Why is Reading so Important?
Studies show that reading for pleasure makes a big difference to a children's educational performance. Likewise, evidence suggests that children who read for enjoyment every day not only perform better in reading tests than those who do not, but also develop a broader vocabulary, increased in general knowledge and a better understanding of of other cultures. In fact, reading for pleasure is more likely to determine whether a child does well at school than their social or economic background.
1. Children who read often and widely get better at it.
After all, practice makes perfect in almost everything humans do, and reading in no different.
2. Reading exercises our brain.
Reading is a much more complex task for the human brain rather than watching TV, for example. Reading strengthens brains connections and builds NEW connections.
3. Reading improves concentration.
Children have to sit still and quietly so that they can focus on the story when they are reading. If the read often, they will develop the skill to do this for longer.
4. Reading teaches children about the world around them.
Through reading a variety of books children learn about people, places, and events outside of their own experience.
5. Reading improves vocabulary and language skills.
Learning to read is about listening and understanding as well as working out what is printed on the page. Through hearing stories, children are exposed to a wide range of words. This helps them build their own vocabulary and improve their understanding when they listen, which is vital as they start to read. It is important for them to understand how stories work too. Even if your child does not understand every word, they will hear new sounds, words and phrases which they can then try out, copying what they have heard. Subconsciously, they absorb information on how to structure sentences and how to use words and other language features effectively in their writing and speaking.
6. Reading develops a child's imagination.
As we read our brains translate the descriptions we read of people, places and things into pictures. While we are engaged in a story we are also imagining how a character is feeling. Young children then bring this knowledge into their everyday play.
7. Reading helps children to develop empathy.
As children develop they begin to imagine how they would feel in that situation.
8. Reading is fun.
A book or an e-reader doesn't take up much space and is light to carry, so you take it anywhere so you can never be bored if you have a book in your bag.
9. Reading is a great way to spend time together.
Reading together on the sofa, bedtimes stories and visiting the library are just some ways of spending time together.
10. Children who read achieve better in school.
Reading promotes achievement in all subjects, not just English. Children who are good readers tend to achieve better across the curriculum.It is a well known fact that good readers make good writers.
Top 10 tips to help children enjoy reading.
To help make reading enjoyable and fun, here is what the experts and authors recommend to help get children reading
1. Make books part of your family life – Always have books around so that you and your children are ready to read whenever there’s a chance. Stories can be shared with the family so why not invite siblings or other family members to join in. Take time to look together at the words and pictures in a story and when reading take it in turns.
2. Join your local library – Get your child a library card. You’ll find the latest video games, blu-rays and DVDs, plus tons and tons of fantastic books. Allow them to pick their own books, encouraging their own interests.
3. Match their interests – Help them find the right book - it doesn’t matter if it’s fiction, poetry, comic books or non-fiction. Don't be afraid to use funny voices - it's a great way to make your child giggle.
4. All reading is good – Don’t discount non-fiction, comics, graphic novels, magazines and leaflets. Reading is reading and it is all good.
5. Get comfortable! – Snuggle up somewhere warm and cosy with your child, either in bed, on a beanbag or on the sofa, or make sure they have somewhere comfy when reading alone.
6. Ask questions – To keep them interested in the story, ask your child questions as you read such as, ‘What do you think will happen next?’ or ‘Where did we get to last night? Can you remember what had happened already?’ When you talk to your child about what is happening in a book, give them plenty of time to respond.
7. Read whenever you get the chance – Bring along a book or magazine for any time your child has to wait, such as at a doctor’s surgery.
8. Read again and again – Encourage your child to re-read favourite books and poems. Re-reading helps to build up fluency and confidence.
9. Bedtime stories – Regularly read with your child or children at bedtime. It’s a great way to end the day and to spend valuable time with your child.
10. Rhyme and repetition – Books and poems which include rhyme and repetition are great for encouraging your child or children to join in and remember the words.
Irrespective of whether they are fluent readers or not, you can play an important role in helping to keep them interested in books. Find out what interests them, help them to find books that will be engaging and fun, and spend time reading the books they bring home from school together.
A list of the top 100 books to read to children in year 3 and 4 can be found at the bottom of this page.
A Reading Diary will be given to each child to record what they are reading at the start of the school year. We ask that you support your child by listening to them read every night for at least 10 minutes and then complete their reading records and return to school for signing the next day.
The Government expectations for attainment have risen over the last few years and in order to help your child reach Age Related Expectations based on the New Curriculum, we are setting homework each week. This could be one in Maths or one relating to English; this could be a reading comprehension or related to Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar. This has worked well over the last few years and increased the percentage of children achieving the expected standard in Reading, Writing and Maths when they take their SATs in year 6. The homework maybe followed up in class so it is essential that your child completes this at home in order to keep up with what they are learning in school.
Homework will be sent home on Friday and is expected to be completed and returned to school by the following Wednesday. If it is not returned, it may result in them missing a playtime in order to complete it.
Due to Covid 19, where possible, we aim to set homework online using Seesaw. Seesaw is a simple way for teachers and students to record and share what's happening in the classroom and gives children a place to document their learning, be creative and learn how to use technology. Please make sure that your child has the most recent version of the Seesaw CLASS app download on their home device or if they are using a computer they need to go to - app.seesaw.me. For more information on Seesaw please visit their website - https://web.seesaw.me/parents. For further help you can visit - https://help.seesaw.me/hc/en-us There is also a parent help sheet at the bottom of this page which you can download. This is to limit the amount of paperwork coming home and returning to school, therefore reducing the risk. We will provide alternatives for those where working online is not an option.
Practising times tables at home is really important. Knowing times tables facts really helps children to feel confident in Maths, and enables them to make progress in areas such as calculating, fractions… even shape work can involve times tables – when we think about angles, for example. The National Curriculum sets out expectations for times tables knowledge and states that by Year 4 children should be able to recall multiplication and division facts up to 12x12. Knowing the tables facts (including division) means having rapid recall – being able to say the answer within about eight seconds, not counting through the times tables to work it out. Please make sure your child practises as home: in the car, in the bath, on the way to school, straight after school as a matter of routine.
TT Rocks Stars is a carefully sequenced program of daily times table practice. This extremely popular online resource has very successfully boosted times tables recall speed for hundreds of thousands of pupils over the last 8 years in over 14,000 schools. Please encourage your child to use this fantastic resource at home. We will be sending home log in information over the coming weeks. Hit the Button and the Maths Shed are other online resources that you can access at home.
If you do not have access to a computer, we have many resources in school to help, should you need them, including flip/flap cards and times table grids.
Spellings will still be set on a weekly basis, please practise them at home prior to the test in school. We have recently signed up to The ‘Spelling Shed - which is a spelling platform designed by a team of Primary School teachers. It is built with primary school pupils, teachers and parents in mind and aims to make spelling fun for children. It works in a similar way to Times Table Rock Stars and each class and the school have a league against schools nationally and internationally. This can be a huge incentive to pupils. The programme is free for computers, however, if you want to access using an app you would need to pay a small additional cost. For more information, see the attached link.
We recently introduced a new idea into school to help us develop children’s knowledge and understanding of the world. These documents contain the essential knowledge children need to know as part of the topic they are studying in class.
These Knowledge Mats are designed to be used at school during lessons. We are confident that these Knowledge Mats will help our children to develop knowledge on a wide range of topics and will significantly improve their vocabulary. This, in turn, will make them more confident in class and help to develop their reading and writing skills.
Full details of the Curriculum can be found on the Curriculum Overview page of the website.
Children’s learning is improved when we work in partnership and we appreciate your ongoing support. If you have any questions, please call in and see any of the year 3 teachers.