Reading at Home

What can you do at home?

  • Ensure your child reads/is read to, every day.
  • 10-15 minutes is a recommended time to both read and discuss a text.
  • Record any reading/communication in your child’s diary. This is a vital source for communication between you and the class teacher.


  1. Give children a variety of reading opportunities, for example, as well reading a book from the school reading scheme, why not read a magazine together, or look through a recipe book. Remember, let them hold the book and keep on praising them – boost their confidence!
  2. Read anything which your child enjoysTexts come in all sorts of unusual forms – comics, magazines, internet sites, manuals, recipes!! Non-Fiction or fiction - it all helps!
  3. Read e-books –
  4. Reading should be a pleasurable experience, so find the right place to read.
  5. Create the correct atmosphere for reading – relaxed and comfortable.
  6. Model – read yourself. Children love to be read to and they need to see reading as something we can enjoy at any stage in our lives.
  7. Visit your local library– It’s free!

When reading to your child:

  1. Miss out words to check they are following and ask them to fill in the gaps.
  2. Link words to pictures.
  3. Put expression into your reading – even act out a scene.
  4. Ask them questions to check their understanding of the text – can they recall certain parts and find the evidence in the book? Become ‘text detectives’ together!
  5. Ask them to give an opinion about what they are reading, and remember, offer your opinion as well; this will create wonderful discussion!

Read Write Inc. Phonics

For support with our phonics programme, Read Write Inc. Phonics, please see the information below or click this link for further information and guidance videos:

‘Special Friends’

Special friends are a combination of two or three letters representing one sound, e.g. ck, ay, igh, oa.

Fred Talk

Fred the Frog helps children read and spell. He can say the sounds in words, but he can’t say the whole word, so children have to help him. To help children read, Fred (the teacher) says the sounds and then children say the word. For example, Fred says c-a-t, children say cat, Fred says l-igh-t, children say light. Teachers are encouraged to use Fred Talk through the day, so children learn to blend sounds.

For example:

Play Simon Says: Put your hands on your h-ea-d/ f-oo-t/ kn-ee.

Put on your c-oa-t/ h-a-t/ s-c-ar-f.

Set the table with a b-ow-l/ f-or-k/ s-p-oo-n.

‘Fred in your head’

Once children can sound out a word, we teach them to say the sounds silently in their heads.

We show them how to do this by:

  1. whispering the sounds and then saying the whole word;
  2. mouthing the sounds silently and then saying the whole word;
  3. saying the whole word straight away.

How can I support my child’s reading and writing?

Here are the top five things you can do.

  1. Ask your child to read the Speed Sound cards speedily
  2. Use Fred Talk to help your child read and spell words
  3. Listen to your child read their Read Write Inc. Storybook every day
  4. Practise reading Green and Red Words in the Storybook speedily
  5. Read stories to your child every day.

How do I listen to my child read?

Your child has a Storybook matched to the sounds and words they know – a decodable book – so they should be able to read all the words.

Please avoid saying, “This book is too easy for you!” but instead say “I love how well you can read this book!”

‘Special Friends’, ‘Fred Talk’, read the word

Remind your child to read words using ‘Special Friends, Fred Talk, read the word’ (see glossary).

For example ‘ship’: spot the ‘sh’, then Fred Talk and blend to read the word e.g. sh, sh-i-p, ship.

Red Words

Red Words are also known as common exception or tricky words. They occur in stories regularly (said, what, where) but have unusual letter combinations (‘ai’ in the word ‘said’ makes the sound ‘e’).

Remind your child not to use Fred Talk to read Red Words but instead to ‘stop and think’.

Tell them the word if you need to.

Read the same book again and again

Children love reading the same book again and again. Their reading becomes speedier and they understand what they are reading.

  • Encourage your child to read words using ‘Fred in your head’ (see glossary)
  • Show your child how to read the story in a storyteller voice
  • Share your enjoyment of the story when they read it again and again.

What do I do with the picture books?

One of the most important things you can do as a parent at home is read to your child.

Loving stories is important because children who love stories want to read stories for themselves.

Children who read a lot become better readers.