At Newchurch, we aim to start reading and writing interventions at an early age. The type of intervention will depend on the severity of the child's difficulties.
Interventions can range from regular teaching in small groups with a learning support assistant who delivers work set by teaching staff, to 1-to-1 sessions.
Most interventions focus on phonological skills, which is the ability to identify and process word sounds. These interventions are often referred to as phonics.
Phonics interventions can involve teaching a child to:
- recognise and identify sounds in spoken words (for example, helping them recognise that even short words such as "hat" are actually made up of 3 sounds: "h", "a" and "t")
- combine letters to create words, and over time, use the words to create more complex sentences
- practise reading words accurately to help them read with more fluency
- monitor their own understanding while they read (for example, by encouraging them to ask questions if they notice gaps in their understanding)
Interventions are delivered in a highly structured, multi-sensory way with a focus on development in small steps and involve regularly practising of what has been learnt.
In some cases, technology will be used e.g. talk to speech technology, reading apps etc.
How you can help your child
Read to your child
This will improve their vocabulary and listening skills, and will also encourage their interest in books.
Both read some of the book and then discuss what's happening, or predict what might happen. By reading to your child, you will be providing a model of fluency.
You may get bored of reading your child's favourite book over and over, but repetition will reinforce their understanding and means they'll become familiar with the text.
Children also need the chance to read alone to encourage their independence and fluency.
Make reading fun
Reading should be a pleasure, not a chore. Use books about subjects your child is interested in, and make sure that reading takes place in a relaxed and comfortable environment.