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Reading in Year 2 and Year 3

‘- From JK’s reading expert

As children move through Y2 the focus in reading changes from phonics to comprehension, so it is important that children have a good grasp of the phonics that have been taught and are confident in their use. Alongside phonics, children need a good knowledge of ‘tricky words’ such as:   ‘you’, ‘could’, ‘many’.  Work will continue in Y2 on phonics with the focus moving towards spelling strategies. If by Y3 children are not fluent in the use of phonics for reading and spelling, this should be addressed in order to build their confidence. As well as developing their phonic skills, they will need ample practice in reading appropriate texts that embed these skills.

The National Standard for the end of KS1 requires that children are able to decode quickly and accurately words containing two or more syllables; words with common suffixes (e.g. ‘-ness’, ‘-ed’) and recognise many common ‘tricky’ words. Children need to develop a love of reading and parents can help them acquire this by reading to and with their children, as well as spending time listening to them read, and talking about the text. Exposure to fiction, poetry, plays and nonfiction will help them to develop their personal taste. Reading widely and regularly, and being read to, increases children’s vocabulary, feeds their imagination and further develops their love of reading. Developing vocabulary is important and an explanation of new words should be provided in the context of what has been read.

Accuracy and fluency need to be developed and it is therefore important that children are not expected to struggle reading through books that are too difficult. Texts that are too challenging send the message that ‘reading is difficult’. If the child is keen to read a difficult text this provides an opportunity to read with or to the child.

When reading with children it is important that adults question them about the text to check for understanding at a literal level. This questioning begins in Y1 but it is developed so that in Y2, it requires higher order reading skills such as predicting, summarising, inference and deduction (e.g.  ‘What do you think will happen next?’ or ‘Why do you think… was angry?’). Answering questions should require children to skim and scan to find the answers by direct reference to the text (e.g. ‘Can you find the words in the book that tell you that he is unkind?’ or ‘What have we found out about tigers?’). They should also be able to justify their views about what they have read.

Regular reading with your child and praising their efforts and successes gives pleasure to both child and parent. Building a reading habit is of prime importance to develop independent and enthusiastic readers, which is a lifelong gift.

If you would like more information on helping your child’s reading call: 020 3488 0754

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