

D – dribble…

Give children some words to put into alphabetical order. It could be 5 of their favourite dinosaurs, friends, footballers, pop groups, etc.

Gusford Primary School

Use fridge magnet letters to spell out words and messages.

Children could practise spelling the Key Words from their packs too!

Gusford Primary School


Encourage your child to recommend their favourite book to a friend.

They could even write 3 questions to ask their friend about the book, once they have read the story.

100 Key Words are the words that your child will come across regularly in both their reading and writing, and includes some of the ‘tricky words’ that are difficult to sound phonetically or are frequently misread or misspelt.

Ÿ Practise the 100 Key Words by making ‘Flash cards’.

Ÿ How many words can you read in a minute?

Ÿ Challenge children to find given Key Words in books they are reading.

Ÿ Make Key Words out of play-dough or letters made from a variety of

fabrics or materials.

Ÿ Let children make their own Key Word word-search – they could challenge a friend or sibling to try to solve it!

Gusford Primary School

Ÿ Practise making sentences with the Key Word cards.

Ÿ Create a game of ‘Snap’ using two matching sets of Key Word cards.

Ÿ ‘Speed Challenge’ – how many of your Key Words can you read in a


Gusford Primary School

Ÿ Practise making sentences with the Key Word cards.

Ÿ Create a game of ‘Snap’ using two matching sets of Key Word cards.

Ÿ ‘Speed Challenge’ – how many of your Key Words can you read in a


Praise your child for trying hard with their reading. Celebrate their successes, but let them know that it is all right to make mistakes!

Cover the words in a story and ask your child to ‘read’ the book using the pictures only – can they describe what is happening in each picture. Now uncover the words and read the story together.

Ÿ Do the words and pictures tell the

same story?

Ÿ Do the illustrations make the story more enjoyable/ interesting?

Gusford Primary School

Reading is one of the most valuable andrewarding skills your child will learn.


We believe that children, who read regularly to an adult at home, make greater and quicker progress in the development of their reading and comprehension skills and therefore any time you can spend hearing your child read will provide valuable support to their learning.


Useful websites: – has ideas and games to play; on-line books that relate to the children’s Oxford Reading Tree scheme books; modelling of sounds being said (in ‘Skill up’ section) - games based on phonics and sentence structure - games, activities and stories – advice and ideas for recommended books and activity sheets – various games and on-line books

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