Fluency is the bridge between decoding and comprehension, as not having to concentrate all our energy and effort on decoding frees up cognitive space to really understand what we are reading.  Fluency is the ability to decode words accurately at a glance and with little effort.  Reading aloud, or in our heads, at an appropriate pace for the text, and adding expression and intonation whilst considering punctuation.

Literacy is a fundamental part of education and reading together on a daily basis greatly helps your child in many different areas of learning.  Regardless of whether your child is able to read independently or not, sharing of stories daily will be hugely beneficial, providing great opportunities to enhance very important skills, not least their vocabulary.  Research indicates that the size of a child’s vocabulary at 5 years old is a key indicator of their success in examinations later in life.

Furthermore, do keep practising the sounds introduced to your child over the course of this year in order to consolidate and embed automaticity. As previously discussed, the way the sounds are pronounced is crucial – it must be pure, clean sounds only.  There are several clips you can watch online – this is one, by speech and language therapist, Tami Reis-Frankfort is a good starting point but Oxford Owls – Phonics at Home – is similarly very good.

Sounds of the English Phonic Code

There are lots of fun games that can be played with sounds.  In fact, sound games are the foundation of phonemic awareness, that is, the ability to hear different sounds in words and, whilst it is important to identify beginning sounds, ending sounds, and middle sounds – rhymes, compound words, syllables, and, blends and digraphs are an important part of this, too and can be incorporated into different games.

As a school, we are really excited to be a part of Tooled Up Education; this is a truly inspiring online digital library of evidence-based resources, for parents and teachers, on all aspects of parenting, education and family life. Tooled Up’s research team collates the very best and most up to date research from around the world, which is then distilled into usable resources that are easy to understand and which can be instantly applied to all of our daily lives. The School has paid for parents here to access these very effective and informative resources created from the highest quality studies conducted in collaboration with some of the world’s most reputable researchers.

Mrs Cox, our Head of Learning Support (Pre-Prep), has worked in collaboration with Dr Kathy Weston, who heads up Tooled Up Education, and put together a webinar, ‘Practical Strategies for Parents in Supporting Dyslexic Learners’ – below are links to shorter clips within this presentation. It is important to point out the advice is actually relevant for supporting any child with phonics and literacy skills at a young age, regardless of whether they happen to be dyslexic or not.

The two most useful shorter clips are now available on YouTube:

  1. Tips to Support Reading  Click here
  2. Tips to Support Spelling and Fine Motor Skills Click here

For a full list of the resources discussed in the full-length webinar, please click below:


Our final class assembly of the school year was led by Reception, who beautifully retold the story of ‘Giraffes Can’t Dance’ from author Giles Andreae.  This delightful story has been delighting readers for over 20 years. Gerald the tall giraffe would love to dance but thinks he can’t until he finds his own tune and confidence to do so – bravery, self-belief, strength and courage are values we have seen deeply embedded in our assembly theme this term.  Very well done, Reception and thank you!

A personal highlight of my week was being invited to accompany Kindergarten on their Journeys Outing on Thursday taking in several different modes of transport between here and Kingston – train, boat and bus. Mrs Hand writes in greater detail about the outing but, safe to say, the greatest of fun was had by all and the children were beautifully behaved throughout the excursion.

This week the Courtesy Cup and Badge went to Clara (Reception) for good manners spotted by Mrs Timba –  thank you so much Clara for holding the door open for me – how very polite of you!

and Stars of the Week were awarded to:

Year 2: Aran for outstanding focus in class at all times. Thank you, Aran!

Year 1: Ethan for exceptional learning behaviour – all day, every day – what a star!

Reception: Oscar for trying really hard with his careful neat hand writing. Well done, Oscar!

We congratulated the following children in Thursday’s assembly: Sebastian (Year 1) on moving up to the next group at his Performing Arts Academy – what a super job! Shreyan (Year 1) who has been selected to be part of Chelsea Football Club Pre-Academy – what an achievement! Tobi (Year 2) for being awarded an end of season medal by his football team (Twickenham Tigers FC) for the role he played in the under 7 Gold ‘A’ team and lastly to Akshen (Year 2) who was awarded a medal for taking part in a football tournament where his team came third.

Have a fabulous summer and a heartfelt thanks to you all for your support over the year.  All is not over yet, it will be a busy time next week – we look forward to seeing you at Open Classrooms on Monday and then at our Summer Concert & Prize Giving on Thursday morning!