Sharing Stories and Learning to Read at Home
At Spring Bank we value parents’ involvement in their child’s reading. It is important for you to read regularly with your child, so that they may practise regularly the skills we teach them at school.
Here are some tips which may be helpful:
1. Choose a quiet time
Set aside a quiet time with no distractions. Ten to fifteen minutes is usually long enough.
2. Make reading enjoyable
Make reading an enjoyable experience. Sit with your child. Try not to pressurise if he or she is reluctant. If your child loses interest, then do something else. Try a different time of day that might better suit you both e.g. before bedtime or after breakfast.
3. Sounding out
Help your child to use sounding out to read unknown words – do not allow them to guess using pictures. Encourage them to keep the sounds clipped short, without an ‘uhh’ at the end, as this helps with blending the sounds together.
e.g. ‘mmm – u- mmm’ makes ‘mum’, but ‘muh-u-muh’ makes ‘muhumuh’, which doesn’t make much sense!
Or ‘c – ah – t’ makes ‘cat’, but ‘cuh-ah-tuh’ only makes ‘cuhahtuh’ – nonsense!
If your child has forgotten a sound, it’s fine to remind them. If they need help to sound out the word, do it together and make a note of this in your child’s reading record.
4. Be positive
If your child makes a mistake, don’t say ‘No. That’s wrong,’ but instead say ‘Let’s read it together’ and point to the words and the sounds as you say them. Boost your child’s confidence with constant praise for even the smallest achievement.
5. Visit the Library
Encourage your child to use the public library regularly.
6. Regular practice
Try to read with your child on most school days. ‘Little and often’ is much better than longer sessions.
Your child has a school reading record. Try to write in it regularly with positive comments and any sounds/words that they found tricky. Your child will then know that you are interested in their progress and that you value reading.
There is more to being a good reader than just being able to read the words accurately! Just as important is being able to understand what has been read. Talk to your child about the book; about the pictures, the characters, how they think the story will end, their favourite part. You will then be able to see how well they have understood and you will help them to develop good comprehension skills.
9. Favourite stories
Allow your child to re-read favourite stories, or hear you re-read them. Knowing a familiar book will help them notice more about the words on the page and they will start to recognise the patterns in new words and stories.
10. Get caught reading!
Make sure that your child has the opportunity to watch you enjoy reading. Pull out those newspapers, magazines or novels before they are in bed!
Here are some questions you might like to ask your children:
Useful websites and apps
Tablet friendly ebooks to read at home
Hear the sounds – Debbie Hepplewhite (creator of Floppy’s Phonics)
Excellent phonics app for the iPad by SoundsWrite – first three units are free, unlock all content for £1.99
BBC Solar System – Explore the solar system through video clips
BBC Pods Mission- Have fun with science: discover bones,electricity, solids and liquids
C4 Learning Science – Science essentials website. Explore life, Material World and Get Physical
Exploratorium Science Explorer – Explore fun science experiments
Food Chains – Discover different food chains
HowStuffWorks Science – Search all things science. Discover how different types of science work
KS2 BBC Science – Learn about living things, materials and physical processes
Natural History Museum Kids – The fantastic Natural History Museum for kids.
The Blobz guide to electronic circuits – Learn about electronic circuits
BBC Learn Landscapes Map Skills – Learn about maps and landscapes game
BBC What is Weather? – Find out about weather
Geography Image Bank – Large collection of geography images
Google Earth – Explore the Earth
Map Zone Games – Geography games
Maps that teach – Interactive maps
Geographical Terms – A glossary of geographical terms and useful geography tips
Maths in Reception
Children come into school with a wide range of well developed maths skills, from basic matching and sequencing of objects and numbers to addition and subtraction. The Reception team are able to quickly work with these skills and develop them further in all areas of the curriculum, not just in the traditional maths lesson. You can help at home in many ways, from simple counting to solving problems. There are hundreds of apps and websites for early years children to work on their skills at home too, for example:
Alien Addition – Practise addition using invading spaceships
Are you a Math Magician? – Practise multiplication,addition,subtraction and division
BBC Camel Times Table – Practise times tables
BBC Starship Maths – Various Maths games
AAA Maths – Comprehensive set of interactive maths activities
BBC Number Time – Numbers games
KS1 BBC Maths – KS1 Games and activities
KS2 BBC Maths – KS2 Games and activities
Maths Zone – Lots of KS1 & KS2 resources
Mental Gym – Maths workout
Numeracy Games – Large selection of maths games
C4 Puzzle Maths – Take a maths challenge
Ancient Egyptian Maths – Excellent resource for exploring number values
Cool Math – An amusement park of math and more. Games designed for fun
Math Playground – Play with numbers games
At Spring Bank we are using the attached visual calculation policy to support our teaching and learning in Maths throughout school. This has been tailored to the needs of the children in school to allow for clear understanding and progression through calculation.
The policy is designed to take learners through each operation from the beginning, where practical methods support understanding, right up to where standard written methods are used. These posters will be clearly displayed within each classroom for children and teachers to refer to.
It is important that these methods are used consistently in school and at home, so we would ask that when you are supporting your children at home you refer to the policy wherever possible. Some of the methods may be unfamiliar, so it may be necessary to ask your child or their teacher to support or explain.
Art Gallery for Kids BMAG – BM&AG Kids Online gallery
Brushter – Create abstract art
Picasso – Create your own Mr Picasso head
Arcimboldo – Create your own fruit face
Imaginary city – Create your own imaginary city at Tate Kids Online
Collage Machine – Create a collage
Wallover – Create an abstract wallover
Still life painting – Create your own still life painting
Doodle Studio by Kerproof – Online doodle studio
What is Perspective? – Find out how the great artists worked with perspective
Free Image Bank – Various free art images
Material World – Learn about materials from which works of art are made
BBC Musical Mysteries – Help Robbie solve the musical mysteries
FindSounds – Search the web for sounds for your podcasts or movies
Sing Up Song Bank – Songs, Music and Lyrics
The Street – Learn about instruments and musicians in different countries
Virtual Keyboard – Play the virtual keyboard
Virtual Orchestra – sfskids – Explore and investigate instruments in an orchestra
Virtual Xylophone – Play the virtual xylophone
The Science of Music – What is music?
Quincy and The Magic Instruments – Learn about different instruments and the sounds they make