#FocusOnReading – No.1

This term at Primary English HQ we’re taking a #FocusOnReading. Through a series on CPD events and regular blogs we aim to support our schools as they #FocusOnReading and ensure that every child can read, and read well.

To launch our #FocusOnReading campaign our first contribution comes from our associate Andrea Sherratt.  As Coventry Local Authority’s Reading Recovery and Every Child a Reader (ECaR) Teacher Leader Andrea is a real expert in teaching children how to read.  In this short blog Andrea reflects on the huge impact school, parents and carers can have on reading proficiency through just 10 minutes of daily reading. 

What a difference 10 minutes makes!

Have you ever said, “There are simply not enough hours in the day!”? Are you looking for improvements in reading progress but feel you are battling to juggle the two single handed?

A report out today from the Save the Children Foundation  stated that ‘one and a half million children will reach the age of 11 unable to ‘read well’ by 2025 unless urgent action is taken to tackle the reading crisis facing Britain’s pupils’.


Good Morning Britain presenters share their favourite children’s books and offer advice to parents on hearing their children read.

This has prompted ‘Good Morning Britain’ to launch #take10, an initiative to encourage all of us to remember the importance of literacy in achieving a brighter future. It’s a multi layered approach for schools, parents and communities to come together with the goal of improving reading skills for our children. By taking just 10 minutes every day to hear a child read we can all  have a huge impact on reading progress.

But what’s the best text material to send home? 

In order to improve reading skills and become effective readers, children need to build their ‘reading mileage’. Simply decoding text is not enough to build stamina and develop understanding, and so by reading a familiar text that a child may have seen 2 or 3 times before, is a great way to build fluency, phrasing and expression. think of this as ‘putting the cherry on the cake’!  Sending home familiar texts allows the child to grow in confidence while taking pressure off parents to ‘tutor’ their child. Rather, they can simply listen and talk about the book with their child.

When a child returns to school after having read at home, the difference is marked and progress accelerates. By encouraging parents to #take10 it becomes a team effort not just a one man/woman mission! 

Andrea Sherratt –  Reading Recovery and (ECaR) Teacher Leader, Coventry LA.

Our thanks to Andrea for kicking off our #FocusOnReading campaign. If you think that #take10 sounds like just the initiative that your school needs then take a look at the ‘Good Morning Britain’ website for videos of their presenters reading virtual books and providing tips and advice for parents.

Rachel Clarke – Director: Primary English Education Consultancy Limited


Video from Primary English

Clips from two guided reading sessions in John Shelton Primary School in Coventry. Rachel is using two of the titles from The Mini Tales Pack with a year 5 and year 6 group of children whilst addressing some key reading objectives.

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