We are always delighted when parents are involved in the children’s work. Talking together, visiting the library, museums, collecting information, helping with learning spellings, sending items into school are ways of sharing your child’s education. You are also welcome to come into school to look at work and displays. Where appropriate, outside visits may be arranged and parents are often needed to help on these occasions.

Preschool Reading

Children can learn a lot about reading before they come to school and are formally taught. Young children learn about reading when

  • they see people reading books, magazines, newspapers etc.
  • they notice print in the environment
  • they own books
  • they are read to regularly and can talk about the story and predict what might happen
  • they are encouraged to look at books and try to read for themselves
  • they say rhymes and poems off by heart and sing songs

Starting School

We would like children coming into school to

  • have had stories read to them
  • have enjoyed sharing books with others
  • have handled books on their own
  • have an awareness of print around them
  • have some idea of what reading and writing is
  • have had the opportunity to draw and write with various materials
  • have confidence and look forward to learning to read

Strategies used in teaching a child to read

Children use many strategies when reading. Phonics or “sounding” a word out is the most important stage and we teach a scheme of work for synthetic phonics in our school as recommended by the recent ‘Rose’ report. They also learn to use visual memory - that is looking at a word and remembering it. Children also learn when reading a good story. If the story makes sense and holds his/her interest the child can gather clues from the text and the pictures, making logical guesses about unknown vocabulary.

Helping your child progress with reading

Once children have started to read they will make better progress if you can help them by reading with them daily.

The value of Mathematics in our society is its power to predict and explain. Young children move towards an understanding of this when they use mathematical skills with confidence, in solving the mathematical problems of everyday life.

Activities to do at Home

  • sorting things into sets e.g. buttons, clothes, knives and forks etc
  • counting in 1’s, 2’s, 5’s, 10’s or any other pattern of numbers
  • number activities in everyday situations e.g. how many buttons on your coat? How many more buttons on mum’s/dad’s coat? How many cars pass the house - how many red ones? How many blue ones?
  • good old traditional games like ludo, snakes and ladders and dominoes are an invaluable and fun way to learn.
  • looking for relationships and patterns in numbers.
  • using “mathematical” words e.g. long, tall, short, big, little, wide, narrow, more than, less than etc.
  • recognising and naming colours.

As part of our learning together policy we ask parents to spend some time each week working on simple mental arithmetic. It will also benefit the children if you can help them to tell the time, recognise coins and understand which coins can be used to make up sets of money.

Children usually experiment with their own pretend writing first and this should be encouraged. At this stage accept the child’s writing as it is and praise all efforts. Encourage your child to read back their writing to you and never say it is ‘just scribble’ or wrong in any way. Young children learn about writing when:-

  • they see people writing
  • people share and discuss writing with them
  • there are opportunities for children to join in writing with adults
  • the child does some writing which is praised by the adult
  • the child’s efforts(even pretend writing) are taken seriously

A young child encouraged in this way will soon be ready to form letters correctly and will develop a love of writing which will stay with them throughout their learning.

Activities to do at Home

  • Colouring books, dot-to-dot and tracing over patterns help develop co-ordination.
  • Activities which encourage a pincer grasp (finger and thumb) like picking up and sorting small beads, rice etc.
  • Large arm movements especially anti-clockwise –such as waving flags, swirling ribbons.
  • Painting
  • Make a name card for your child to copy.
  • If your child has drawn a picture ask them what it is about and write underneath it.
  • As children progress with their writing encourage them to write stories. Make shopping lists together, write birthday cards, letters, invitations, so that writing is shown to have a purpose.
  • Spelling can be “caught” by playing simple word games, scrabble, crosswords or word searches.
  • Look at words with your child. Cover up part of words and make new words. Look for words hidden in words.

In school when children first learn their letter sounds they are taught to write the letters and form them correctly. The reception team will be sending out more information about this in the first term.

During their time in school the children will be taught to write for a variety of purposes such as factual accounts, list making and communication. We aim to develop a high standard of creative writing which contains interesting stories and ideas, using a wide vocabulary with good spelling and clear handwriting.

You can help by talking with your child, developing his/her language, explaining new words, encouraging different ways of saying things and telling stories out loud.

As part of our learning together policy we ask parents to spend some time each week helping their child with writing tasks which may be sent home by the class teachers. These could include learning spellings, handwriting practice, story writing or completing sheets which are related to the topics.

The Talk Share Learn Leeds app aims to help parents interact with their children and support their early development. Discover helpful tips to encourage learning in a range of different situations including at home or at the supermarket. Set reminders for your favourite everyday scenarios. Also find the location and details of your nearest Leeds City Council children's centre.

The app can be downloaded from Google Play or the App Store.