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Reception English articles

Dog being stroked by children
Pawsitive changes: Animals transforming schools
Primary school headteacher, Matt Revill, explores the transformative impact of animals in educational settings, addressing key questions such as how dogs assist children in reading, the inspirational value of farm visits and the benefits children derive from therapy pets.
Dad reading with children
Story time with Dad: Best books for Father's Day
Father's Day can end up feeling a bit repetitive, and your loved one (whoever you'd like to honour on this day) may not be into football, beer and sleeping – like the media often suggests! Perhaps they'd prefer a good read and a sweet moment with their child, sharing some wonderful stories. Here's our top picks for Father's Day 2024.
Child reading with father
Parents' guide to Phase 6 phonics
Different primary schools use different ways to teach children about sounds and letters, called phonics. But most kids in early years and Key Stage 1 follow a set of steps, or phases, to learn phonics. In Phase 6, they deepen their phonics knowledge and use their skills to help them read and spell. Here, we'll explain what Phase 6 is all about and how you can help your child with it at home.
Happy child learning
Parents' guide to Phase 5 phonics
Various primary schools adopt different phonics schemes, which may have slightly different methods for teaching phonics. However, it's typical for children to follow a sequence of phonics phases during the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. Here, we explain what is taught during Phase 5 phonics and how you can support your child's learning at home.
Family reading together
Parents' guide to Phase 4 phonics
Phonics is a teaching method used across many UK primary schools. Phonics programmes are often broken down into phases, and this can get a little confusing for parents. We explain what Phase 4 phonics involves and how you can help at home.
Child reading book
Parents' guide to Phase 3 phonics
Phonics is a common method used in primary schools to teach children how to read. It involves linking sounds to the letters or groups of letters that represent them. There are different phonics phases that gradually build a child’s knowledge and recognition of sounds so that they can read and write. Here, we explain what Phase 3 phonics are and how they are taught.
child reading book
Parents' guide to Phase 2 phonics
Phonics is likely to play a significant role in your child's primary school journey. It helps many children develop the ability to read and spell accurately, often achieved by the end of their second year. Here, we explain what is covered in Phase 2 phonics.
child reading with father
Parents' guide to Phase 1 phonics
Phonics is a teaching method used across many UK primary schools. Phonics programmes are often broken down into phases, and this can get a little confusing for parents. We explain what Phase 1 phonics involves and how you can help at home.
Two children laughing and writing
5 tips on inspiring your funny child to write jokes
Comedy is often an underrated learning tool. It can encourage your child to be creative, express their individuality and help them engage in reading, writing and performance. Encourage your child’s inner comedian with these tips from stand-up comedian, children’s author and comedy writer Steven Vinacour.
Girls blowing bubbles in garden
24 fun toys for summer outdoor learning
It's well established that outdoor play is important for young learners and provides opportunities to develop physical, social, fine and gross motor skills. Our editor, Kate Morgan, has put together her top picks of outdoor toys. So get the kids outside, having fun and learning this summer. Let the games begin!
Daily email programme
How the daily learning programme works
Whether you're taking your child out of school for a period, setting out on your home education journey or simply looking for extra activities to boost your child's learning, here's why the daily learning programme could be the right fit for you...
Best rhyming books for children
Best rhyming books for children
Listening to repeated sounds, rhythms and rhymes offers children clear educational benefits and helps to make them into readers. Best of all, rhyming books are a pleasure to read out loud! Our pick of the best rhyming stories offers a brilliant selection of family favourites that you'll be reciting for years.
Best biographies and autobiographies for children
Best biographies and autobiographies for children
Biographies and autobiographies bring the lives of influential people to life for young children, highlighting the role exceptional individuals have played in our shared history. Introduce your child to the world's greatest artists, activists, scientists, inventors and humanitarians with books aimed at every age group. Each biography and autobiography is bursting with anecdotes, imagery and information, sure to inspire young people to follow their own dreams and aspirations.
Time for School by Daisy Upton
6 literacy and numeracy early learning games
Looking for some quick and easy learning activities to do with your child? In our extract from Five Minute Mum: Time For School, parent and best-selling author Daisy Upton (AKA Five Minute Mum) introduces you to simple, fun five-minute games to support Reception and Key Stage 1 children through their first years at school.
Best nursery rhymes and fairy tales apps for kids
Best nursery rhymes and fairy tales apps for kids
For many children, nursery rhymes and fairy tales are the first step on the road to independent reading. We’ve rounded up 10 of our favourite traditional song and story apps for pre-school, Reception and beyond.
I Am Not a Label
Why children’s books need more disabled representation
Actor, children’s author and former CBeebies presenter Cerrie Burnell shares what it was like growing up with a disability, and why children’s books need more disabled characters.
Develop your child's reading skills
11 ways to take your child's reading to the next level
Once you’ve encouraged your child's love of stories and boosted their confidence in their reading skills, it’s time to develop those strategies which really make your child ‘a reader’.
Best poetry home education resources
Best poetry home education resources
Do you love poetry, or wish you had more time to explore it? Introduce your family to the delights of the spoken word with this selection of wonderful free poetry resources. Classic poems for children, performance poetry videos, interactive poetry games and kids' poetry podcasts: everything you need to encourage a love of verse is available at the click of a button.
Best literacy resources
Best literacy resources
Whether your child is just learning to read and print letters or looking for ways to put their creative writing skills to the test, we've rounded up some fantastic resources to help them practise phonics, grammar, story-writing and comic-creating at home. Plus there are loads of different ways to connect with authors and listen to stories.
Best kids' activity packs to download
Best kids' activity packs to download
Top up the resource bank and keep the kids busy at home with reading, puzzles, crafting, science and other screen-free activities. They're all available to download for free and you won't need any special equipment, so head off the "I'm bored!" moans and buy yourself a few moments of peace so you can get some of your own work done!
Reading challenges for primary school kids
60 reading challenges for primary school kids
Great ideas for keeping your child engaged with reading and broadening their taste in books.
Best YouTube channels for home education
Best YouTube channels for home education
Whether you want your child to learn about maths, geography, science or history, they'll be happy to watch a video about it – and these YouTube channels introduce topics through songs, animations, experiments, skits and riddles. From phonics for new readers to physics for keen scientists, these are the educational channels to subscribe to.
Overcome children's reading barriers
4 things parents need to know about 'reading barriers' and how to overcome them
Learning to read is a complex task and it's common for children to come up against "reading barriers". Parent and teacher Alex Quigley, author of Closing the Reading Gap, suggests ways you can help your child overcome difficulties at home.
Interviewing to write a biography
Interviewing to write a biography
Writing an in-depth profile of a grandparent or family friend will help your child develop interview skills, learn to write up notes and introduce them to family heritage, stories and legends that they might never have heard! Use our suggested questions to help set up a conversation to remember.
50 of the best virtual trips and educational experiences for families
50 of the best virtual trips and educational experiences for families
In this day and age, we may be spending more time indoors but thanks to our laptops and devices we can let the world come to us instead – take a trip round Frida Kahlo’s kitchen, share some chocolate cake with Michael Rosen and journey to the International Space Station with our pick of 50 of the best virtual trips and educational experiences. By Hetty Walton
Best live streams for primary home learning
20 of the best live streams for kids
Help your primary-age child stay educated and entertained with our round-up of the best live streams for kids.
6 key areas for Reception home learning
6 key areas for supporting your Reception child's learning
Primary teacher and parent Jennifer Smith shares six key areas and skills to work on at home with your Reception child, supporting what they're learning at school.
Oracy in primary school
What is oracy?
Speaking and listening may not be formally assessed in primary schools, but they’re vital skills for every child. Here’s why – and how to encourage oracy.
Full stops explained for parents
What is a full stop?
Children start learning about punctuation in Reception and Year 1 when they are introduced to full stops and their use. Understand how and when your child learns to use full stops correctly with our parents' punctuation guide.
Why children struggle with reading
9 reasons kids struggle with reading – and what you can do about it
Not all children take to books easily. If your child finds reading tricky, read our guide to the problems they might be having.
Best activity books for kids
Best activity books for children
Whether you're on the move or at home, a great activity book offers hours of screen-free learning and fun. Crosswords, maths challenges, mystery solving and code writing are all covered in our best activity books for kids picks. We can't guarantee you won't want to help out with the puzzling, though!
Best apps for new readers
Best apps for new readers
Reading doesn't always have to involve books. We've rounded up the best apps for children who are learning to read, ranging from traditional tales to interactive games that will improve their reading as they play.
Best phonics apps for kids
Best phonics apps for kids
Turn screen time into learning-to-read time and help your child become a phonics whizz with these brilliant tried-and-tested apps for Apple and Android.
Best spelling apps for primary-school children
Best spelling apps for kids
Help your child get to grips with spelling with our round-up of the best spelling apps for primary-school kids.
Best books to read with five year olds
Best books to read with five year olds
Reading time is time to laugh, share and explore stories with your child. Choose books that have a strong rhythm to them and are full of humour, rhyme and attractive illustrations. We've picked ten of our favourites to read with five year olds.
Best picture books for five-year-olds
Best picture books for five year olds
Picture books are a fantastic way to develop children’s speaking and listening skills. They also provide a brilliant starting point for children to hypothesise and draw inferences about characters’ thoughts, feelings and actions. Allow time for your child to pore over the illustrations in these beautiful books, make predictions and discuss the story with you.
Primary school English teaching
How English teaching has changed since we were at school
Feeling out of touch with your child's literacy learning? We look at how times have changed in the classroom since you were at school yourself.
Best kids' books for summer 2017
16 of the best books for children for summer 2017
There's no better way to while away the long summer holidays than getting lost in a book. From beautiful picture books to pore over to thrilling adventures and historical tales to savour, we pick some of the best new kids' books for summer 2017.
Child writing
Best creative writing books for kids
Does your child love writing stories but feel daunted by the blank page? Get them started with creative writing and boost their confidence with a "workbook" packed with story starters, technique tips, example passages and more. Whether they're planning an epic comic strip series, a poetry collection, a ghost story or a fairy tale, these write-your-own-story guides will help them put pen to paper.
Best girl-empowering books for kids
Best girl-empowering books for kids
Introduce the whole family to the achievements of female scientists, explorers, artists, physicians, writers and more in our round-up of the best girl-empowering books for kids. From KS1 picture books and tales to inspiring grown-up "bedtime stories", we love these girl-power celebrations of outstanding people.