Help Your Child At Home

Successful Reading

How can you help?

Share books together

Research shows that when you show an interest in your child's reading they make more progress.

Things you can do:

  • Read the book yourself
  • Take a walk through the book - for younger children or children finding reading difficult
  • Talk about the cover/story/information
  • Talk about the layout of the book - illustrations/pictures/diagrams, the contents and index
  • Ask your child to tell you about the story/the information in the text
  • Share the book by reading alternate pages
  • Talk about what they liked/disliked about the book
  • Ask whether there was anything they didn't understand
  • Dicuss the characters in the book - personalities and feelings
  • Always PRAISE your child for what they have done well - 'I like the way you sorted that word out by yourself' or 'I like the way you saw the "be" at the beginning of believe'
  • When your child reads and gets a word wrong:
    • Give them time to work it out (count to eight)
    • Let them finish the line before you put it right (they might do this themselves)
    • Try to help your child to work out a word by matching sounds to letters (blending)
  • Help your child to see the biggest chunk of the word (PLAYing)
  • Help them to see patterns in words (play, stay, away)
  • Get them to read the part they know and you finish the rest - play you add ED to make PLAYED
  • Help with long words by clapping the different chunks - tramp-o-line
  • Encourage them to think whether what they say makes sense, sounds right, looks right
  • Encourage your child to read a range of text: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, comics, newspapers

Remember it is good practice to re-read books.

Everyone gets better at whatever they do through practice.

Stay calm and remember to praise for what your child is doing well.

Helping your child with reading is about enjoyment for both of you.

Help your child with spelling

Encourage your child to write on every possible occasion; praising their efforts and  letting them see you writing whenever possible. You can play word games with them, you can point to interesting or new words as you read to your child and you can compose emails together. Most of us; even if we consider ourselves to be good spellers, make spelling mistakes at some point. What is important is that we know what to do when we get stuck and we know how to correct our mistakes.

Here are some strategies:

  • Sounding words out: breaking the words down (c-a-t, sh-e-ll) many words cannot be sounded out so other strategies are needed
  • Dividing the words into syllables, say each syllable as they write the word (re-mem-ber)
  • Using the look, say, cover, write, check strategy: look at the word and say it out loud; then cover it, write it and check to see if it is correct. If not, highlight or cover the incorrect part and repeat the process
  • Memorise a tricky word (people: People Eat Orange Peel Like Elephants; could: OU lucky duck [oh you lucky duck])
  • Finding words within words, e.g. a rat in separate
  • Making links between the meaning of words and their spelling, e.g. sign, signal, signature (this strategy is used at a later stage than others)
  • Using a dictionary as soon as your child is able

The letters 'b' and 'd'

These letters can cause all sorts of confusions.

  • For 'b' you can say 'bat (the tall section of letter b) before ball' (the round part of the letter b).
  • Remind your child by showing them 'b' and 'd' before they start to read and write
  • If they have 'b' or 'd' in their name remind them to use what they know
  • Ask your child's teacher for a visual resource

Files to Download

Contact the School

Leighton Academy

Principal - Mrs Joanna Young
Head of School - Mrs Samantha Thompson
Leighton Academy
Minshull New Road, Crewe

Principal email address -

Head of School email address -

Contacts for Information -
Mrs T German - Business Manager
Ms J Morris - Bursar
Mrs H Holding - Clerical Officer
Mrs D O'Reilly - Admin Assistant

Senco -
Mr N Jones -
Mrs L Schofield -

Pastoral & Welfare Manager -
Mrs Z Dow -

Tel: 01270 814016