Bethany CE Junior School

Inspiring learning for life - hope for the future

Coastal learning Partnership

Reading Guidance

Early Reading - see  for guidance on phonics and the sounds we make


Tips for parents/carers with children new to reading English or for pupils significantly behind in their reading


  • Talk: spend time talking to your child about their day, about their play and about things around them encourages the development of speaking and listening skills. This is highly important when children go on to start learning to read.
  • Talk about books, words and pictures: Before you start reading a book, talk about the title, the pictures on the cover (front and back). Look through the pictures together and ask your child what they think the story might be about.
  • Talk about stories and events: As you read and when you’ve finished, sometimes ask questions about the story. 'What was your favourite bit? What do you think about that? What would you do?' Get your child to ask you questions too. Don’t overdo it though – otherwise you can lose the thread of the plot.
  • Find your favourites and add to them: Children love to listen to their favourite books over and over again and to remember some parts by heart. That’s fine as enjoyment and memory play a key part in learning to read. Add to their list of favourites by reading stories of all kinds, rhymes, poetry and information books too.
  • Talk about letters and sounds: If you draw attention to letters and sounds, your child will begin to notice them as well. Knowing the letter sounds is a very important first step in early phonics teaching so start talking about these at the earliest opportunity. Please see:
  • Read EVERY DAY: Reading with your child continues to be really important so keep reading lots of different books together. 
  • Sound Out First: If your child gets stuck on a word, check first if it can be sounded out or blended by saying the letter sounds individually and putting them together quickly to hear the word. If your child can’t work out the word, then you say it and move on. (Sounding out: To say the individual sounds that make up a word; Blended: To say the individual sounds that make up a word and blend them together to hear the whole word for reading (for example, 's-a-t' becomes 'sat'). We say you blend to read and segment to spell.)


What can school offer?

We have a range of evidenced based interventions for Reading, for example, catch up Literacy. Your child's support will be shared with you during Parent's Evening. If you are struggling to read with your child regularly, please let us know and we can help.


However, if you ever have any questions, please speak to your child's teacher in the first instance. If you require further information, please speak to the school SENDCO - Mrs Winston. 


Year 5 and Year 6 Reading


  • Share BooksIt might get more difficult to make time for the ‘bedtime reading experience’ now, but it’s still useful and enjoyable. Reading to your child, listening to your child read, leaving them to read alone, and listening to audio books are all valuable. Try to chat about reading and swap ideas about good reads in an informal way.
  • Open up the world of books: Share the variety of your reading with your child: books, magazines, websites, and apps. Show how reading can help you follow your interests and get involved. Help them to join blogs, online communities, and clubs that link to their hobbies whether it’s swimming, football, dance, music, or something completely different.
  • Read between the lines: Talking about stories, poems, and information books can help your child understand books in different ways. It’s not just about what’s happened or who did what. Talk about what a book means to your child and whether they think there are any less obvious meanings that the author wants us to spot.
  • Research Homework: If your child is asked to research a topic, talk to them about how they will tackle the task. Remind them to look in books and use the library as well as the internet. Talk to them about how you decide what to use and what to reject – as well as how you know which sources to trust.


Year 3 and Year 4 Reading Guidance


  • Share Books: Hearing a story read to you (rather than watching a story on TV or as a film) is hugely important for developing reading skills, but it’s also a relaxing routine which prepares children for a good night’s sleep. Hearing a story read out loud also means that children can have access to books that may as yet be too challenging to read alone
  • Open up the World of Reading: Share the variety of your reading with your child: books, magazines, websites, and apps, to show how reading can help you to follow your interests and to get involved. Help them to join blogs, online communities and clubs that link to their hobbies whether it’s swimming, football, dance or music.
  • Encourage Prediction: When reading stories, good readers are always thinking ahead to start to work out what might happen next. You can help your child become better at this by asking key questions such as:'I wonder if … will happen? Who do you think will…?'
  • Research for Homework: Your child may be asked to investigate a topic or find answers to questions set in class. You can help them with their research skills by talking about where to look to find the answers, although you may need to remind them to look in books and use the library as well as the internet. Children can struggle with information overload so they need your help to ‘search and sift’ both sites and information to make decisions.
  • Value Choice: It’s really important to value your child’s choices even when a book looks too easy or too difficult. Children can read books that appear to be too difficult (especially if it is a topic that interests them) but you’ll need to guide them through tricky words, pictures, ideas or even the layout of an information book.