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Westcliffe Primary School

'Our school is committed to inspirational teaching that develops aspirational young people.'

How to support reading at home

Reading at home

We expect children to read at least 3 times a week at home. In school, we support reading with a range of strategies in order to develop children’s reading skills.


Reading skills:

  • Decoding accuracy - the ability to decode words accurately in text when reading.
  • Automaticity – the ability to decode words fluently and rapidly without the need to use phonics strategies.
  • Prosody – the ability to use phrasing and expression in reading.


Assisted Reading – covers three aspects of reading fluency


Please see the videos below in regards to ‘what assisted reading is’ and assisted reading in action.

An Introduction to Assisted Reading 


  • Echo reading

The adult reads a short section either a sentence or short paragraph, with lots of expression and the children repeat it in the same way. Sometimes it is necessary to break down more difficult sentences into clauses or smaller sections so children can remember and repeat effectively with expression. In short extracts, it is important to repeat several times, as repetition builds fluency.

  • Choral reading

The children read along with the adult, who models fluency and expression.  This is used during literacy, story time or at any time across the curriculum when texts are shared. In short extracts, it is important to repeat several times, as repetition builds fluency.

  • Peer reading

The children hear the extract (a sentence, paragraph, or page) being read by the adult, then in pairs they take it in turns to read parts of or all of the extract given to them. The rules for peer reading are to be kind and not to interrupt or help (unless their partner asks for it). Once finished, then they swap over. Reading it several times is important to build fluency.


An Example of Assisted Reading

When readers use the right volume, tone and other aspects when reading aloud, they are actively showing understanding of the words they read.


What you can do

When reading with your child, you can use either of the assisted reading methods. When you model sentences or paragraphs, your child will hear good examples of how words and sentences should be read and also what their voice should be doing at specific punctuation, like question marks and exclamation marks. The idea is that your child will then copy these sentences using the correct expression and, over time, improve their fluency and comprehension.


We strive to give our children the best start in life and set them on the road to a success, whatever they may want to do. We hope to foster their love of reading and encourage them to build a relationship with books that will last a lifetime. We thank you for your support with this and ask that you continue to read with your child at least 3 times a week at home. We also ask that children bring in their reading book and diary every day so that an adult in school can listen to them read when the opportunity arises.


In regards to changing books, we believe reading a book several times (even for the older children) is far more beneficial for building fluency and comprehension. Research has shown that reading a text up to 3 times has a positive impact on fluency of reading as well as helping your child to have a better understanding of what they have read. Therefore, if your child comes home with the same book, it is likely because we want them to have another go at reading it before changing it.


If you have any questions about reading, please feel free to seek out Miss Nicholls in the Library before or after school each day. Alternatively, you may arrange to speak directly to your child’s class teacher, or the Reading Lead, Miss Megan Ross.​​​​​​​