Four Acres Academy

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Four Acres Academy - a Futura Learning Partnership school

Reading at home

How do I listen to my child read?

Your child will bring home a Core Storybook matched to the sounds and words they know – a decodable book – so they should be able to read all the words, alongside a 'book-bag-book' which will link to the sound and words they have recently learnt in school.


Please avoid saying, “This book is too easy for you!” but instead say “I love how well you can read this book!”


‘Special Friends’, ‘Fred Talk’, read the word

Remind your child to read words using ‘Special Friends, Fred Talk, read the word’ (see glossary). For example ‘ship’: spot the ‘sh’, then Fred Talk and blend to read the word e.g. sh, sh-i-p, ship.


Red Words

Red Words are also known as common exception or tricky words. They occur in stories regularly (said, what, where) but have unusual letter combinations (‘ai’ in the word ‘said’ makes the sound ‘e’). Remind your child not to use Fred Talk to read Red Words but instead to ‘stop and think’. Tell them the word if you need to.


Read the same book again and again

Children love reading the same book again and again. Their reading becomes speedier and they understand what they are reading.

- Encourage your child to read words using ‘Fred in your head’ (see glossary)

- Show your child how to read the story in a storyteller voice

- Share your enjoyment of the story when they read it again and again.


What do I do with picture books?

One of the most important things you can do as a parent at home is read to your child. Loving stories is important because children who love stories want to read stories for themselves. Children who read a lot become better readers.


Here are some top tips for storytime:

  1. Make it a treat – introduce each new book with excitement
  2. Make it a special quiet time – cuddle up!
  3. Show curiosity in what you’re going to read
  4. Read the story once without stopping so they can enjoy the whole story. If you think your child might not understand something say something like ‘Oh I think what’s happening here is that…”
  5. Chat about the story e.g. I wonder why he did that? Oh no, I hope she’s not going to…
  6. Avoid asking questions to check what they remember
  7. Link to other stories and experiences you have shared e.g. this reminds me of…
  8. Read favourite stories over and over again – encourage your child to join with the bits they know. Avoid saying ‘not that story again!’
  9. Use different voices – be enthusiastic!
  10. Love the book – read with enjoyment

Why reading aloud and sharing books with your child matters

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A helpful guide to promote a love of reading at home

Home Reading (1).MP4

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Most children love to read, but we are aware that on occasions some may be reluctant.
Watch this video to see how you can read with your child and help them practise their early reading skills;
- talk to them about the books
- discuss the vocabulary in the books (meaning of unfamiliar words)
- use their phonics (sounds) to decode and blend to read words