A guide to help children progress in literacy

Apr 2012
The secret to success in literacy is a combination of mastery of phonics, reading comprehension and writing.

Ensuring children have a good grasp of core subjects such as literacy and numeracy is essential to ensuring that they can succeed in their educational development. While children pick up the rudiments of the English language in their everyday interactions with parents, peers and teachers, they will need careful instruction in order to be proficient in the subject.

Success in literacy is a combination of mastery of the following groups of subjects: phonics, reading (including reading comprehension) and writing.

Parents who are keen to boost their children's literacy skills may want to use the following as a guide to help children progress in the subject:

Phonemes are the group of individual sounds that make up a word. Pupils in the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 are normally given daily phonics lessons, usually of around 15 minutes. These are designed to help them become familiar with the sound patterns in words and help them segment and blend words.

Try playing sound games at home with your children such as Silly Soup. You can find the Silly Soup rhyme on the internet and children can sing along to the rhyme and then select the appropriate rhyming picture. Ask your child's school if you can consult their copy of Letters and Sounds, a government publication.

Reading and Comprehension
Once children have a good grasp of phonics they can begin to read independently. Children's books that focus on particular sounds are widely available and will help little ones cement their knowledge. Once children are ready, encourage them to read books from a variety of genres from traditional fairy tales to science fiction. This will equip them with the depth of vocabulary needed for longer pieces of writing.

Questioning children about their ideas on key themes in books, and elements of grammar such as sentence structure and word choices will also feed into their written work.