Key Stage 2

How to develop your child's reading

Please find attached below the PowerPoint presentation from the Key Stage Two Family Learning Meeting entitled 'How to Develop Your Child's Reading'.

Once a child has learnt how to decode print, s/he needs to be able to develop their comprehension skills. This is a vast task as reading encompasses many different text types and genres.

The information included suggests ways in which your child may be encouraged to broaden his/her skills and also suggests where to look to find great books and authors. Additionally, if you find your child has favourite authors which they reread over and over, there are suggested authors and titles which have similar themes or styles but which will lead their reading forward.

Ideas and questions for parents to use whilst discussing reading with their child is also available here as is information regarding the assessment of reading in school.

Handouts and Additional information have also been included as attachments below.

Should you wish to find out more, please email the school office and put FAO Literacy Manager in the subject line.

How to develop your Childs Reading - Presentation SlidesQuestions to develop Reading Comprehension


How to Improve your Child's Writing

 Elements of Writing

Writing is often viewed as a challenging curriculum subject as mastery of it involves developing skills in several areas. These areas could be seen as ‘mini-subjects’ within themselves:

  • Spelling
  • Handwriting
  • Composition
  • Punctuation


Phonics (the learning of the ‘sound’ of letters and letter combinations) is the basis of spelling. Recognising, using and blending sounds and learning sight words is vital to children’s rapid spelling skills. Next comes learning spelling ‘rules’ (e.g. ‘i before e except after c’). If your child finds spelling difficult, consider whether s/he needs to continue to work on his phonic skills. It does not necessarily mean that your child has a specific learning difficulty (such as Dyslexia).

How can I help my child with spelling?

Support your child by discussing their weekly spellings as well as helping them to learn the words. What sound, letter pattern or rule are they learning this week?


How letters and words are formed on the page. Our ‘Flow Letter Technique’, which has been used very successfully for many years, is the writing model used by The Dyslexia Institute . Joined writing is the natural progression from early ‘scribble’ writing by infants. Printing (not joining letters) prevents ‘flow’ and the learning of how words ‘feel’ when they are written. (Compare ‘The Flow Technique’ to touch-typing, where one ‘knows through repeated practice and memorizing patterns’ the fingering for typing words.) With ‘The Flow Letter Technique’ children learn how it feels to write words which also helps with learning to spell and avoids letter reversals prevalent with printing styles (e.g. b and d).

How can I help my child with handwriting?

If your child has been through Key Stage One at Sevenoaks Primary School, s/he will have been learning our handwriting model since being in the Reception class. Prompt and encourage him/her to use the correct style when writing at home. Do some extra handwriting practice; you’ll be amazed how quickly your child’s handwriting and speed improves. (NB research has shown that by the age of seven, children have great difficulty changing the way they write and ’bad habits’ become engrained. Certainly by Year 5 and 6, pupils who join our school will find it extremely difficult to change their style. It is probably too late for them to learn a new model.)


Thinking of what to write; organising our thoughts and getting ideas down on paper. Achieving a desired effect, e.g. to instruct, persuade, inform, entertain, etc.. (More on this later.)


Used to help make the meaning of written sentences clear and as the writer intended them to be read. This is often one of the key areas which prevent children from achieving higher National Curriculum Levels. It is not that punctuation has not been taught! More often than not, it is likely that a child simply does not pay enough attention to it. This is most frustrating. In upper Key Stage Two, many children are able to compose and spell at Level 4 (or 5), but their punctuation Level is only at Level 1 or 2. This obviously lowers their overall Writing Level. Using basic punctuation accurately is a very common writing target for many children.

How can I help my child with punctuation?

After your child has produced their written homework, ask them to proof read their work to check whether they have used punctuation accurately. After they have done this, have a look at the piece yourself - is there any punctuation missing?

The Barriers to Writing



Composition - obtaining ideas

Low Self-Esteem- not seeing ourselves as writers

It is extremely frustrating for children to have to battle with spelling and handwriting when they simply want to get their ideas down on paper. By helping your child to develop in these areas, you will be aiding the flow of writing, and enabling the use of a vocabulary rich language. (Consider being trapped into writing ‘big’ when you really wanted to write ‘enormous’ but didn’t know how to spell the word.)

How can I help my child to remove the barriers?

Spelling and Handwriting has already been covered here, Composition will be detailed below but for low self-esteem, praising and valuing your child’s writing is very important. If your child needs a lot of support when they write, it is even more important that you praise their contributions and show that you value their ideas by using them when working together to compose.


Composing is the most important element of writing. Without ideas, there is nothing to write! Many parents express their concerns about their child’s difficulty with spelling and handwriting (naturally), however it is writing composition which is the key to ‘good writing’. For composition, children need to generate ideas , organise their thoughts and express them on the page - but for many children this is daunting. ‘But I don’t know what to write...’ can be a common phrase uttered during homework time.

Obtaining Ideas for Writing:

From birth we are developing our children’s ability to become writers. By interacting with our children: talking; singing; going on visits; engaging in role-play; sharing books, reading stories etc., we are providing vital banks of resources into which children can dip when composing.

Making writing purposeful and valuable:

Children need to see that there is a reason for them to write. Both at school and at home, we need to be providing purposes for ‘real writing’. Writing is a ‘life skill’, and whether this is composing on a PC or on paper, children need to see the value of putting the effort into producing the writing in the first place.

How can I help my child see the purpose and value of writing?

Think about situations at home that require something to be written:

  • Shopping lists
  • Invitations
  • Thank You Cards / Letters
  • Letters to relations /pen-friends
  • Letters of complaint

These are a few ideas. Another way to help children see the value behind writing is to let them ‘catch you writing’ and explain why you are doing it. (Remember writing can be done for pleasure too!)

Writing at School

How we teach ‘Writing’ at school:

  • Reading
  • Talking / Stimulus
  • Teacher Modelling
  • Shared Writing
  • Guided Writing
  • Paired or Independent Writing
  • Sharing Children’s Writing

How can I help my child improve their writing for school?

If your child has been asked to produce a piece of writing, discuss the task and ideas before preparing to write. It can also help to ‘sleep on it’ - after a talk about the expected task and the sharing of ideas. Wait until the next day to put pen to paper. Ask your child what their ‘Writing Target’ is - they should know what it is, otherwise how will they know how to improve? (Usually targets are put at the front of Literacy books or the Literacy section of work files.) If s/he does not know, your child’s teacher can tell you. When sharing homework, ask your child to think about their writing target. What is it and have they achieved it in this piece? Stress the importance of rereading during composition to check for flow of ideas. Proof—reading their work aloud will enable them to hear whether the writing flows well and whether any words have been omitted, for example. Coming back to a piece of writing the following day can also help a child to freshly identify ways in which to improve their work. Then celebrate the writing and give lots of praise!




General Ways to Help Outside of School:

  • Telling the time
  • Days of Week/Months of Year
  • Allow children to calculate shopping prices. Get them to work out the change. Allow them to complete the transaction. Can be done in restaurants, leisure activities etc.
  • When dividing up food discuss fractions (pizzas, cakes work very well)
  • How many…? Can be asked in range of circumstances; focus on +/-; use objects in the house
  • General x tables quick fire
  • Number bonds

Homework Books:

  • Introduction of crib sheets
  • Recognise that not all topics will yet have been covered

Teaching Number:

Key focus to any mathematics is the understanding of number. Pupils should be able to:

  • Read number
  • Understand what digits represent

Reading Number:

Work from the units’ column, sectioning the numbers into groups of 3. Build up the number gradually.

Eg. 4 5 2 8 3 1 9

4 5 2 8 3 1 9

4 5 2 8 3 1 9

4 5 2 8,3 1 9

4 5 2 8,3 1 9

4 5 2 8,3 1 9

4,5 2 8,3 1 9

4,5 2 8,3 1 9

Place Value:

See attached file to support with homework

Note: the decimal point is part of the place value table and does not move. Zero is a place holder.


It is very important to know x table facts. These can be used with place value to form basis to other calculations.

The grid method is a clear way to ensure the understanding of multiplication.

Online resources: 

Children in Year 2-6 have their own logins. Logins are available in their home learning books or from their class teacher.

Times Tables Rock Stars 
Children in Year 2-6 have their own logins. Logins are available in their home learning books or from their class teacher.

Supports with topics through quizzes, activities and information. Suitable for revision for SAT topics

General range of mathematic programmes