St John's CE (VC) Primary School

Life in all its fullness

How to Support Your Child

There are lots of ways to support your child's learning at home. Here are some resources that you may find useful...


Work is set on 'MyMaths', as part of your child's homework, to support their learning in school. Letters have already been sent home with your child's login details, however, if you have any problems please let Mrs Cole know. 


In school, we follow the Department for Education’s ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme. This programme is divided into six different phases, which build on the skills and knowledge of previous learning. More information regarding ‘Letters and Sounds’ can be found on the Department for Education’s website. To support your child’s learning, sound mats have been sent home for phase 2, 3, 4 and 5 along with a selection of real and nonsense words. Please practice these sounds and words regularly with your child at home. You can also access phonics games at home such as Don't forget to take a look at Mr T's Phonics on Youtube. The children love watching 'Geraldine the Giraffe'! 


A ‘Spelling Log’ has been sent home in your child’s homework pack with a list of words to focus on each week. Please continue to work through this log one unit at a time.


How to use this booklet: 

Your child will begin their year group spelling journey from unit 1 and work their way through the booklet. Your child will complete each set of spellings at least twice to help embed their learning. 

It is very important that your child can pronounce, read and use the words they are spelling. 

Week 1: have fun learning the words, how to say and how to spell them. 

Using as many ways as possible will keep it fun and help your child remember them better 

  • Ask your children to read the whole word then spell it aloud (oral) 
  • Say the letter names to your child – can they say which word you’ve spelled? (auditory) 
  • Say the word to your child – get them to write it down with their eyes closed (movement memory)  

Week 2: Using the words this week will help your child commit the spelling to memory. It is very important your child understands the meaning of the word and how to use it in context.  

  • Continue spelling the individual words aloud or by writing them down. 
  • Ask your child to use the spelling words in a sentence – aloud or written. E.g. I am going to the zoo today. T-O-D-A-Y.  L-O-N-G-E-S-T I have got the longest scarf.  
  • Find the meaning of the word in a dictionary 

Week 3: If some of the spellings have not ‘stuck’, your child will have another opportunity to practise the words in school with an adult. You can help at home by reminding your children of the spellings they find tricky in fun ways. Making up rhymes; picture mnemonics; spelling the words using playdough etc. Do not worry, they will get there. Sometimes having a break from the word for a few weeks and then returning can work wonders. 

In Year One, our focus is for your child to develop pleasure in reading and a motivation to read. This will, in turn, support their understanding and increased vocabulary. Whilst we are unable to send physical books home, please make use of our online reading programme ‘Rising Stars’. A range of books have been assigned to your child with a comprehension quiz for each one. You can access ‘Rising Stars’ at Your child’s login, password and centre ID are in their reading diary. If you have any problems logging in, please let Mrs Cole know.

There are many other ways to support your child’s reading at home. The most effective of these is to read to your child on a regular basis. This should include a range of texts including fiction, non-fiction, poems and nursery rhymes. You could also read instructions to your child, recipes or even leaflets for places you would like to visit.

The books that we send home have questions inside them (normally on the front or back cover) to support your child’s understanding. When reading with your child, you can support their comprehension further by using some of these simple tips:

  • Ask your child what is happening in the text, perhaps by discussing pictures before you read.
  • Discuss alternative words. For example, you could ask “Which word could the author have used that is more exciting than ‘big’?” You could even use a thesaurus together.
  • Ask your child to make predictions about what they think will happen next and ask, “What makes you think that?” Model this by giving your own prediction along with your reason why.
  • Discuss the setting of the book and make links to other stories that you have read with the same setting.
  • Discuss the meanings of words in the books. You could even use a dictionary together to get your child used to exploring the meaning of words for themselves.
  • Ask your child “Have you learnt anything whilst reading this book that you didn’t know before?” You could even pretend that you have learnt a new fact and explain it to your child.

Finally, here is a list of what your child is expected to do, in terms of reading, in Year One with some simple suggestions or questions you could use to support them. 

In Year One, children are expected to:

To support this, you could say:

Identify words which appear again and again in a text.

“Can you put your finger on the word ‘the’?”

Recognise and join in with predictable phrases.

“Come on, say it with me…”

“I bet you can’t remember the next bit.”

Relate reading to their own experiences.

“Look at that castle. Can you remember when we went to…?”

Re-read a word or sentence if it does not make sense.

“Does…make sense?”

“It didn’t sound quite right, let’s try again.”

Become familiar with key stories, fairy tales, retelling the main events of a story with considerable accuracy.

“What happened in that story again?”

“What happened after that?”

Discuss the significance of a title and events.

“So, why do you think it’s called ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’?”

Make predictions on the basis of what has been read.

“So, if…what might happen next?”

Make inferences on the basis of what is         being said and done.

“How do you think…is feeling?”

“What makes you say that?”

“Look at the words the author has used to describe…. What sort of place do you think it will be?”

Read aloud with pace and expression.

“What kind of voice can we read that in?”

“What do you need to do when you reach a full stop?”

Recognise capital letters, full stops, question marks and exclamation marks within texts.

“I bet that you can’t find three capital letters on this page before I can.”

Know why the writer has used the above punctuation in a text.

Point to a piece of punctuation. “What is that? What does that do?”

Know the difference between fiction and non-fiction texts.

“Is this a story or is it an information text? How do you know?”

Learn rhymes and poems off by heart.

“I’d love to know if you can sing Humpty Dumpty whilst I put on my shoes.”

Be encouraged to say whether or not they like the text, giving reasons why.

“Did you enjoy that story? What was your favourite part?”