Top tips – how to support families with reading at home

With most children still learning at home, we know that schools will be getting creative in how to celebrate World Book day this year. 

World Book Day is also an opportunity for organisations, schools and teachers to reflect on how we can support families with reading going forward. For some families, reading time has become a source of joy and comfort during the pandemic but this has not been the case for those parents who face a range of barriers to engaging with their child’s reading. For example, when we surveyed parents last term, we found that confidence in supporting English was only 7% higher than confidence in supporting Maths. With new approaches to phonics and grammar, there is a lot for parents to get their heads around.

Over the last year, we have been developing our new English with Parents activities and thought we would share some of our top tips for schools to use.

Motivating families

The first step to supporting parents is motivating them and letting them know how much their help at home is valued.

Be clear and realistic on how long parents should spend on reading

Through discussions we have had with parents we have found that parents do not always feel confident in knowing how long they should spend on reading and knowing when they have done enough. Reading for 10 minutes a day might not be suitable for all families so differentiate this approach to help parents feel motivated.

Ensure parents understand their child’s reading ability

Whilst levelled reading books can help teachers assess children’s reading ability the coloured bands can be a source of anxiety for parents especially if they do not know what they mean. Providing parents with explanations on what the levels mean and with regular updates on how their child is progressing can do a lot to ease their anxiety.

Support parents with subject knowledge

Whilst providing vocabulary lists of key terms could be useful they may also be overwhelming if parents do not know how to use them. Providing parents with interactive activities they can do as they read with their child can do a lot to help them engage with their child’s reading. 

 

Creating a love of reading 

A love of reading is arguably the most important thing adults can teach children.

Support parents to read aloud to their child

This can be a special time for them to connect with their child and just as valuable as the child reading to them. For those families, who are less confident with reading perhaps you can suggest they listen to an audio book together. Story Online and the World Book Day website have some great free ones! CBeebies Bedtime Stories are another good free resource for younger children.

Support reading together to continue into Key Stage 2

Parents sometimes feel that when their child is older and more confident with decoding, they no longer need to read together. But sharing books can be a really enjoyable experience, and talking about texts together is important for improving comprehension skills. If children are reading chapter books independently, it can be frustrating for both the parent and child to share a small section from somewhere in the middle of the book. Instead, why not provide shorter texts for shared reading? Poetry contains rich language, shorter non-fiction texts like blog posts could provoke interesting discussion, and playscripts or scenes can be a fun way of getting parents and children to read aloud together. 

Help parents make reading purposeful

Suggest ways parents can bring reading into everyday life for their child, for example reading recipes as they prepare a meal, using a list to help with shopping, or reading film reviews before deciding what to watch. Early readers could find letters on things when out for a walk or phonics sounds on items in the supermarket. 

Make reading time fun and interactive

Children may not always want to sit down and read their school book and we do not want reading to become a time of stress between parent and child. Show families the other kinds of reading material available, including comics, poetry, biographies, joke books, magazines and recipe books. Suggest, too, other ways they can practise reading together that don’t involve a whole text, such as playing phonics snap, alphabet games, or using inference skills to talk about a picture. You could also suggest ways of using a story for inspiring other activities, such as small-world play, looking at numbers, or art.

 

And finally… 

Remember that all parents want to support their child’s reading, they just need to empowered to give that support!

 

Find out more about our programmes and how we support schools using the button below.

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Terms and Conditions

PARTIES

(1) MATHS WITH PARENTS LIMITED incorporated in England and Wales with company number 9622195 whose registered office is 59 Church Lane, Wool, Dorset, BH20 6DD (Company);

(2) Your school or setting (School);

WHEREAS

(A) The Company has developed a programme to motivate and empower parents to engage in their child’s learning.

(B) The School wishes to use the Company’s programme to help their children and families.

(C) The Company has agreed to grant access to sections of its website to the relevant school staff and families.

(D) The Company has agreed to provide and the School has agreed to pay for access to the Company’s website on the terms and conditions of this Agreement.

IT IS HEREBY AGREED AS FOLLOWS

1. Definitions

The definitions and rules of interpretation in this clause apply in this Agreement:

 • “Initial Price” is the price for the Initial Subscription Term. This is calculated by the “Price Calculation”.

 • “Initial Subscription Term” means the initial term which shall begin on the date this contract is entered into and end after one calendar year.

 • “Intellectual Property Rights” means patents, rights to inventions, copyright and related rights, trade marks and service marks, business names and domain names, goodwill and the right to sue for passing off or unfair competition, rights in designs, database rights, rights to use, and protect the confidentiality of, confidential information (including know-how) and all other intellectual property rights, in each case whether registered or unregistered and including all applications and rights to apply for and be granted, renewals or extensions of, and rights to claim priority from, such rights and all similar or equivalent rights or forms of protection which subsist or will subsist now or in the future in any part of the world.

 • “Learning with Parents Package” means a section of the Company’s website personalised for the School that contains the Videos provided by the Company via the Website or any other website notified to the School by the Company from time to time.

 • “Ongoing Price” means the price for the applicable Ongoing Subscription Term calculated by the Company. This will be shared with the school at least 30 days prior to the renewal date. It is dependent on the number of classes whose parents or carers are offered access to the Learning with Parents Package, as reported by the School in accordance with clause 4.5 below.

 • “Ongoing Subscription Term” means the term which shall begin at the end of the previous Subscription Term and last for one year.

 • “Permitted Users” means the School’s current staff, and parents and carers of pupils currently at the School, in each case as at the applicable time of use.

 • “Price” means, in respect of the Initial Subscription Term, the Initial Price or the Ongoing Price, in respect of the applicable Ongoing Subscription Term.

 • “Price Calculation” means the value calculated using the formula agreed upon initial sign-up, or updated upon renewal.

 • “Subscription Term” means the Initial Subscription Term or the Ongoing Subscription Term, as applicable.

 • “Videos” means the videos provided within the Learning with Parents Package which consist of short clips of children explaining school techniques and are supported by related activities that parents can complete with their child.

 • “Website” means mathswithparents.com, dev.learningwithparents.com/learningwithparents, englishwithparents.com or any subdomain of those domains, as appropriate.

2. Learning with Parents Package

In consideration of the School paying the applicable Price to the Company (in accordance with clause 5 below) the Company grants the School a nonexclusive, non-transferable, revocable licence to access, and to allow the Permitted Users to access, the Learning with Parents Package during the Subscription Term.

3. Company’s Obligations

Subject to payment by the School of the Price (in accordance with clause 5 below), and compliance by the School with its obligations under clause 4 below, the Company agrees to:

3.1 provide the Learning with Parents Package to the School and use reasonable endeavours to ensure it can be accessed by the Permitted Users at all reasonable times.

3.2 work with the School to support increased parental engagement

4. School’s Obligations

4.1 provide the Company with such information and materials as the Company may reasonably require to supply the Learning with Parents Package and ensure that such information is accurate in all material respects;

4.2 ensure that only the Permitted Users use the Learning with Parents Package and that they do so inaccordance with the terms and conditions of this Agreement;

4.3 allow the use of the School’s name and logo on the Company’s website and marketing materials;

4.4 no later than 30 days prior to each Subscription Term, provide an accurate estimate of the number of classes whose parents or carers will be offered access to the Learning with Parents Package.

5. Payment

5.1 The Company shall invoice the School up to 30 days prior to the start of each Subscription Term, or earlier if requested by the School, in respect of the Initial price or Ongoing Price, as applicable.

5.2 The School agrees to pay each invoice submitted by the Company within 30 days of the date of the invoice to the account specified in the invoice.

6. Intellectual Property Rights

6.1 No part of the Website including but not limited to the Learning with Parents Package and Videos may be reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means to anyone other than the Permitted Users without the prior express written consent of the Company.

6.2 The School acknowledges and agrees that the Company owns all Intellectual Property Rights in the Website, the Learning with Parents Package and the Videos and except as expressly stated herein, this Agreement does not grant the School any rights to or in such Intellectual Property Rights. 

6.3 The School shall promptly give notice in writing to the Company in the event that it becomes aware of any infringement of any Intellectual Property Rights owned by the Company.

7. Termination

7.1 Without limiting its other rights or remedies each party may terminate this Agreement with immediate effect by giving written notice to the other party if:

7.1.1 the other party commits a material breach of its obligations under this Agreement and (if such breach is remediable) fails to remedy the breach within 30 days after receipt of notice in writing to do so; or

7.1.2 the other party’s financial position deteriorates to such an extent that its capability to adequately fulfil its obligations under the Agreement has been placed in jeopardy.

7.2 Without limiting its other rights or remedies the Company may terminate this Agreement with immediate effect if the School fails to pay any amount due under this Agreement on the due date for payment.

7.3 If the Agreement is terminated pursuant to this clause 7 during a Subscription Term, there will be no refund to the School of the amount of any Price paid by the School in respect of that Subscription Term.

8. Renewal

At the end of each Subscription Term, this Agreement shall automatically renew for one additional year as an Ongoing Subscription Term unless written notice of non-renewal is provided to the Company by the School at least 30 days prior to the expiration of the then-current Subscription Term. 

9. Indemnity

The School shall indemnify the Company for any loss suffered by the Company as a result of the School breaching its obligations under this Agreement.

10. Variation

No variation of this Agreement shall be effective unless it is in writing and signed by the parties (or their authorised representatives).

11. Entire Agreement

11.1 This Agreement constitutes the entire Agreement between the parties and supersedes all previous agreements, arrangements and understandings between them, whether written or oral, relating to its subject matter.

11.2 Each party agrees that it shall have no remedies in respect of any statement, representation, assurance or warranty (whether made innocently or negligently) that is not set out in this Agreement.

11.3 Each party agrees that it shall have no claim for innocent or negligent misrepresentation or negligent misstatement based on any statement in this Agreement.

12. Assignments

Neither party shall assign, transfer, subcontract, or deal in any other manner with any or all of its rights and obligations under this Agreement without the prior written consent of the other party.

13. Counterparts

This Agreement may be executed in any number of counterparts, each of which when executed shall constitute a duplicate original, but all the counterparts shall together constitute the one agreement.

14. Third Party Rights

This Agreement does not confer any rights on any person or party other than the parties to this Agreement and where applicable their successors and permitted assigns pursuant to the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999.

15. Governing Law

This Agreement and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with it or its subject matter or formation (including non-contractual disputes or claims) shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the law of England and Wales.

16. Jurisdiction

Each party irrevocably agrees that the courts of England and Wales shall have exclusive jurisdiction to settle any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with this Agreement or its subject matter or formation (including non-contractual disputes or claims).

The parties acknowledge that they have read and understand this Agreement and voluntarily accept the duties and obligations set forth herein.