In order to ensure that every child in Early Years reaches their full potential, we believe that positive relationships and bonds with parents is key.
This is particularly important with reading as the one to one support you can give your child at home is invaluable to their development. Children who are supported at home as well as in school learn to speak articulately, read fluently and later write confidently.
We ask parents to listen to their child read for just 5-10 minutes at least 4 times a week - daily if you can! It is important that a special time in the day is made for this and that you make this time extra special in order to develop a love of reading at an early age.
Creating a cosy area with cushions and pillows, getting under the duvet cover, reading in an outdoor space etc call all help to make this time all the more exciting for your child.
As explained before, the 1 to 1 support which you can give your child at home is invaluable. Once the children have learnt the necessary RWI sounds, we allocate them their first RWI reading book. We ask you to let them 'have a go' at reading these books to you, encouraging them to use their 'Fred Talk' to tackle the words.
All children are then issued with a Jungle Reading Journal and we ask our parents to complete it each time their child reads to them. To encourage the children to read at home we have a jungle reading initiative where each child has a named parrot which flies through the jungle, landing on different jungle animals after every 10 reads at home. Also, once the children have read 10 times, they receive a special sticker in their journals.
Once they reach to end of their first Jungle Journey and reach 'Zion the Lion King' they receive a certificate and £5 voucher for the local book shop presented in our weekly, 'Well Done' assembly by the head teacher.
Due to this being so well received and supported by our parents, we had to extend this reading initiative beyond the Lion King!
During the very first week that children start school, they are sent home with two library books. These are books which they have chosen themselves from our Early Years library and are changed weekly.
These books are for parents to read to their child to develop their love for books and stories so that the foundations of reading are beginning to be developed even from a very young age.
Please try to find somewhere quiet and cosy which can be your special reading place and share stories daily. Also, encourage your child to ask any questions about the story or related topics and ask them questions at the end to check their understanding e.g.
How did The Hungry Caterpillar feel when he'd eaten all the picnic?
What did the wolf say to the 3 little pigs?
Tell me some of the fruit in Handa's basket?
Remember it's good to share the same story as few times and then encourage your child to retell the story in their own words.
Also, discuss the meaning of any new or unusual words that you come across in these books.
To develop children's love of reading and enthusiasm for books, we have created over 20 story sacks which all the children have the opportunity to take home once a fortnight.
Parents are encouraged to add photos and videos onto Tapestry to share their retelling of the stories they have taken home. This is turn helps to develop the children's vocabulary, speaking in full sentences skills, confidence, retelling and comprehension skills.
Please discuss the meaning of any new or unusual words with your child and keep referring back to this word during the day to ensure it is fully embedded.
This has been very well received by the children and parents alike and we share the photos and videos with our classes of anything which parents/carers post relating to these story sacks.
Snuggle Suitcases are also sent home to encourage a love for reading. These suitcases are sent home on a Friday to be returned on the following Wednesday.
They contain a selection of quality books, a note book, a pen, puppet pal, a pack of biscuits and a hot chocolate sachet.
Please find a cosy corner with your child and their puppet pal and read a book of their choice to them with a hot chocolate and a pack of biscuits. Encourage your child to tell their puppet pal what they liked about the book/story and ask them questions to check their understanding.