Supporting your child at home with Reading, Phonics and Maths. Guidance for reception parents

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1 Supporting your child at home with Reading, Phonics and Maths. Guidance for reception parents

2 Reading guidance for parents in Reception Reading is a skill for life. Enjoyment of reading is fundamental to all your child s learning. Your child is just starting out on their reading journey. They will need your patience and support to develop their skills. At Priory Park Infants we encourage children to learn the skills to prepare them for life and to read for enjoyment. It is helpful if you practice reading daily with your child, as this will reinforce the skills being taught in school during guided reading sessions. It is crucial to maintain motivation and to work at the pace of your child. If, for whatever reason, your child is reluctant to read, please seek advice from your child s class teacher. Enjoying picture books together: To begin with, children will bring home books without text. These picture books provide an opportunity for discussion and storytelling which will lay the foundations for reading in the future. Spend time together looking at the pictures and discussing what is happening, what might happen next, who the characters are, what they might be saying etc. All of this will help develop the language skills needed for reading. Using Phonics to Support Reading: (Please see the phonic glossary contained later in this booklet for explanation of phonic terms and phrases). Once your child begins to bring home books with a small amount of text, phonics (decoding word using the sounds that the letters make) is a vitally important strategy for reading. Encourage your child to blend sounds to read short 2 or 3 letter words when reading. Use initial, middle and final sounds. Point to each sound in the word and say the sound of each letter, and encourage your child to hear the word that the sounds make. They will need support with this at first but will gradually become more confident and independent. Some words are not phonetic and your child will not be able to blend them. Your child needs to be helped to remember these tricky words. These will be found on the picture sheets in their reading record book (starting with the teddy bear.) A good strategy for doing this is by playing games with the words e.g. hunt the word, word bingo, pairs, snap.. Other strategies for working out unfamiliar words: As well as using phonics to decode, some other strategies might be necessary to support your child when reading. These might include: Looking at the pictures for clues as to the unfamiliar word; Looking at the first sound in the word and predicting it; Jumping over the word, reading to the end of the sentence and then coming back to the unfamiliar word to decide on a word that makes sense in that sentence. We term this making a sensible guess at a word.

3 Guided reading: Guided reading is used within school as a method to teach the skills for reading. Groups are generally organised by similar ability and are fairly small in size (up to 6 children). Adults work with the children both as a group and individually to support reading skills and comprehension. Your child s class teacher will make a brief note of the focus of each session in your child s reading record book. E.g. today we looked at telling the story in the correct sequence. This will enable you to support this process at home using the books your child brings home to read with you individually. It is vital that children experience a range of books to read so the books that your child brings home will be different from those used in the guided reading sessions. Comprehension (or Understanding what has been read ): Reading is not just about decoding the words. A crucial element is about understanding what has been read. At school, children are encouraged to talk about the books they have read, discuss the feelings portrayed in the text and answer questions about content, setting, characters etc.. Questioning your child is a good way to find out about their understanding. Using the book to go back and find an answer to a question really shows how much of the book has been absorbed and understood. Good questions to ask might include questions beginning with What E.g. what happened next? Or questions beginning with Why e.g. Why did that happen..? Or How e.g. how did you feel when that happened? Other Reading Experiences: It is important that children read a range of styles of books and reading material. A good idea for presents at Christmas and Birthday time is to buy resources like comics, Annuals, Top Trump cards and other things that require a child to decode and make sense of the text. Just reading the cereal packet at the breakfast table will be a worthwhile reading experience. Similarly it is important for children to have reading modelled to them, so a bedtime story is an ideal way to show your child how to read with tone and expression. If you are a regular reader yourself, this alone provides a model of reading for your child and a way to develop a positive attitude to reading in the home. Children learn a great deal from watching those around them! Ideas from include: When you read to your child, make the experience interactive - ask questions about the story, the pictures and what they think of the characters As their reading skills grow, gradually let them turn the tables until they're reading to you Use dictionaries together for difficult words - a picture dictionary can make exploring language more interesting Enrol your child at the local library so they can try new books regularly

4 Keep an eye out for the themes that catch your child's imagination at school - and help follow it up with more reading When you come across an unusual or funny-sounding word, help your child find out what it means and write it on the fridge door with magnetic letters And finally Reading should be a time for positive enjoyment. Most children go through phases when they feel tired or negative about their reading. Our advice at these times would be to let your child have some time off from reading practice. They will not suffer from a short spell of time out and there is always tomorrow to catch up! We hope this brief guidance will support you to help your child practice their reading and we hope your child s reading journey will to be a pleasant and exciting one. HAPPY READING!

5 Phonics guidance for parents in Reception; Phonic development is the key to successful reading and writing. Children start to learn phonics from birth as they begin to hear and replicate sounds around them. Development of language is a main priority for Young children and many tasks and activities in the reception classes are planned to promote speaking and listening skills. During daily phonic lessons in school, children learn to hear and put together a range of sounds to make words. Since the introduction of Letters and Sounds (the Government programme of phonics), children are also expected to use and understand a variety of terms to describe features of phonics. Therefore, we thought it might be helpful to give parents a glossary of phonic terms so that you can make sense of your child s phonic language and support them correctly with the use of phonics in reading and writing at home. Phonic Terms Meanings Phoneme The sound a letter or group of letters make. Grapheme The written form of a sound (phoneme). Vowels a, e, i, o, u Consonants All the other letters of the alphabet that are not vowels. CVC words Words that are made up of Consonant, Vowel, Consonant formation e.g. pig, log Consonant clusters Two or more consonants blended together e.g cl, br, tw Blend Sound out or build the phonemes in a word to help with reading and spelling. Segment Break up the phonemes in a word to help with spelling. Digraphs Two or more letters that make one sound e.g. ar, sh Comprehension Understanding what has been read. Expression Putting feeling into your voice as you speak. High Frequency Words High Frequency Words are words that appear frequently in texts and that children need to know and read with confidence. If you are unsure about the phonic terms, please speak to a member of staff who will be more than willing to help.

6 Supporting your Reception child at home with Maths: One of the most valuable things you can do with your child is talk to them about mathematics, when out shopping, playing games involving numbers, cooking etc. This may include: 1. Sing number rhymes and songs such as: 'One, two, buckle my shoe' 'One two three four five, once I caught a fish alive' 'Ten green bottles' 'There were ten in the bed' 2. Talk about: how many knives and forks you will need to set the table how many people are in the queue at the supermarket check-out which glass will hold the most orange juice 3. Ask children to help with jobs: getting a particular number of an item at the supermarket Pairing up socks after the washing 4. Play games like 'Snakes and Ladders' or Ludo that involve taking turns and using a dice and counters to move around a board. 5. Look for numbers in books, on posters, in comics, on buses, houses, cars, and road signs. 6. Talk about the shapes of things. 7. Do jigsaws. With young children you can help by doing some maths for a few minutes every day. THE EARLY YEARS FOUNDATION STAGE CURRICULUM Maths is taught using the objectives in the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum and the National Numeracy Strategy. The emphasis is on children becoming confident in using the key skills which include counting, sorting, looking for patterns and relationships and working with numbers. Understanding is developed through stories, songs, games and play so that children enjoy experimenting and using numbers larger than 10. Numbers can be seen as labels, whether for house numbers, car number plates, television channels or other examples. The children are taught to recognize the names of numbers and to match them to objects when counting. At this stage, calculating is about using numbers in practical situations. This may involve comparing numbers of objects (subtraction), combining numbers of objects (addition), sharing objects equally between members of a group (division) and adding the same number of objects (multiplication). The objects could be actual items, eg, pencils, but they could also be actions, e.g., the number of jumps. Regular practice is essential to help children develop an understanding of number patterns and relationships. Much of the work is through opportunities to experiment and question, e.g., how many times will this small bottle fill the larger one?

7 As the children progress through Reception, they will work with numbers mentally and also begin to record their methods as appropriate. Calculations are recorded in a variety of ways as the ultimate aim is for them to be able to work mentally. Further information can be found on the following websites: follow the link for parents, then curriculum then numeracy which includes games and puzzles for children to play the schools section of the BBC website has a whole range of fun activities for children to do on the computer. Follow the numeracy link to find activities to help children learn tables, recognize shapes, do simple calculations and lots more! For further guidance with homework, please visit and click on the Parents section. Then find School Learning and Development and click on More about School Learning & Development. Then find the tab labelled School Life and click on Homework: What Parents Need to Know.

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