Reading at Home

At Birley Primary Academy, we aim to promote and encourage children to want to pick up books and read. We want to drive the desire to want to read not only for academic achievement but also for pleasure. Sometimes, as a reader, we may require support, encouragement and guidance to direct us towards books to choose – books that will interest and motivate a love towards reading. As an academy, we use a wide variety of strategies that can be found upon our Love of Reading page.

However, as a parent, you can also support your child to develop a love of reading through completing daily reading at home with reading books assigned to your child by the academy and through reading books for pleasure. As a parent, we recognise that book recommendations will support your role in doing this. Therefore, below, you will find a range of resources and guidance that will help you guide and support your child with their reading.

Top 10 Tips for Supporting Children to Read

Firstly, the academy wanted to share with you ‘Top 10 Tips for Parents’ released by the Department for Education about how to support your child to read.

1. Encourage your child to read

Reading helps your child’s wellbeing, develops imagination and has educational benefits too. Just a few minutes a day can have a big impact on children of all ages.

2. Read aloud regularly

Try to read to your child every day. It’s a special time to snuggle up and enjoy a story. Stories matter and children love re-reading them and poring over the pictures. Try adding funny voices to bring characters to life.

3. Encourage reading choices

Give children lots of opportunities to read different things in their own time – it doesn’t just have to be books. There’s fiction, non-fiction, poetry, comics, magazines, recipes and much more. Try leaving interesting reading material in different places around the home and see who picks it up.

4. Read together

Choose a favourite time to read together as a family and enjoy it. This might be everyone reading the same book together, reading different things at the same time, or getting your children to read to each other. This time spent reading together can be relaxing for all.

5. Create a comfortable environment

Make a calm, comfortable place for your family to relax and read independently – or together.

6. Make use of your local library

If you live close to a local library, make use of this asset when you’re able to and explore all sorts of reading ideas. Local libraries also offer brilliant online materials, including audiobooks and e-books to borrow.

7. Talk about books

This is a great way to make connections, develop understanding and make reading even more enjoyable. Start by discussing the front cover and talking about what it reveals and suggests the book could be about. Then talk about what you’ve been reading and share ideas. You could discuss something that happened that surprised you, or something new that you found out. You could talk about how the book makes you feel and whether it reminds you of anything.

8. Bring reading to life

You could try cooking a recipe you’ve read together. Would you recommend it to a friend? Alternatively, play a game where you pretend to be the characters in a book, or discuss an interesting article you’ve read.

9. Make reading active

Play games that involve making connections between pictures, objects and words, such as reading about an object and finding similar things in your home. You could organise treasure hunts related to what you’re reading. Try creating your child’s very own book by using photos from your day and adding captions.

10. Engage your child in reading in a way that suits them

You know your child best and you’ll know the best times for your child to read. If they have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) then short, creative activities may be the way to get them most interested. If English is an additional language, encourage reading in a child’s first language, as well as in English. What matters most is that they enjoy it.

In addition to these top ten tips, please read through this guide all about how we can promote reading for pleasure at home.

Recommended Reads

As previously mentioned, we recognise that book recommendations can support parents to find books that will support their children with their reading. Below, please find two different documents that will signpost you to book recommendations either through author or through genre.

Reading Tube Map

Firstly, there is a Reading Tube Map document available to download below. How does it work? Follow the line of your child’s favourite authors and it will offer suggestions of similar authors you might like to try with your child.

The Reading Road

On our Reading Roads, you can choose a story genre that your child enjoys and follow the road to find other stories that your child will enjoy as they progress with their reading. The books progress in level of challenge from Key Stage 1 to the end of Key Stage 2. Please see the document below which is also downloadable.