Helping your child at home 

For developing readers working from phonics phase 2/3

J. Byrne CHHS


Getting Started


Sharing books –  At CHHS we teach phonics to help our pupils learn to read.  There needs to be just as much emphasis placed on helping pupils to learn to love reading! 

The best way to help is to support your child in reading anything they are interested about.  This can be material written in English, or in your child’s home language if applicable.  If they are not at the stage where they can read independently, that is ok, share reading with them by reading aloud, asking your child to contribute in short bursts when the word content is simple enough. 

You don’t need to limit reading to books – magazines, flyers, cartoons, storyboards, signs and menus are all fantastic ways to build reading skills.

If your child enjoys it, make sure you increase the fun factor by  using silly voices, making sound effects, pulling faces, acting things out, talking about what you can see, talking about what you both think and feel and have fun!

Unofficial homework - Encourage your child to tell you what they have done at school today. Sharing new skills, stories and experiences is something that you can easily do when you are busy with something else e.g. cooking, cleaning, driving in the car.

Give everything a name - Build your child’s vocabulary in both English and their home language by talking about interesting words and objects. For example, "Look at that aeroplane! Those are the wings of the plane. Why do you think they are called wings?"


 Phonic knowledge for parents:

Please use this link to see a breakdown of the different sounds taught at each phase:


How to pronounce phonic sounds:

Visit Mr Thorne’s website to hear the sounds being pronounced.  Great for you to watch with your child or just for your own understanding!


Phonic reinforcement / recognition games to play with your child 

There is a VAST range of resources available online in the “phonics” section of the “literacy” page at

including many resources to support you with the game ideas below.

(direct link):


Phoneme recognition games

Looking for letters – Ask your child to look for English letters whilst you are out and about.  Can they find letters from their own name, letters they have learnt in school or letters that specific words begin with?


Fast letter sortingYou will need:

A large piece of paper with three hoops drawn on (see example)

12  small pieces of card with letters written on (4 sets of 3 letters)

Choose 3 sets of letters – 2 which the child knows and one new one. Spread the letter tiles out on the table making sure they are all the correct way up. Encourage your child to sort the letters into the correct hoop using both hands, saying each letter as they move it.


Letter discrimination You will need: A 3x3 grid

Write the letter you are learning with your child onto half of the spaces (for example c). Fill the rest with other letters. Ask your child to cover all the c’s with a counter as quickly as they can.

Ladder letters

You will need: A ladder template. Make a pile of letter tiles (use a mixture of known and new letters). Place a counter at the bottom of the ladder and move up a rung for every letter they can read correctly. This game can be changed to covering spots on a ladybird, petals on a flower – go with your child’s interests if possible.

Letter sound bingo. You will need: A 3x3 grid for each player & counters or coins

Write some of the letters into the spaces on each card, making each card slightly different. The ‘bingo caller’ says each letter in turn and the players cover the letter up. The winner is first to fill their board. To make this game easier for new readers, show them the letter for them to match.



Tricky word games


You will need: A board for each player and counters or coins

The list of words your child is currently learning, for example their spelling list

Write some of the words into the spaces on each card, making each card slightly different. The ‘bingo caller’ says each word in turn and the players cover the words up. The winner is first to fill their board. To make this game easier for new readers, show them the word for them to match.

Matching pairs

You will need: Small pieces of card or paper with the words your child is currently learning written on each. Each word will need to be written twice so you can search for a matching pair. Turn all the cards face down on the table. And take turns to turn over two. When a matching pair is found that player can keep them. The winner is the person with the most pairs at the end of the game.


  Make a set of cards with words your child is learning written on. Ensure that each word is written on two separate cards. Shuffle up the cards and share them out. Each player takes turns to turn over their card, put it down and read the word. If it matches the previous card played, the first person to notice shouts 'snap!' and wins the pile. This game is best used to practise words your child knows fairly well, rather than new ones, as it's quite fast-paced.

Once your child knows a word reliably, you can take it out of the current pack of cards and bring in a new word. Every so often, play a game with the 'old' cards, so that your child doesn't forget them. It's a good idea to try and discard a known word and add a new word every day, once your child is getting the hang of learning new words.

Further ideas…

Be your child's #1 fan 

Ask your child to read aloud what he or she has written at school or for their homework. Be an enthusiastic listener.

Create a book together –

Fold pieces of paper in half and staple them to make a book. Ask your child to write sentences on each page and add his or her own illustrations.


Make up stories on the go

Take turns adding to a story the two of you make up while riding in a car or bus. Try making the story funny or spooky.


More resources: (Click on the links below)


Top Ten Tips to Support Reading


Fast letter sorting grid


Supporting reading factsheet


Questions to help you get more from your child’s reading book


Understanding progress in English