Steps to Success: Aims
All staff at Calverton are
committed to raising children’s
achievement in all areas of the
curriculum. However for
children to be able to access
the curriculum they need to be
able to read. The staff agree
that if we work together with
Parents/Carers, higher reading
levels can be achieved. The aim
of this guide is to give
Parents/Carers strategies or
ideas to use at home to help
develop, and improve, their
children’s reading skills.
Steps to Success: The 10
The following pages will show Parents/Carers
10 steps, or ideas to use at home, to help to
improve and develop reading skills, especially
in younger children.
You may already use some of these ideas,
however, take a look as there may be some
new ideas that you will find useful.
Step 1: Speaking and
You may wonder what the link is to
reading? If you spend time speaking to
and listening to your child, it helps to
expand their spoken vocabulary. If
children have a broad vocabulary, or
knowledge of words, it makes learning
to read easier. They do not have to
learn the meaning of words as well as
how to read them.
Reception age children do not receive
homework, government guidelines
suggest speaking and listening to your
child is all the homework they need.
Here are some ideal situations
for speaking and listening:-
Visiting the park
Step 2: Playing
Playing with your child is the
ideal situation for speaking
It extends their vocabulary.
Builds upon their imagination.
Teaches them to take turns.
Develops social skills
It builds upon their
Step 3: Reading to your child
All children enjoy being read to, even if they can read
Make sure you choose a time when you will not get any
Read books that were your childhood favourites.
Tell them ‘made up’ stories, you do not always have to
read a book.
Tell them stories about your childhood.
Talk together about the pictures.
Get your child to retell the story.
Talk about the Author and Illustrator. What do they
Children also like being read to by other members of
the family e.g Grandparents
Step 4: Letters and Sounds.
Calverton follows the Letters and Sounds phonic
strategy. This is a programme which teaches children
the link between letter sounds and letter names. Every
letter in the alphabet has a sound and children are
taught to use these sounds to read words phonetically.
At Calverton we have seen a marked improvement in
children’s reading skills, in Key Stage 1 using this
Talk to your children about their sounds…….when
reading , if they have difficulty with a word, ask them
to sound it out.
If you would like more information on this please do
not hesitate to ask your child’s class teacher.
If you have a better understanding of Letters and
Sounds then this will help you to help your child.
Step 5: Introducing
Try to introduce different text for your child to read
Comics, newspapers, internet, magazines……it does not
have to be a book.
Information books are a good way to get your child
talking about what they can see. They may not be able
to read the words but they can often relate to the
If you have access to a computer let them surf the
net………..playing games on the computer is another way
of giving children experience of reading. Seeing the
words repeatedly on screen, as they often are in
computer games, is good for word recognition.
Step 6: Listen to your child
Listen to your child read every day. Write a
comment in their reading log book,
commenting on how they are doing with their
reading at home.
You can also comment if they have read a
book from home, we like to know that the
children are experiencing different books.
Any member of the family can write in the
reading log and we find children enjoy telling
us when a member of their family has
commented on their reading.
Step 7: Completing
Ensure your child completes their homework and hands
it in on their classes designated hand in day.
Completing homework shows us that your child has
understood the previous weeks learning in school.
Homework also gives your child a different experience
Remember to allow your child to complete their
homework themselves as it is a guide for us.
Step 8: Resources at home
Sometimes it is the simplest of resources that
are the best for children:-
Paper, pencils, books(reading/information).
The school day is very intense and children
need time to unwind after school. Fun
activities at home will help your child, we have
found that children who are made to complete
work books at home often do not achieve to
their full potential in school. Try to make the
learning achieved at home through play.
Step 9: Ensuring your child
It is vitally important for all children
to attend school everyday, unless
there is an extremely important reason
why they cannot.
For us to work together in the
education, achievement and
development of your child they need to
attend school on a regular basis.
Step 10: ……and so to bed!
Ensure your child goes to bed at a
reasonable time. Having a bedtime
routine often helps e.g.
Read a story/listen to your child read.
This is a perfect time for listening to/
reading to your child.
If you follow some or all of these steps
you will be giving your child an
excellent opportunity to develop the
skills they need in not only reading but
all areas of their education.
Thank you for taking the time to look
at these steps to success.