In Year 4, we try to continue to develop a love of reading. Research has shown that young people who enjoy reading are three times as likely to read above the level expected for their age as young people who do not enjoy reading at all.
In addition, it is important to note that developing a child’s reading is very much a partnership between home and school. Research tells us that young people who read outside class daily are five times more likely to read above the expected level for their age. Conversely, over a third of young people who never read outside of class, read below the expected level for their age. (Children’s and Young People’s Reading in 2015, 6th Annual Literacy Survey by The National Literacy Trust).
So, we would ask, that if you do one thing with your child, please read with them at least 4 times a week, ideally for around 20 minutes each time but this may vary from child to child.
Learning to Read
There are two aspects to teaching a child to read: technical skills and comprehension (understanding).
The first steps in learning to read, involve helping children to decode text. Early readers begin by ‘hearing’ the different sounds in words. They then learn to recognise how these sounds appear in writing as letters or groups of letters (phonics).
Right from the very beginning, children need to make sense of what they read. However simple or complex the text, your child should be able to talk about what they have read, understand what has happened in a story, and have an opinion about the text.
Reading at home:
Hearing your child read (and continuing to read aloud to them) is one of the most effective ways that you can impact their educational progress. With increasing maturity, children naturally prefer to read on their own, but it is important to still listen to your child read in order to gauge understanding as well as fluency. Left to their own devices, they may skip words they cannot read or come across new words they do not know the meaning of and need support to understand them.
As the children become more proficient readers we would start to encourage them to broaden their reading by exploring different genres at home, including different fiction genres (mystery, realistic fiction, science fiction, fantasy, the classics, historical fiction, myths); non-fiction genres ( biography, autobiography, information texts, diaries, instructional texts); plays; poetry.
Above all, children should be given the opportunity to simply read for pleasure. In the 21st century, reading material comes in many different formats, and we would encourage children to explore and enjoy all different types of text: online text, e-books, graphic novels, comics, newspapers (eg First News), recipes, instruction manuals… Let them read anything, anytime, anywhere.