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How you as a teacher can support guardians

Below is a selection of topics that can be used to support guardians. The aim is to give them a better understanding of the importance of reading and how they can stimulate and facilitate their child's reading by simple means.


How do we know what reading ability pupils have? 

What is reading? 

Language skills 


Media and language 

A rich language 

Learning to read easily and correctly  

How do we know what reading ability pupils have? 

Lexplore’s assessment measures reading ability so that you know how best to promote pupils' reading development.   

Between the assessments, reading interventions and support should be provided to help pupils at all levels develop their reading skills and build their confidence.

In particular, following up with the pupils who you think need extra support.  

What is reading? 

Reading is the key to knowledge, which is why it is so important that schools and homes can work together to develop children's reading.  

Advice for parents and carers 

To become a fully-fledged reader, you need to be able to connect the names of letters with how they sound in words.   

Once they understand that the letter is called one thing, but sounds different when it is in a word, the child can put the sounds together to form words and eventually sentences.   

It's not an easy process that always happens on its own. Sometimes the child needs help along the way.   

Intensive reading training where required, is the technical part of reading called decoding.  

Decoding is the ability to apply your knowledge of letter-sound relationships, including knowledge of letter patterns, to correctly pronounce written words. 

Language comprehension is the second part needed to understand how to read a text. Language comprehension is the child's vocabulary and grammatical ability. In addition, the knowledge the child has about the topic they are reading is an important part of developing good reading comprehension. Give an example of how a child who has never heard of horses will find it more difficult to understand what galloping is than a child who rides at riding school.  

What language skills are needed to learn to read?  

Reading is not just understanding what you read. The very first thing a child must learn is to associate letter pictures with their sounds.   

A B is called B when you say it but in words it sounds "B" (show).  

Advise that children need to be phonologically aware when starting to learn to read. 

A child who is phonologically aware can hear different letter sounds in a word. 

The child can rhyme and say what the first and last letter of a word sounds like. 

The child can also find different letter sounds inside words and find words that are similar to each other.  A child with advanced phonological awareness can turn a word into a new word by adding, removing or replacing letters in a word, such as treasure-cat and boat-bit.    

The child should be able to associate the letter form with the correct sound.   

They should be able to put letters together to form sentences. 

The child should be able to read simple texts and understand the content by answering questions and being able to talk freely about the content.  

How can we use the media to enhance learning?

There are many good TV and podcast series that help to support learning and provide language stimulation for children.

We would advise watching or listening to the programme together, working through the activities/listening to the story side by side, and then discussing the content afterwards. We would also suggest pointing out things that you have learnt watching/listening to the programme in other situations. For example, if you have learnt some new words, try to spot them written down when you are out and about together.

Some educational podcasts and TV programmes we would recommend are as follows:

Story Pirates 


Stories Podcast 

But Why 

The Past and the Curious 

Blue Peter


Horrible Histories


Ted Ed 

How can I give my child a richer language?  

Start by advising that they can do many good things at home to stimulate their child's language by being aware of how they interact with their children.   

Advise of the following: 

By talking to your child and using a varied vocabulary, you are proving your child with the foundations of a rich language.   

Don't simplify the language when talking to your child but explain the meaning of words when the child doesn't understand instead.   

Listen to your child, correcting their grammar by repeating what they said. A good example is when your child says, "I went to my friend", simply repeat "Oh, you WENT to your friend". This gives the child the correct expression without the feeling of being corrected.  

If you watch a film with the child to explain events and help the child understand the content.   

Continue to read aloud to your child even after they have started reading on their own. Even if we think the child can read on their own, they still don't have the fluency skills for more advanced literature for a long time. Reading aloud gives your child access to much deeper language than reading on their own!  


Learning to read easily and correctly  

Here you should be careful depending on the audience's ability to provide support at home. If parents/carers have limited knowledge of the English language, this can be difficult. If required, select the topic "Media as a language enhancing activity" if you think it is more appropriate.  

Advise them how, as parents/carers, they can help with reading practice in everyday life.   

A child who is learning to read almost always reads aloud. They take the sounds of the alphabet and start to put them together into words.   

A good way is to sound out the word TOGETHER with the child so that they hear what it should sound like but also get to try it themselves. 

When reading a book, it is a good idea to read every other line so that the child can get through a little faster, which often increases motivation.   

If they mispronounce a word, correct them by repeating the word correctly. 

It may help if you follow the text with a finger. Then you can also stop if they mispronounce a word. If you stop at a word with your finger, your child will usually realise that something is wrong and try again.   

Ask the child to tell you what the text was about. In the beginning, you can stop after each section/page, and they can briefly retell. The stronger a reader they become, the longer passages they can read before retelling the story. 

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