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St. Francis de Sales Catholic Junior School

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Support for Parents and Carers

Support Your Child's Reading Journey

Sharing a book with a child is fun! It's a time for closeness, laughing and talking together – and it can also give children a flying start in life and help them become lifelong readers.


This page aims to support you in your reading journey at home. If there is anything additional you would like support with, please do not hesitate to contact your child's class teacher or Mrs Budworth the school's reading lead.



Setting the Atmosphere 

  • Find a quiet time. Many parents find reading as part of the bedtime routine the perfect way to relax children before going to sleep and a calm way to end the day.
  • Turn off all distractions e.g. TV, technology, the radio
  • Get comfortable
  • Provide ample time to read and discuss the book
  • Make reading part of your daily routine
  • Make it fun - use voices, act it out, laugh about events that have happened or even build a den to climb into!
  • Show that you value your child's efforts.

Encouraging a Love of Reading

As children get older, with lots of other activities competing for their time, how can you encourage them to make time for reading?


Here are some of our ideas:


  • Most importantly, ensure they love the book they are reading! If they don't like it, swap it. Completing a book they don't enjoy will only spoil their love of reading. Use the links on our reading page to discover books your child will enjoy.
  • Read yourself! It doesn’t matter what it is – pick up a newspaper or magazine, take a look at a cookery book, read a computer manual, enjoy some poetry or dive into a romance or detective novel. Don't forget there is an adult book swap in reception for parents to use.
  • Hidden reading  – if you’re cooking, could they read the recipe? If you’re watching TV, can they read out the listings? Is there a board game that they want to play where they have to read the instructions first?
  • Give books as presents or as a reward.
  • Encourage your children and their friends to swap books with each other – it’ll give them a chance to read new stories and get them all talking about what they’re reading.
  • Visit the local library together. It’s always fun choosing new books to read, and keep an eye out for special author events at the library or local bookshops – children love meeting their favourite authors. 
  • Encourage children to carry a book at all times. That way, they’ll never be bored (this is something you can do, too!)
  • Have a family bookshelf or have bookshelves in your children’s bedrooms, too.
  • Keep reading together. Just because your children are older, it doesn’t mean you have to stop sharing stories.
  • eBooks and audio books - are a great tool to use to encourage children reluctant to pick up a book. Use the links on our reading page to access free resources.



Spending time with word games, stories, and books will help your child to:


  • gather information and learn about the world
  • learn how stories and books work – that they have beginnings, endings, characters, and themes
  • learn how to build empathy and understand about how other people feel
  • build a rich vocabulary by reading and talking about new words
  • learn how to listen and how to think
  • learn the sounds of language and language patterns
  • fall in love with books

Supporting Development

Reading is an extremely vital life skill and undoubtedly the key to future success! 


Did you know that around 90% of vocabulary is only regularly encountered in written format (e.g. in books) rather than through every day conversation?


Regular reading will lead to your child knowing more words and improving their abilities in a wide range of areas - not just English!


It is vital that pupils are encourages to read widely and often at home on a regular basis.


Please aim to spend at least 5 minutes a day listening to your child read and discussing the text with them. If you can manage longer, even better.


Top Reading Tips


When a child is reading out loud, there are four key areas that they will need to focus on:

  • Tricky Words
  • Fluency
  • Expression
  • Punctuation


Whenever you hear your child read at home, use these tips to support their progress. You will also find this guide at the front of their reading record.


Checking Understanding

As well as giving your child tips to improve how they read out loud, it is important to check that they understand what they are reading.


Whenever, your child reads to you, as them some of the following questions. These can be asked before, during and after reading.