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It is in reception that children will start formal reading lessons through phonics and guided reading. A good foundation in sound awareness skills such as rhyming and identifying what sound a word begins with would be helpful. Sharing songs and books is a really good way to support this. You could also say the sounds that letters make, along with their names as you come across them day-to-day.


Encourage your child to develop an interest in books and other forms of text, for example comics, postcards, labels and posters. Read with your child and discuss what you have read, for example, ask what they liked about it. Consider reading books about ‘starting school’ with your child. Use these to discuss all the fun activities they will be doing at school.


Click here for a list of books about starting school. Otherwise, YouTube also has stories and videos about starting school, such as:

David Goes to School

Amelia Bedilia First Day of School

I Am Too Absolutely Small for School

Tops and Tim Go to School

The Pigeon Has to Go to School

We Don’t Eat Our Classmates


You can also develop an interest in reading by reading notices and labels when away from home and postcards or greetings cards from family members or friends. ‘Name Treasure Hunts’ can be a fun way of getting your child to recognise their name. Write your child’s name on pieces of paper and hide them around the house. Encourage your child to find them all. Other names (or words) can then be introduced to encourage your child to look carefully at each letter of their name.