The phonics scheme that we use to teach children to read is called Read Write Inc. There are 9 different sets of books in the scheme; Sound Blending, Red, Green, Purple, Pink, Orange, Yellow, Blue and Grey. They are fully decodable and matched to the letter sounds that your child knows.
If your child is in Reception, Year 1 or Year 2, they bring home a number of books every week. These are our expectations for each book.
1: Phonic reading book - This is the book that your child has been reading at school. Your child should be able to read this to you fairly fluently. It is a chance for you to celebrate how well they are reading!
2: Book Bag Book - These books are matched to the phonic reading book. Sometimes they are a continuation of the story, sometimes they have a linked theme, always they will precisely match the phonics (letter sounds) in the phonic reading book that your child has read at school. Your child may not have seen this book before and will need to sound words out, but they should be able to read it without too much help. Yellow, Blue and Grey books have a fiction and a non-fiction Book Bag Book, so that they get double the practice!
3: School Library book - this is a book for someone at home to read to your child. The children have free choice to choose it during their weekly library session. We do not expect children to be able to read this but we want children to have books read to them and enjoy the experience. Nursery children bring home a library book.
If you have any questions, please speak to your child's teacher.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Make a calm, comfortable place for your family to relax and read independently - or together.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.