Key Stage 1

Key Stage 1 Family Learning Sessions

Developing Reading

Please see information below for reading prompt questions issued at the Family Learning Meeting. I hope that you found the session useful. The following links may also provide further tips and resources to support your child's reading.

Look in the resources section for lots of suggested reading lists for different groups of readers, as well as further links to web resources.

Interactive Story Books online (

Woodlands provide many links to lots of aspects of the curriculum. Follow this link for online books that you can share with your children and a selection they can read independently.

More reading lists and reviews

Supporting your child's reading development

Prompt questions for reading

Reading with your Child


Learning to Read Through Phonics

What is phonics?

Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skilfully. They are taught how to:

recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes;

identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make - such as ‘sh’ or ‘oo’; and blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word.

Children can then use this knowledge to ‘de-code’ new words that they hear or see. This is the first important step in learning to read.

Why phonics?

Research shows that when phonics is taught in a structured way - starting with the easiest sounds and progressing through to the most complex – it is the most effective way of teaching young children to read. It is particularly helpful for children aged 5–7.

Almost all children who receive good teaching of phonics will learn the skills they need to tackle new words. They can then go on to read any kind of text fluently and confidently, and to read for enjoyment.

Children who have been taught phonics also tend to read more accurately than those taught using other methods, such as ‘look and say’. This includes children who find learning to read difficult, for example those who have dyslexia.

If you would like to find out more about phonics, visit or search for ‘phonics’ on the Department for Education website at

What is the phonics screening check?

The phonics screening check is a quick and easy check of your child’s phonics knowledge. It helps your school confirm whether your child has made the expected progress.

How does the check work?

Your child will sit with a teacher he or she knows and be asked to read 40 words aloud.

Your child may have read some of the words before, while others will be completely new.

The check normally takes just a few minutes to complete and there is no time limit. If your child is struggling, the teacher will stop the check. The check is carefully designed not to be stressful for your child.

What are ‘non-words’?

The check will contain a mix of real words and ‘non-words’ (or ‘nonsense words’). Your child will be told before the check that there will be non-words that he or she will not have seen before. Many children will be familiar with this because many schools already use ‘non-words’ when they teach phonics.

Non-words are important to include because words such as ‘vap’ or ‘jound’ are new to all children. Children cannot read the non-words by using their memory or vocabulary; they have to use their decoding skills. This is a fair way to assess their ability to decode.

After the check

Your school should tell you about your child’s progress in phonics and how he or she has done in the screening check in the last half-term of Year 1. If your child has found the check difficult, your child’s school should also tell you what support they have put in place to help him or her improve. You might like to ask how you can support your child to take the next step in reading.

All children are individuals and develop at different rates. The screening check ensures that teachers understand which children need extra help with phonic decoding.

Helping your child with phonics

Phonics works best when children are given plenty of encouragement and learn to enjoy reading and books. Parents play a very important part in helping with this.

Some simple steps to help your child learn to read through phonics:

  • Ask your child’s class teacher about the school’s approach to phonics and how you can reinforce this at home. For example, the teacher will be able to tell you which letters and sounds the class is covering in lessons each week.
  • You can then highlight these sounds when you read with your child. Teaching how sounds match with letters is likely to start with individual letters such as ‘s’, ‘a’ and ‘t’ and then will move on to two-letter sounds such as ‘ee’, ‘ch’ and ‘ck’.
  • With all books, encourage your child to ‘sound out’ unfamiliar words and then blend the sounds together from left to right rather than looking at the pictures to guess. Once your child has read an unfamiliar word you can talk about what it means and help him or her to follow the story.
  • Your child’s teacher will also be able to suggest books with the right level of phonics for your child. These books are often called ‘decodable readers’ because the story is written with words made up of the letters your child has learnt. Your child will be able to work out new words from their letters and sounds, rather than just guessing.
  • Try to make time to read with your child every day. Grandparents and older brothers or sisters can help, too. Encourage your child to blend the sounds all the way through a word.
  • Word games like ‘I-spy’ can also be an enjoyable way of teaching children about sounds and letters. You can also encourage your child to read words from your shopping list or road signs to practise phonics.

Most schools use ‘book bags’ and a reading record, which is a great way for teachers and parents to communicate about what children have read. The reading record can tell you whether your child has enjoyed a particular book and shows problems or successes he or she has had, either at home or at school.

Information from The Department of Education

Learning to read through phonics - DFE


Phonics actions to sounds

This is a list of the phonemes in the order that they are taught.

If you would like to hear the letters pronounced, click on this link: Focus on Phonics 


Weave hand in an s shape, like a snake, and say ssssss


Wiggle fingers above elbow as if ants crawling on you and say a, a, a.


Turn head from side to side as if watching tennis and say t, t, t.


Pretend to be a mouse by wriggling fingers at end of nose and squeak i, i, i.


Pretend to puff out candles and say p, p, p.


Make a noise, as if you are a plane - hold arms out and say nnnnnn.



c k

Raise hands and snap fingers as if playing castanets and say ck, ck, ck.


Pretend to tap an egg on the side of a pan and crack it into the pan, saying eh, eh, eh.


Hold hand in front of mouth panting as if you are out of breath and say h, h, h.


Pretend to be a puppy holding a piece of rag, shaking head from side to side, and say rrrrrr.


Rub tummy as if seeing tasty food and say mmmmmm.


Beat hands up and down as if playing a drum and say d, d, d.




Spiral hand down, as if water going down the drain, and say g, g, g.


Pretend to turn light switch on and off and say o, o; o, o


Pretend to be putting up an umbrella and say u, u, u.


Pretend to lick a lollipop and say l l l l l l.


Let hands gently come together as if toy fish deflating, and say f f f f f f.


Pretend to hit a ball with a bat and say b, b, b.




Cup hand over ear and say ai, ai, ai.


Pretend to wobble on a plate and say j, j, j.


Bring hand over mouth as if you have done something wrong and say oh!


Stand to attention and salute, saying ie ie.

ee or

Put hands on head as if ears on a donkey and say eeyore, eeyore.




Put arms out at sides and pretend to be a bee, saying zzzzzz.


Blow on to open hand, as if you are the wind, and say wh, wh, wh.


Imagine you are a weightlifter, and pretend to lift a heavy weight above your head, saying ng...


Pretend to be holding the steering wheel of a van and say vvvvvv.


Move head back and forth as if it is the cuckoo in a cuckoo clock,


saying u, oo; u, oo. (Little and long oo.)




Pretend to be eating a yogurt and say y, y, y.


Pretend to take an x-ray of someone with an x-ray gun and say ks, ks, ks.


Move arms at sides as if you are a train and say ch, ch, ch.


Place index finger over lips and say shshsh.


Pretend to be naughty clowns and stick out tongue a little for the th,


and further for the th sound (this and thumb).




Make a duck's beak with your hands and say qu, qu, qu.


Pretend your finger is a needle and prick thumb saying ou, ou, ou.


Cup hands around mouth and shout to another boat saying oi! ship ahoy!


Point to people around you and say you, you, you.


Roll hands over each other like a mixer and say ererer.


Open mouth wide and say ah. Flap hands as if a seal, and say ar, ar, ar.


Phonics - Fast Words

Fast words are irregular or hard words to decode, e.g. ‘the.’ These irregular words can’t be sounded out.

How to help your child learn these fast words

Here are some ideas of how to help your child learn these Fast Words :

  • Cut up the words and use them as flash cards – if your child does not recognise a word, tell them the word and ask them to repeat it – over time they should be able to recognise it independently.
  • Spread the words face down and take turns to turn the words over – if they can read the word then they can keep the word – how many can they get?
  • Put the words up (where your child can see them) around the house! Can they read the words as they pass them?
Set 1 Set 2 Set 3 Set 4
I we my have
the said come be
to you me by
was are go one
he all like so
she they no some
Set 5 Set 6 Set 7 Set 8
little saw because don't
do when want people
her who where many
did what your more
here where two could
there after very should
Set 9 Set 10
would every
put likes
brother -
down -
love -
their -


Year 2 - Problem Solving

Please follow the links below for the pack of Maths Challenges recommended to support your child's problem solving development

Maths problem solving challenges - Y2

Maths problem solving solutions - Y2