Skip to content ↓
Select School


Reading with your child

The most important thing when reading with your child is that it is an enjoyable time to spend together. This can only be achieved if does not become a chore to you or your child, but a relaxing time when your child has your full attention. To aid this:

  • Choose anything that your child is interested in – fiction/non-fiction books, magazines, newspapers etc

  • Best to spend daily short periods of time (15-20 minutes) rather than one long session a couple of times a week

  • Go to a quiet room with few distractions and turn off TVs etc.

  • It is just as important to read to your child as it is for them to read to you as you will model the fluency and expression needed

  • Remember each child at Fairchildes is signed up to an online reading library- ask their class teacher for the login information

At Fairchildes we use the ELS phonics scheme. This teaches the child the sound for each letter/letters they see so that they can split the words into the sounds they make and then blend them back together to read the word. This is the way most children will learn to read and tackle unfamiliar words.

If they are stuck on a very difficult word or on a name, it’s okay to just tell them the word rather than let them struggle with it. 


The most important thing for your child is to understand and discuss what they have read, even if they struggle with the decoding. For most children, it is the vocabulary in a book that they may struggle to understand, so it is vital to discuss word meanings. Below are some of the types of questions you might ask whilst you are reading to encourage your child to think about what they have read and to have an opinion. They are just to get you started, but as long as you are talking about the book you are making them think about it. If your child is unsure of the answer then give your opinion so that they can learn how to respond to questions asked. 

  • What happened in the story? What do you predict will happen next?

  • Why do you think that happened? 

  • What is your favourite part/ character/ illustration etc? Why?

  • Did you enjoy the story? Why?

  • What did we find out about the characters?

  • Why did the character behave in that way? What is your opinion of what they did?

  • How is the character feeling? How do you know? How would you feel in their situation? Why?

  • Has the character changed in the story? How?

  • Would you be friends with this character? Why?

  • Why has the author used this word/phrase etc?

  • Why is this word in bold/italics etc?

  • Why did the author choose this setting?

  • Do you like the way this author writes? Why?

  • Would you recommend this story to someone else? Who? Why?

  • What message was the author trying to give us?

  • Has reading this changed your opinion?

  • Can you think of another story/author similar to this?

Please follow the links below to view advice for reading in specific year groups.

    Fairchildes Primary School

    Fairchildes Avenue, New Addington, Croydon, CR0 0AH
    01689 842268