Supporting Schools and Parents

Below is a link to a video of a book being read three times. This can be shared so that parents can practice this at home with the matched books that the children use.

Each read moves through the stages of blending until fluency when the children can then add in expression and they can then understand what they have read.

  • First read – the child is mainly going to decode a lot aloud, at this read they will not necessarily be able to understand the story as their brain power is going on identifying the sounds and blending them together to read words.
  • Second read – the child is encouraged that if they need to decode (blend sounds together to make a word) then to do it in their head so they don’t keep decoding aloud.  this helps their reading fluency.
  • Third read – the child can now read with more fluency as their brain power is not going on just decoding the words as they have had practice with that.

Discuss the characters and how they might say things.  This is when they read with fluency and also you can have a greater discussion around what they are reading.  For example from the video ‘How would you feel if you were trapped?’

Some children might even have to read it another time until they can read it fluently.  By reading and re-reading books we are able to shift the brain load from just decoding to fluency and understanding.  Children benefit from coming back to the same story over and over again.

Video: Book being read 3 times

Practice makes permanent - the more you practice the more permanent the pathways are in learning to read.

Teach your Monster to Read: Phonics and Reading Game

This is a great app that can currently be downloaded for free that helps children with their phonics, this is DfE approved:

Reading daily with a matched books to the sounds your child knows will help them in their reading journey.  Alongside this sharing stories where you are reading them to your child and even picking out key words for them to read helps them learn how to become a storyteller.  It helps children develop a love of reading and creates a quality time where you can have a great discussion around books.

Commenting on what you think about the story helps children generate their responses and discussing the language such as what the word ‘dawdling’ means in the story ‘Tiddler by Julia Donaldson’ helps children to understand and use the new vocabulary.  By accessing this language through sharing stories with you means that when they come to read these words then they can understand the meaning of them.

Oral blending and segmenting

Please view the videos (link below) for some ideas of how you can do oral blending and segmenting at home:

Videos: Oral blending and segmenting

Oral blending and segmenting (the ability to segment words into sounds and the ability to blend sounds into words) are vital skills to help children learn to read and to learn to spell.  These skills are important to keep doing together even when children can do it independently.

Play I spy around the house – “I spy with my little eye a s-l-i-pp-er ……slipper.”

The more you model then the more exposure your child will in learning this key skill.

Why not then make a list of the different things you can find.  Go on a certain colour hunt and see what you can find, find different size objects or different shapes.  The list is endless.

Encourage children to have a go at writing the words themselves through hearing the sounds that they know.

Use oral blending and segmenting throughout the day such as what you are having for lunch: “Today we are going to have f-i-sh and ch-i-p-s”.

Did you know there is a difference between knowing a sound and speedily knowing a sound? The more speedily we can recall our sounds then the quicker we can identify them when we blend sounds together to read them. This makes it easier as we can read the word quicker.

Speedy Sounds Practice

How you can help
Gather the sounds cards that your child knows (either on flashcards sent home from school or if you don’t have any then there are many free downloadable ones on websites such as Twinkl or alternatively just cut up some bits of paper and write the sounds on them yourself).

Practice showing the sounds to your child and getting them to say them clearly (soft sounds avoiding the schwa) and quickly flick through them. (If your child doesn’t know one of the sounds then put that sound to the side for now to go over again).


  • How many sounds can you say in a minute? Tomorrow can you do more?
  • If you can do all of them in less than a minute then how many times can you do some of them.
  • Can you do them in a loud voice, a soft voice.
  • Can you test your brother/sister/mum or dad

You can access the videos (link below) to support this (two videos on separate slides, please flick to the next slide after the first):

Videos: Speedy sounds practice