Each week your child will come home with a home reading book. These books are phonics based, Phonics is a method of learning to read words that is taught right from the start of Reception. The children are taught to read letters or groups of letters by saying the sound(s) they represent – so, they are taught that the letter l sounds like llll when we say it. Children can then start to read words by blending the sounds together to make a word. Here is a link to a video explaining a little more about the 'sounds' or 'phonemes' that words make and how to blend:
and a really helpful video showing us how each letter should sound:
The books that your child brings home from school should be at the right level for your child. The words should be readable for your child – we say they are levelled reading scheme books. They are written to ensure steady progress and success. Many of these books include helpful notes for parents inside the front cover.
Some words your child will know, other words they will need to work out. Try phonics first. Get your child to say the letter sounds and say them quickly to try to hear the word. If the word can’t be sounded out then it’s best if you say it quickly and move on. If the book is at the right level then this should not happen too much. Your child’s expression might sometimes sound stilted on the first read of a sentence or a page. This is because they are focusing on making sounds into words. To keep your child hooked into the story, read it again with expression – after lots of praise, of course! It’s sometimes good to get your child to re-read a sentence or even a page if it has been tricky to work out. This helps with meaning, flow and confidence – we all still have to do this sometimes!
It’s really important to read as much as possible with your child. Read the books that come home from school, ideally around 4 times a week, borrow library books, buy books and magazines. Read signs and notices, and find interesting websites to read. Don’t give up on talking about picture books with your child and sharing that bedtime story or information book. It’s just as important now to enjoy reading these books together, as well as those that come home from school, to help develop your child’s vocabulary, their understanding of stories and to encourage a love of reading.
When you have read with your child please make a note of this in the yellow reading diary. Each time they have read 4 times with you at home they will win a raffle ticket and be entered into a special reading raffle to win a prize!
Don't forget you don't need to be confined to just reading your physical school reading book! Here at Offham we also subscribe to an online reading world called bug club where your child can read as many e-books as they like.
This term your child will also bring a special phonics pack home. Inside the pack will be a set of vecro backed, laminated sound cards. We will add to these cards each time the children learn a new sound at school. There is a special word board too, which you can stick the sounds to each time you make a new word. We would be delighted if you could play with the sound cards and the word board together at home with your child. Use the different sounds to make as many different words as you can together. These can be real words or pretend words. we call pretend words 'alien words' at school. You can play with your phonics pack together as much as you like, but we recommend having a look with your child at least once a week.
for example: if you have the sounds
s a t p i n
you can make:
and also some silly alien words like:
· At the start of each term teachers will publish a list of 10 home learning challenges (stuck in the front of the home learning book).
· These home learning challenges will be linked to the current topic being studied in class
· Some of the home learning challenges will be English based, some Maths based and some will be more creative.
· All the challenges are linked to the early years foundation stage framework objectives to ensure that the children completing age appropriate learning at home.
· All the challenges are open-ended, encouraging your child to challenge themselves as much as they feel able.
· Each weekend we are asking the children (and you as parents) to choose one of the challenges to do - you don’t have to do all 10 in a term and you can complete challenges in any order.
· Some challenges will take longer than others, allowing you to tailor the home learning you complete to busy and less busy weekends or to the motivation and energy levels of your child.
· All we ask is that your child completes at least 2 maths based challenges each term, everything else is up to them.
Each child has been issued with a brand new shiny home learning book in which to complete their homework and keep it all safe. These books have a combination of lined and squared paper to help children make appropriate presentation choices.
If you would like to present your homework in a different way, rather than directly into your homework book then this is also fine—it could be a model, a poster or even a power point presentation—we are happy for you to be as creative as you please.
Home learning will be collected in by your teacher each week on a Wednesday. Teachers will then mark your home learning before sending the books home again on a Friday. There will be a chance to win house points for homework each week and also a ‘most impressive home learning of the week’ award. This won’t necessarily be awarded for the flashiest piece of home learning, but could be for the child who challenges themselves with the content the most fully.