Reading isn’t easy for every child. Some children are reluctant to read whilst other children may encounter specific difficulties. At school, these children may fall behind their classmates and many will experience low self-esteem as a result.
The advice on this page is used by our skilled Schoolreaders to help children become confident and engaged readers. If you would like more information on phonics, how to support children in different age groups, the best ways to work with struggling readers, plus fun ideas for literacy games, have a look below.
Oxford Owl is an award-winning website from Oxford University Press, created to support children’s learning both at home and at school. Click here to visit the Oxford Owl website where you will find for thousands of free resources, including storytelling tips, games, and downloadable information sheets.
Schoolreaders' guidance notes
for volunteers working with children in Key Stage 1
Attached are guidance notes which will give you some ideas for ways to support Key Stage 1 children as they read with you. There are some practical tips on how to set up your session, and then some questions that may provide good ways to get the child to explore and analyse the text. As ever, school staff should be on hand to help you with more guidance should you need it.
Schoolreaders' guidance notes
for volunteers working with children in Key Stage 2
Children in Key Stage 2 should be developing as excited and involved readers. In our guidance notes you will find lots of questions which will help you probe a child's understanding of their text, and which should help them on to deeper comprehension of the other books they read.
As ever, school staff should be on hand to help you with more guidance should you need it.
Pause, prompt, praise
Below is a simple technique to help each child practise their reading and develop their reading confidence
Pause, Prompt, Praise: The 3Ps are best used where a child gets stuck on a word they can’t read or is new to them. It encourages them to have another go, correct themselves and if needed, find out what the problem word is with your help.
If your reader comes to a word they don’t know, makes a mistake or skips the word altogether, don’t correct them straight away.
Instead, pause for about 5 seconds and give them time to self-correct and work out the word for themselves.
If they successfully work out the word, ask them to re-read the whole sentence in order to recap the meaning.
If they continue to struggle, prompt them with some suggestions about what they could do to decipher it.
Look at the pictures to see if they provide any clues.
Review what has just happened in the story. Read on to the next sentence to see if that
helps their understanding.
Break the word up into syllables e.g. foot-ball.
Following your prompts, if the word is too difficult for your reader, you might offer to help. You can also briefly explain the meaning of the word.
Don’t spend too much time prompting as you want the child to enjoy and understand the story!
If the child is reading well, keep encouraging them. You might say ‘good!’ or ‘well done!’ at the end of a paragraph or if they succeed in reading a tough word or sentence.
Where the child has been unable to work out a word, praise their efforts! As well as praising their effort it is also good to tell them why.