Trent Schools

August 26, 2020

Be a good role-model

How often does your child see you reading? Are books accessible in various locations in your home? Share with them your favourite current books, as well as books that you loved reading at their age.

Make story time magical
  • Always make time for a bedtime story with your child. It’s a great opportunity for quality bonding time with your child and treasured memories.
  • Use different voices and expressions to bring stories to life and enhance the reading experience.
  • You don’t need to rely on books, you can also make up your own stories! Involve your child in some creative thinking and include personal experiences in the story, such as their friends and favourite toys. Add more to the story each day.
  • Use story dice to tell a story.
Create an inviting space

Where is your favourite place to read? Create a cosy reading corner for your child. Use lots of blankets and cushions and add twinkly lights to make it feel extra special.

Make reading purposeful
  • It’s amazing how quickly children learn logos. Identifying logos, such as Tesco and Kit Kat, in their surroundings can make your child a more confident reader.
  • Encourage your child to read the weekly shopping list aloud.
  • Help your child make a fictional character phone book, including character names, pictures and phone numbers. Using a toy phone, read out each character’s name and number.
  • Read out leaflets and signs you see when out and about with your child.
Explore different types of reading
  • There’s a variety of fantastic literature beyond fiction – poetry, rhymes, comics, magazines and non-fiction books!
  • Print out well-known theme tunes or songs, e.g. ‘Let it Go’ from Frozen, and encourage your child to track the print as they sing. This will build confidence.
Story-tell anytime, anywhere

Stories aren’t just for bedtime, make time during the day to tell stories too. A story can be shared anywhere, from the kitchen to the garden!

Practise tricky words with repetition
  • Try the tricky word challenge. Your child may know these as ‘red words’. They are tricky because your child is unlikely to be able to read them using their current phonic knowledge. To succeed in reading, your child should have a bank of tricky words they can read confidently. Challenge them to see how many words they can read per minute and to beat their record each day.
  • Keep a box of tricky words and a timer on the kitchen table for sneaky practice at meal times. Repetition is key in mastering tricky words. You can find a list of Read, Write, Inc’s red words on Google.
  • Play tricky word snap, matching pairs or Bingo.
 Make reading fun
  • Children love treasure hunts! Write simple clues for your child to read and find the treasure.
  • Make words from foam letters in the bath. Can your child read them? Add a timer for extra challenge.
  • Use fridge letter magnets to create a simple sentence for your child to read (e.g. ‘the cat sat on the mat’) each day. Don’t forget to include some words which have ‘special friends.’

Other useful online resources:


The Elms Junior School is the perfect setting for young learners to grow and thrive. With access to three onsite libraries and specialist teaching, children can go further and achieve their academic potential. Contact or call 0115 849 49 49 to arrange your private tour of our special school.

Our Whole School Open Morning will take place on Saturday 10 October, discover what makes our schools special places to learn and develop by visiting the areas of interest to your family. Due to limited capacity, registration in advance of the event is mandatory. Book online.