Supporting reading at home
Sharing a book with a child is special. It's a time for closeness, laughing and talking together – and it can also give children a flying start in life and help them become lifelong readers. Whether it be before bed, snuggled up on a wet afternoon, or helping with the cooking of a tasty treat, reading is the foundation of a successful future.
As a core life skill, it is important that reading links between home and school are strong. On this page, you will find information about how school and home can work together to promote a lifelong love of reading.
If you’re not feeling confident about reading aloud or sharing books, don’t worry – there’s no right or wrong way to enjoy a story together. But if you’d like some tips, scroll down to find advice with supporting your child and their reading journey.
Every child has a Reading Journal. It is a place to record your child's engagement with reading.
Every child records a minimum of 5 reading sessions per week.
Each reading session should be at least 20 minutes in duration.
The completed titles read are written on the dedicated pages within the Reading Journal. This will help you, your child and your child's class teacher ensure a wide and varied reading diet.
Engaging with and signing your child's Reading Journal each week will help promote the importance of successful reading.
Teachers monitor every child's Reading Journal each week to support regular reading and a varied reading diet.
Communication between home and school are vital to recognise the successes of reading, but also where support and help can be offered.
Accelerated Reader: parents' guide
Your child participates in the Accelerated Reader program. Click here for a Parent's Guide to Accelerated Reader which is designed to answer your questions about Accelerated Reader. If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact your child’s teacher or visit the Renaissance website at www.renlearn.co.uk.
Click the Accelerated Reader logo to go straight to our school's Accelerated Reader website (do not Google it).
Accelerated Reader: Reading Record
Every half term, you will be given a record of the books that your child has read. It will be attached to their Reading Journal.
The Reading Record will also show you how well they have successfully engaged with the books based on the outcome of their Accelerated Reader Quizzes.
As part of the report, your child's class teacher will summarise your child's achievements to celebrate their reading, and also identify how reading can be supported further.
The Reading Record will also allow you to discuss with your child the books they have enjoyed, found tricky or would like to read more. It is also a great way to ensure your child is regularly reading a wide variety of rich and engaging books.
Which books should I be encouraging my child to read?
With such a vast wealth of choice, children's literature has become a treasure trove for both children and adult readers. But which books are best to ensure your child is engaged, motivated and able to understand all that they read?
Click here for recommendations for all readers. The School Reading List
Oxford Owl is a great website to guide parents to help them and their child choose the next best read. Click on the Oxford Owl link for advice with helping your child choose a brilliant book.
What books are the correct book level for my child?
We always want to encourage children to pick up any book they are interested to read - be it independently, or with a family member.
However, to really allow children to get the most out of their reading, it is recommended that children access books withing their Zone of Proximal Development.
Click on the Accelerated Reader Bookfinder link below to see which books are perfect reads for your child, or check a book to see if it is an appropriate challenge.
Our School Library
Our amazing school library is packed with a whole host of books, suited for every reader.
Every child has access to the library with their class, or at lunchtime.
The Library is also open to the community after school: Tuesday & Thursday 3.15pm-3.45pm.
The Library is a sacred place where families can visit, either just to sit and read together, or find the next great book to take home and enjoy together.
Amy, our School Librarian, will be happy to help choose that perfect book.
Ilfracombe Town Library
Visiting our local community library is a fantastic way to help even the most reluctant readers engage in reading. With friendly and knowledgeable staff, and many incredible events throughout the year, Ilfracombe Town Library is the perfect way to kickstart a reading
habit for life.
Follow the link for more details of the services
provided at Ilfracombe Library
Supporting your child on their reading journey
10 top tips for parents to support children to read
1. Encourage your child to read
Reading helps your child’s wellbeing, develops imagination and has educational benefits too. Just a few minutes a day can have a big impact on children of all ages.
2. Read aloud regularly
Try to read to your child every day. It’s a special time to snuggle up and enjoy a story. Stories matter and children love re-reading them and poring over the pictures. Try adding funny voices to bring characters to life.
3. Encourage reading choice
Give children lots of opportunities to read different things in their own time - it doesn’t just have to be books. There’s fiction, non-fiction, poetry, comics, magazines, recipes and much more. Try leaving interesting reading material in different places around the home and see who picks it up.
4. Read together
Choose a favourite time to read together as a family and enjoy it. This might be everyone reading the same book together, reading different things at the same time, or getting your children to read to each other. This time spent reading together can be relaxing for all.
5. Create a comfortable environment
Make a calm, comfortable place for your family to relax and read independently - or together.
6. Make use of your local library
Libraries in England are able to open from 4 July, so visit them when you’re able to and explore all sorts of reading ideas. Local libraries also offer brilliant online materials, including audiobooks and ebooks to borrow. See Libraries Connected for more digital library services and resources.
7. Talk about books
This is a great way to make connections, develop understanding and make reading even more enjoyable. Start by discussing the front cover and talking about what it reveals and suggests the book could be about. Then talk about what you’ve been reading and share ideas. You could discuss something that happened that surprised you, or something new that you found out. You could talk about how the book makes you feel and whether it reminds you of anything.
8. Bring reading to life
You could try cooking a recipe you’ve read together. Would you recommend it to a friend? Alternatively, play a game where you pretend to be the characters in a book, or discuss an interesting article you’ve read.
9. Make reading active
Play games that involve making connections between pictures, objects and words, such as reading about an object and finding similar things in your home. You could organise treasure hunts related to what you’re reading. Try creating your child’s very own book by using photos from your day and adding captions.
10. Engage your child in reading in a way that suits them
You know your child best and you’ll know the best times for your child to read. If they have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) then short, creative activities may be the way to get them most interested. If English is an additional language, encourage reading in a child’s first language, as well as in English. What matters most is that they enjoy it.
Activities & Resources to support reading at home
Making predictions about what you are about to read is a great way to engage the brain, and encourage motivation to read. What did you expect? What did you not?
Ask questions and debate
Using questions to talk about what you are reading opens up the conversation around what has been read. It can lead to some interesting discussion, especially when applied to your own experiences.
Use the Question Matrix to create your own questions, and then use the sentence stems below to help shape responses.
Summarise what you have discovered
Summarising is a great technique that all good readers use to check that they have understood what has been read. If a reader can explain the key information, they have been a successful reader.
The sentence stems below will help a reader structure and organise their thoughts and ideas.
Discuss & Debate
Discussing, comparing, contrasting and debating are great ways to get the conversation around reading going. The best thing way to do this is to use the sentence stems below. A reader's opinion can never be wrong, if it has been based upon what has been read.
Further support for reading at home
Please do not hesitate to contact your child's class teacher to discuss any questions or thoughts you have about your child's reading.
Alternatively, you can also contact our school English Coordinator, Mrs Amy Le Bredonchel, via the school office or by emailing email@example.com.
For further advice, you can also contact, our SENDCo, Mrs Claire Tanner, or our resident Dyslexia Specialist, Mr Ossian Pleasance, via the school office or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.