At Whitmore park, we teach the children to read using a structured phonics programme called Read Write Inc. Children begin by learning the letter sounds and how to blend them together. We call this ‘Fred Talk.’ For example:
  • m   –   a   –   t   =   mat
Children begin by learning the simple sounds (see right – click image to enlarge).
Children progress to learning the complex speed sounds (see right – click image to enlarge). For example:
  • t   –   r   –   ai   –   n   =   train
  • f   –   ire   =   fire
When reading, we encourage children to find sounds that they already know which we call ‘special friends’. Children are also taught to ‘Fred in their head’ so that they start to become fluent readers.

Reading with your child in KS1:

Before listening to your child read ask them:

  • Why did you choose this book?
  • Is it fiction or non fiction? How do you know?
  • What do you think this book is about?
  • Have you read any other books with a giant / little boy / pirate?
  • What do you think will happen? (stories)

Read the blurb and discuss

When listening to your child read, encourage them to:

  • Blend the sounds together to decode the words (children call it Fred Talk) for example:
    • n   –   igh   –   t   =   night
    • b   –   l   –   a   –   ck   =   black
  • Identify special friends (sounds they recognise) in a word
  • Fred in their head
  • Clapping out syllables or chunks in words and names can help with reading longer words: Di-no-saur! Cho-co-late! Or point out that some words are made up of two words, so wind and then mill makes windmill
  • Recognise high frequency words (children may call them No Excuses words) e.g. he, she, the, me, my
  • Notice their own mistakes if it doesn’t make sense
  • Self correct

Talk about their understanding of the text:

  • Ask them questions using the bank of questions provided on the next page e.g. what was the character like? Which word in the text means fast? If you were the author which word would you use here? If you were the author how would you change the ending?
  • Notice the punctuation
  • Read with expression and fluency
  • Notice the features in a text, for example: why has the writer put that word in bold / capital letters? Why has the author used an ellipsis?

After listening to your child read ask them:

  • Which was your favourite part of the story and why?
  • Tell me 2 / 3 / 4 things that happened in the book?
  • What happened at the beginning / middle / end?
  • After reading a page, can you tell me what happened?
  • Can you find me a fact about…? Can you use the index / glossary…?

Retell the story

Make a fact poster with the facts they have learned


Questions you can ask your child when reading:

Here we have provided you with a selection of questions that you can use to support your child when reading.

  • How could the character have chosen to behave in a different way?
  • How would that change the story?
  • How do you know…?
  • e.g. the girl was annoyed / frightened / happy / in a hurry)
  • Why do people need to…?
  • e.g. look after their teeth, be careful near water
  • What did Sam do that might have made Ben angry?
  • What made the castle smelly?
  • True or false questions
  • How is a puppy the same as a human baby?
  • Choose an adjective and can you tell me a different word e.g. big – huge, sad – upset
  • What does this word mean?
  • Which word / phrase tell you…?
  • e.g. that the setting is spooky
  • There is a word on this page that means fast – can you find it (quick)
  • Find and copy a word / phrase that means..
  • Who does the dog belong to?
  • What is the girl doing?
  • Where did the boy travel to?
  • When did they find…?
  • Which character said…?
  • How did the boy get to space?
  • Why did the girl go to the park?
  • Give two things that the girl finds..
  • What happened in the beginning / middle / end?
  • What happened after?
  • Can you tell me four events that happened in the book?
  • Put these events in order

KS2 Reading Support Question Stems

When reading with your child, use these question stems to help you ask questions as they are reading. This will help to support your child’s understanding of the text they have read.

2a – Word meaning

  • What does X mean?
  • Can you think of another word with the same meaning as X?
  • Can you replace X with a different adjective / noun / verb etc?
  • Can you use X in a different context?
  • How would the context change the meaning of X?
  • Which word is closest in meaning to X? a) W   b) Y   c) Z

2b – Retrieval (Children must be able to find the answer in the text)

  • What is happening in X?
  • Find the word/s or phrase which tells you X
  • What / who / why / when / where….. ? Quote from the text
  • What does the text say about X?
  • Where in the text is X?
  • What does X think about Y?

2c – Summarising

  • What has happened in the story so far?
  • What are the key points of the first two paragraphs?
  • Summarise the paragraphs you have just read
  • Tell me what you have just read in one sentence
  • Sum up the main points
  • Tell me the purpose of the text in one sentence

2d – Inference (children look for clues in the text but are not able to lift the answer directly)

  • Why / what / how / where / who / when do you think…?
  • How do you know…?
  • Explain why X happened / felt that way / acted in that way?
  • Give evidence from the text to show X
  • What impression do you get of X?
  • What in the text suggests…?

2e – Prediction

  • Predict what will happen next
  • What do you think will happen next and how do you know?
  • What do you think will happen to X?
  • Now that X has happened, how do you think that will change things for Y?
  • What do you think X will do next?

2f – Meaning and Organisation

  • What is the overall meaning of this text?
  • What effect does the text have on the reader?
  • What organisational features has the author used?
  • Why has the author set the text out in this way?
  • What is the impact of X?
  • What can you tell about the time OR place OR culture the story is set in / the writer is living in?

2g – Writer’s word choice

  • What did the author choose that word?
  • What other word / phrase could they have used? How would that have changed the meaning?
  • What effect was the author trying to create with the following words: _____ ?
  • Identify figurative language / simile / metaphor etc. How does this impact the text / reader?

2h – Comparisons within the text (overview)

  • Compare X to Y
  • How does the final paragraph link to the introduction?
  • How does paragraph 1 link to paragraph 2?
  • How has X changed throughout the text? (e.g. feelings, personality, atmosphere etc)


Storyline Online

Stories read aloud by famous actors and actresses – a great resource for children to enjoy stories online

Oxford Owl for Home

Read eBooks online with your children – all you need to do is register for free!