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Heartwood CE VC Primary and Nursery School
Learn to Love – Love to Learn!

Home Reading

Reading at Home


Take a look at the bottom of our 'phonics and early reading' page for links to helpful videos on reading with your child at home 


Lively phonic books (Ditty books) are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and ‘tricky’ words and, as children re-read the stories, their fluency increases. Along with a thought-provoking introduction, prompts for thinking out loud and discussion, children are helped to read with a storyteller’s voice. 


Children will be introduced to decodable ‘Ditty books’ when they successfully begin to read single words. The short vowels should be kept short and sharp: Children use sound-blending (Fred Talk) to read short ditties. They will bring these home on a Thursday once they have read and discussed the book in class that week. 


Along side these black & white ‘Ditty books’ children will also bring home a 'Book Bag Book'. These are closely linked to their phonic knowledge. 


Within all the books children will have red and green words to learn to help them to become speedy readers. Red words are words that are not easily decodable and challenge words to extend children’s vocabulary. Green words are linked to the sounds they have been learning and are easily decodable.





Reading Records

Image result for pedagogs reading record pts


Please write the date, the title of the book and a positive comment about how they read parts of the book to you in the reading record.


The comment could be about how they read the words/ sentences:

Did they...

Hold the book the right way and turn the pages effectively?

Finger-track the words as they read them?

Concentrate as they read independently?

Self -correct?

Persevere to read the whole book to the end?

Say each of the separate sounds in the words?

Blend the letter sounds back together to be able to read the word?

Recognise tricky words on sight?

Read some words ‘at a glance’?


Or the comment could be how they understood questions you asked about what they had read (comprehension).

At the bottom of the page there is space to write any words that they will need more practise to learn.



How to share a school reading book with your child

We strongly encourage parents and guardians to read their child's book with them 5 x a week for at least 10 minutes.  Your child will have read their book in school, normally at least 3 times (depending on where they are in their reading journey) and so should be able to read the book with some fluency. It is important that your child re-reads the book throughout the week so that their fluency increases along with their expression, understanding and enjoyment of the book. 


Comprehension (understanding what they have read) is just as important as reading the words and sentences.


Read the book a page at a time.

-discuss the title of the book before reading. What might the book be about? What does the title tell us?

- word reading- sound out unfamiliar words or practise saying words that cannot be sounded out in the sentence/ paragraph. Use Fred Fingers to sound out the words. Encourage children to looks for 'special friends' (digraphs - two letters that make one sound) 

- Re-read the sentence that was sounded out until the child can say it independently.

- Talk about what they have just read. It's ok to use the pictures to support their understanding. You could ask: What happened? Who are the characters? Where are they? What facts did you find out? What do you predict will happen next? How do you think they are feeling? Why did the author decide to write that part?


Then continue throughout the book. 

At the back of each school reading book there are comprehension questions at the back to complete with your child.


Reading for pleasure at home

Children can take home a book to share at home with their family from our school 'lending library'. We have a huge selection of quality books, including fiction, poetry and non fiction, for the children to choose from.

We strongly recommend daily bedtime stories with your child and these books can be used for that. 

Depending on the age of your child, they may want to read the book themselves or it may be that the adult needs to reads.  Wherever your child is in the reading journey, you can enjoy looking at and reading the book together.


When reading, model how to read sentences using different voices for characters etc.

When you have finished the book talk about what you have read:

Who were the characters? What were they like? What happened to them? Where are they? Why do you think the author wrote that part? Who is the most exciting character? Is there any parts you could change, why? Ask your child to retell the story back to you. Which is their favourite part? Do they like the story? Why?





Reading Leader: Mrs Bex Starman 

Reading Link Governor: Sarah Anderson