Primary School

Help Your Child

You can use the information here to support your child's learning at home.




Children in Reception and Key Stage 1 follow the synthetic phonics approach, using the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme. It’s an approach to teaching phonics in which individual letters or letter sounds are blended to form groups of letters or sounds, and those groups are then blended to form complete words. Children in Reception also use ‘Jolly Phonics’ actions to go with the sounds.


We use a combination of reading schemes. These include Oxford Reading Tree, Ginn and Rigby Star. These give a variety of fiction and non–fiction books to develop children’s reading range. Children learn to read at different rates. Once they finish the reading scheme, we encourage them to become ‘free readers’ and choose their own books.


Our daily phonics sessions in Reception are fun, involving lots of speaking, listening and games. The emphasis is on children’s active participation. They learn to use their phonic knowledge for reading and writing activities and in their independent play.


At Bruton, we use a synthetic phonics programme called Letters and Sounds alongside the actions of Jolly Phonics.


Letters and Sounds is divided into six phases, with each phase building on the skills and knowledge of previous learning. There are no big leaps in learning. Children have time to practise and rapidly expand their ability to read and spell words. They are also taught to read and spell ‘tricky words’ – words with spellings that are unusual or that children have not yet been taught. These include the words ‘to’, ‘was’, ‘said’ and ‘the’ – you can’t really break the sounds down for such words so it’s better to just ‘recognise’ them.


Phase one will have begun in our partner pre-schools. This phase paves the way for the systematic learning of phonics. During this phase especially, we plan activities that will help children to listen attentively to sounds around them, such as the sounds of their toys and to sounds in spoken language. We teach a wide range of nursery rhymes and songs and read good books to and with the children. This helps to increase the number of words they know – their vocabulary – and helps them talk confidently about books. The children learn to identify rhyme and alliteration.


Ways you can support your children at home 


  • Play ‘What do we have in here?’ Put some toys or objects in a bag and pull one out at a time. Emphasise the first sound of the name of the toy or object by repeating it, for example, ‘c c c c – car’, ‘b b b b – box’, ‘ch ch ch ch – chip’.
  • Say: ‘A tall tin of tomatoes!’ ‘Tommy, the ticklish teddy!’ ‘A lovely little lemon!’ This is called alliteration. Use names, for example, ‘Gurpreet gets the giggles’, ‘Milo makes music’, ‘Naheema’s nose’.
  • Teach them ‘Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers’.


The easiest way to support your child with reading is to read each day.  Below are some links to help you support your child with phonics and reading.

Click below for an extensive reference list of words and made up words containing the Phonemes (sounds) from Phase 5 that all Year 1 children are expected to be able to decode for reading.

Key Stage 2 - Questions to ask your child when reading fiction together

General (before reading)


  • What is the title of the story?
  • Who is the author?
  • Who is the illustrator?
  • Can you predict what might happen in the story by looking at the blurb?
  • Do you think you will enjoy this book? Why/why not?


Character exploration


  • Who is the main character?
  • Who are the other characters?
  • How has the author described the character?
  • Does this give you any more information about what kind of person they are? Eg kind, selfish, jolly
  • Would you like to get to know them? Why/why not?
  • Why do you think the character reacted in the way that they did in the story?
  • Would you have reacted in the same way?
  • How does the character feel about what is happening to them?
  • Can you point to some sentences in the text that help you find this out?
  • How would you feel if you were that character?


 Comprehension (needs to be adapted to fit particular story)


  • Explain what has happened in the story so far in your own words
  • What issue or dilemma are the character’s facing?
  • Why has this happened?
  • Describe the surroundings as you imagine them. What information from the story did you use to help you?
  • Can you predict what might happen on the next page/in the next chapter?
  • How has the story developed since the beginning of the book?
  • When the author writes…………, what do you think they mean?
  • When the character says………, what do you think they mean?
  • Why is there an exclamation mark at the end of this sentence?


Exploring own preferences


  • Did you enjoy the story?
  • How does the book make you feel?
  • Have you read any stories with similar themes/issues?
  • Have you ever experienced anything like what has happened in the story?


Vocabulary extension


  • Can you think of another word for …………… (eg happy=joyful)
  • Have you read any words that you don’t understand?
  • Can you work out what they mean by looking at the rest of the sentence?
  • Can you spot any words that rhyme with…………?
  • How many others can you think of?
  • How has the author described the character? Pick out any words or phrases that really help you to paint a picture in your mind.



This booklet is designed to aid your understanding of the way your child will be taught to calculate, in order to help you support your child more effectively with calculations and at home.  It has been written by Maths leaders in the Tower Learning Community of which Bruton Primary School is a member.



How to support with spellings?


  • Write the words in the air and on each other’s backs, in colour and put up in child’s bedroom.
  • Put the words into sentences.
  • Look up words in dictionary to find out the meaning.
  • Use look, cover, say, write and check technique.
  • Repeat out loud.




Below is a copy of the presentation that Mrs Dowdle used in her walking to school safely assembly, you may want to use this when you discuss walking to school with your child.