Garratt Park School

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Supporting Literacy At Home

Helping your child to read

Paired reading is a good way to help your child to read and enjoy books. Allow your child to choose a book they want to read and let them start reading. When they make a mistake give your child a few seconds to have a go, but then say the word yourself - this keeps the flow going.

If the book is too hard for your child, read the words together. Read at your child's pace. Let your child decide on a signal they can give you when they want to carry on reading on their own. If they make a mistake, say the word and then carry on reading together. You can switch from reading together to your child reading alone. Try to do this for 10 minutes every day - share the book together rather than 'hear' your child read.At the end of a page or section, talk about what you've read together. Ask what might happen next and whether it reminds your child of another story/ film or personal experience.

Audio books

Listening to audio books can help children keep an interest in stories even when they are reluctant to read. They help a child develop key skills such as listening and concentration, and are a good introduction to new words and ways of using language. Some audio book apps will highlight the text on screen as it is being read, which can help your child identify words.

There are several websites that offer free audio books.

RNIB Bookshare is a free service which offers audio books or books in a screen reader-friendly format to educational institutions. Ask your school or college whether they have registered.

Listening Books also offer low-cost annual membership to access their vast library of audio books. Low-income families are also eligible to apply for free membership.

Calibre Audiobooks can be accessed for free to anyone with a learning disability or visual impairment. See the top tip sheet below for other ways to support reading at home.

See the top tip sheet below for other ways to support reading at home

Choose books at your child’s level

To become a confident reader your child should be reading books that are at their own developmental level but should also create a level of challenge although not overly challenging.  We would encourage you to use the MyON online reading platform because you can be certain that book choices provided are of your child's ZPD level.  Refer to the information below.  

Accelerated Reader and MyON

If you need help with your login please contact Tracy:


AR helps teachers manage and monitor student’s independent reading practice.  Almost all students have completed the STAR Reading assessment which is used to determine reading levels via computer-adaptive technology. Posed questions continually adjust to student responses, making the difficulty easier or harder where appropriate. 

Students take a STAR Reading assessment at the end of each term and from the results we are able to monitor progress, identify areas of difficulty and very importantly, gain the correct level in order to ensure that your child is reading books appropriate to their current reading ability. Student’s get to choose a book at their own level and read it at their own pace. When finished, they take a short quiz on the computer – passing the quiz is an indication that they have understood what has been read. Staff assist students by guiding them to books appropriate to their ability and interests, hearing readers, asking probing questions as your child reads and before quizzing. Since they are reading books at their own reading and interest levels, many students are likely to be successful and enjoy the books and quizzes. The books in the new library are gradually being levelled according to the AR reading levels (ZPD levels). 

Not only do students get to read physical books from the library, we have also introduced an online range of e-books (over 6,500) through the myON reading platform.

MyON is a digital library containing thousands of interesting and stimulating e-books that ties in with our in-school library reading system.  These digital books can be tailored to students’ interests and will allow your child to read independently or together as a family, whether it be through the week, at weekends, during the school holidays or at any other time you choose. We appreciate that all families are busy and negotiating their own circumstances, but please can we ask that you login into the myON account and have a look at the books your child is reading, as there is open access to many genres and age ranges and we want to be sure that they are choosing books that correlate with their reading ability.  Students should be reading books within their ZPD, which can be found when they click into their ‘ library’. 

Students can choose to read a book themselves or in some cases (but not all books)  have it read for them. Your child’s teacher can view books they have read and see how long they have read for too. Once your child has read a book, they should ‘take a quiz’ – exactly like they do in school – their myON account links to their in-school Accelerated Reader account where students accrue points and are working towards becoming a ‘Word Millionaire’ once they have read a million words or more!  Most students will already be using myON in lessons at school and will be familiar with the platform.