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Parents Reading - 'Working together

Whitegate End has held it's first parent workshop for reading. A big thank you to all who attended, it was very encouraging for the staff to see so many of you there. If you have any questions following the workshop please speak to your child's class teacher or key worker or a member of the Literacy team (Mr Learmont, Mrs Maslen, Miss Earle, Mrs McDonald, Mrs Tierney)

Top tip for reading

The key message from the workshop is to read with and to your child, no matter what age they are. From birth children can experience the joys of language, talk to your children, share books, magazines, recipes and all types of writing together, even if children can read themselves they still enjoy having challenging books read to them (even if they won't admit it)


At Whitegate End we follow a phonics program called 'Letters & Sounds' There are 6 phases which take children from just listening to sounds in the environment to right up to some of English's more tricky spelling patterns. Children are taught in school in ability groups according to their stage of development.


Learning to spell in English is a tricky process and there are a number of things that can help with this process.

1) Read - when children are reading they are experiencing lots of different spelling patterns, children with a good visual memory will start to learn which words 'look right' and apply these to their work. When learning spellings sent home from school look out for that spelling pattern in the books you are reading together.

2) Rules - There are always exceptions to the rules that seem to apply to the English language. We aim to help children identify when these rules do and don't apply. Using a dictionary to check new and unfamiliar words is a great way of improving spelling.

At Whitegate End we teach spelling in class groups.

Understanding what we read - Comprehension Questions

Before reading a book:

Look at the title, what could this book be about?
Look at any pictures and discuss who is in them, what they are doing, where they are, when the story takes place, why they are there.

During reading you can ask questions:
Literal questions - the easiest, where the answers can be found by looking at what they have written
Questions that require you to 'read between the line'
Why do you think questions - these are the hardest to answer and can lead to a good discussion. it requires the reader to look at all the evidence and form an opinion.

iPad/iPod Apps

Lots of companies are producing interactive learning materials for smart phones and tablet computers. These are some we have heard about:

Collins Big Cat - Interactive stories to read and listen too, questions and discussion points to guide conversations, a story creator to help with writing, add your own narration to create your own stories.

Search the app store for more details and prices.