Reading resources for St. Catherine's Parents


Reading is a skill that needs to be taught and developed. It is important to teach children phonic skills to help them to decode words based on the letter sounds, as well as to help them recognise frequently used keywords, or sight words, which may or may not be sounded out phonetically.

Seeing and playing with words is a great way for the children to learn these words.

We hope the following links will be useful:

Pre-Reading skills:

Creating a love of books and stories is fundamental to encouraging children to learn to read. Awareness of and recognizing written words around them is also important.

Reading skills:

Letter and Sounds:
Phonological awareness as well as linking letters and sounds is critical in equipping children to read by themselves. At St. Catherine's, we start introducing this association in Nursery by teaching both the big and small letters, encouraging children to identify items that start with each letter as well as introducing the sounds each letter makes. This is then formally taught in Lower.

Word families:
When learning to read, patterns are important. Children recognize word patterns as opposed to sounding out words, so teaching patterns through word families is very helpful. When a learner knows the word 'cat' the pattern to teach is then mat, sat, fat. etc. This will be introduced at the end of Lower and rhyming families are further taught in Upper. Children are encouraged to recognise rhyming patterns as well as to sound out, read and write these words.

Keywords recognition:
Learning frequently used keywords (also called sight words) will give your child a good head start in reading. In both Lower and Upper the keywords from the readers are displayed in the classroom, children are encouraged to point to words as they read to improve their visual memory and these words are repeated in subsequent reading books used at school. A variety of games can be used to encourage familiarity with these words: Bingo, memory games, making silly sentences etc.

* The Dolch Word List
Developed by Edward W. Dolch, this is a list of 220 sight words that make up over 50 - 75% of the text found in children's books.

* Fry's list of instant 300 words
The first 300 words in Edward Fry's list make up 65% of all written material.

Paired or shared reading

Books recommendation:

Online games for reading: