Reading at Home

Children learn to read by reading! The more children read, the quicker they will become independent readers. Here are some suggestions to help them on their way:

  • Allow your child to hold the book and turn the pages themselves.
  • Teach them how to point to each word as this helps them to understand the direction of writing and appreciate that there are spaces between each word.
  • Talk about the pictures and use them as clues to work out the text. They are there to help your child learn to read.
  • Look for sounds or words that your child might recognise such as sounds that are in their name or tricky words that they are learning.
  • Talk about the events in the story and guess what might happen next.
  • If your child cannot read or remember a word, just tell them what it is.
  • Practise sounding out and blending simple consonant-vowel-consonant (cvc) words such as c-a-t. Your child will find blending tricky at first so it helps to slur the sounds together.
  • Some sounds are stretchy sounds: m says mmmm not ‘mu’. The same follows for s, f, l, n, r, v and z.
  • Try to say bouncy sounds as a short sound: t easily becomes ‘ter’ and this can be very confusing for your child.
  • When you are only reading a few pages in each session ask your child what has happened so far using the pictures, or read them the previous pages to jog their memory.
  • Feel free to read alternate pages for them if your child is feeling tired.
  • Make reading as fun as possible!

The reading books are split into levels that progress through each of the reading skills. They are designed to reflect the phases of Letters and Sounds that the children work through. Click on the file at the bottom of the page to find out more about the phases or refer to your child’s Link Book.


These are books that have no words. They are designed to promote dialogue and discussion. Talk about the pictures and build up a sequence of events that tell the story. Ask your child what they can see in the pictures and what they think will happen next.

Pink a:

This level introduces repetitive phrases and predictable text. Read the book to your child first following each word with your finger, then go back to the beginning and read the first phrase as you point. Ask your child to repeat it as they point to each word. If your child slides their finger along the text hold their finger to show them how to jump to the next word. Repeat this for each page. Because of the repetition involved, it is better for your child to read the whole book in one session.

Pink b:

By the time your child reaches this level, they will be familiar with some sounds. We teach the Phase 2 individual sounds using the Read, Write, Inc. jingles which helps the children to remember the sound and know how to form the letter shape. (The jingles are available in your child’s Link Book.) These books are for practising sounding out and blending simple words and recognising some early ‘tricky words’. These are words that cannot be sounded out phonetically and just need to be remembered. Because your child will need to work harder to get through the book, aim to manage three or four pages in one session.

Pink c:

Building on the previous level, Pink c helps the children to embed the single sounds and tricky words that your child has learnt. There is more text on each page and your child may need you to read through the phrases after they have sounded out each word so that they have a greater understanding of the text.

Red a:

These books consolidate the Phase 2 sounds that the children have learnt and contain words with ‘hidden’ consonants. Words such as ‘cat’ are now easy for your child to sound out and blend, however, words such as ‘went’ and ‘felt’ or ‘clap’ and ‘drip’ have two consonants together and are harder to blend. These books also introduce some of the early Phase 3 sounds, some single sounds (q, z, x, y, j, v, w) and some consonant or vowel blends such as sh, th ee and oa). The Phase 3 tricky words will also appear in these books.

Red b:

When your child reaches this level they will be ready to recognise some Phase 3 sounds and tricky words. These sounds are made up of two or three letters that make one sound such as ch, sh, th, ee, oo and igh. We teach them by using the Read, Write Inc. jingles. It is a lot harder to spot these sounds within words than it is to recognise them on their own and it will take a while for your child to see them as one sound as they read.

Red c:

This level embeds those Phase 3 sounds that have been taught and builds on their sounds knowledge by developing the decoding of consonant clusters at the beginning and end of words. Your child will also come across the Phase 4 tricky words and the pages are likely to contain a greater amount of text.

Yellow a:

The first set of yellow books embeds the Phase 3 and 4 sounds and tricky words, and introduces some from Phase 5.

Yellow b:

These books build on the Phase 5 vowel blends and will often include new phonic rules such as ‘c’ can sometimes says ‘s’, and ‘e’ after a consonant can change the vowel sound before it (split digraphs).