Take turns to read aloud. You should model reading using correct intonation, tone and volume. Listen to your child read. Often meaning is lost because reading is not fluent or punctuation is not taken note of. Carry out ‘active’ reading where you question children about the text. Analyse vocabulary and ‘read between the lines’ i.e. if the text says: ‘Lucy was slumped in her chair staring out from beneath her fringe,’ ask what sort of mood Lucy is in and how do you know. Check vocabulary. Never assume that children understand what they are reading. Sometimes a single word affects the whole meaning of a text.
There are government guidelines regarding statutory spellings for primary age pupils. You can easily find lists on the Internet. Pupils should be familiar with the ones from Years 3 and 4 combined and Years 5 and 6 combined. All pupils in Year 6 will be receiving these as part of their homework.
From time to time, your child may bring home pieces of writing. It is important that these are done in the correct way. All writing should be completed independently. This does not mean you are not able to stand back and watch your child struggle, but there are specific guidelines to make sure that work is completed in an ‘independent’ way. Shortly, we will be issuing guidelines on how to support your child at home with writing.
Grammar and Punctuation
A very thorny issue! If you are not confident regarding the rules of grammar and punctuation, then there are many good websites to call upon. One really good one is Grammar Bytes, also known as Chomp Chomp for some strange reason! There are lots of and definitions, examples and exercises on here for children – and parents - to brush up on grammar. There are even video links to YouTube – if you can stand the background music!
Very shortly, your child will be receiving their Assertive Mentoring leaflets which are to be placed in the file that pupils have been recently issued with. These are designed to offer a framework for different styles of writing i.e. biography, report, etc. They also have guidelines on how to use punctuation and different grammatical terms. There are also prompt sheets for Maths. These are designed to be used in all lessons, not just English and Maths.
There are lots of very good websites dealing with the issues above. The BBC has very good up-to-date ones and another good website is called Free Rice. This has multiple choice questions for all subject areas and the English section is particularly good for learning vocabulary. The added bonus is that for every question you get right, 10 grains of rice are donated to a third world country. It can be very addictive and the bowl very quickly fills up!