Barnett Wood Infant School

Tips for reading with your child

At Barnett Wood our children’s love of reading not only develops in school but also through the sharing of books at home.


Your child will bring home two types of reading book:

  1. A reading practice book – This will be a ‘Collins Big Cat’ text, which has been carefully matched to your child’s current phonic knowledge. Your child should be able to read this book fluently and independently as they will have read it up to three times at school. Please don’t worry that it’s too easy – your child needs to develop fluency and confidence in reading. Listen to them read the book. Remember to give them lots of praise – celebrate their success! If they can’t read a word, read it to them. After they have finished, talk about the book together.


If your child has exited the Little Wandle Phonics program (secure in Phase 5) they will have a matched colour banded reading book. They will have read this either 1:1 with an adult or in a guided reading group at school.


This book will be in your child’s book bag once they have read it up to three times in school. Please ensure the book comes back to school on the Monday, to allow for the next group of children to read them. When returning their book we ask that you support your child to place it inside their reading record and then in the book box found as they enter their classroom.

2. A ‘Reading for Pleasure’ book – Sharing a book with a child is fun, it’s a time for closeness, laughing and talking together-and it can also give children a flying start in life and help them to become lifelong readers.


Here are some helpful tips for developing a love for reading at home with your child:

  • Join the local library. We are very lucky to have one on our doorstep in Ashtead and also local ones in Leatherhead and Epsom. Children love spending the time browsing books and choosing some of their favourite to bring home to share.
  • Story time at home can involve all members of your family.
  • Ask your child to choose what they would like to read, it’s ok if they want to revisit the same book over and over again.
  • Try and enjoy the book together without any distractions, for example, turning off the tv.
  • Sit close together, encouraging them to hold the book and turn the pages.
  • Look at the pictures, discuss them, predicting what might happen next. It’s not just about reading the words.
  • When reading aloud use different voices for the characters in fiction books.
  • Explore the facts in non-fiction books
  • Ask your child questions about the book. Pictures can be a really good way for your child to communicate their feelings, worries and fears. Remember to give them space to talk about their feelings towards different parts of the book.
  • Have fun! There’s no right or wrong way to share a story!

Children may change their ‘reading for pleasure’ book as often as they like during the week.

Parents are encouraged to read daily with their child, even just 5 minutes, and record in their child's reading record the books they share at home.