At a recent meeting of headteachers, we did a quick straw poll: which year group has been most impacted by Covid lockdowns? Well over half of the headteachers said Year 3, and to a large extent we’re finding that, too. No matter what year group, the best way to keep supporting your child is to make sure they’re reading every day and practising number facts. This week’s message comes from our Reading Leaders…
Early reading and phonics
We’ve already done nearly half a year’s worth of phonics in Reception and Year 1 – plus two assessments. We’re very pleased with progress and hope you can see how fluent children are when they’re reading to you at home. Year 2 children have been reviewing their phonic knowledge with an increasing focus on writing and spelling.
It’s all about repeated practice when learning how to read. If children are not reading words with fluency and automaticity (automatically), they probably just haven’t had enough practice. Re-reading to increase fluency, add prosody (rhythm, intonation, expression) and develop comprehension is why we read the same book or text in school all week. Extra reading of the same text at home is a brilliant way to celebrate children’s success and for them to continue to refine all these elements.
You really can help at home by ensuring you give your child the opportunity to read their school reading book or eBook. We’re the ‘expert readers’ so reading to them (at bedtime, for example) is just as important.
Reading in Key Stage 2
This half-term, your child is ‘solo reading’. They’ll be bringing home a book to read that they’ve chosen – usually from our school library. It’s really important that your child is reading this book regularly alongside an adult and that they bring their signed Reading Record into school every week.
Whilst regular reading is the most crucial aspect in a child’s development, there are other things you can do to help at home, too:
- talk about reading
- be a reading role model
- visit a local library / book shop
- ask your child what they’ve read at school
- regularly practise spellings (spelling and reading use the same skills – recognising patterns between letters and sounds)
This week saw the first of four days of industrial action by the National Education Union. Our school was largely unaffected. There are three more planned days coming up:
- Tuesday, 28 February (Northern, North West, Yorkshire and Humber regions)
- Wednesday, 15 March (England and Wales)
- Thursday, 16 March (England and Wales)
Workers don’t have to advise their employer if they plan to strike or not. Our advice remains the same: it might be wise to arrange childcare on these days in case your child’s class needs to close. We’ll keep you updated as much as we can.
We’re looking forward to seeing you in person for next week’s parent-teacher meetings. In the meantime, enjoy your weekend.