Please read with your child as much as possible and record it down in their reading record. This is so we know that your child has read and we can change their book.


Please read with your child as much as possible and record it down in their reading record. This is so we know that your child has read and we can change their book.

Is Your Child Ready to Start Learning to Read?

Your child does not need to pass a test before they can be allowed to start learning to read. However, there are some skills that are called 'pre-reading skills' that your child needs to help them become a reader. They are:

Understanding How Books Work

This is about knowing how to hold books the right way up, turn pages in sequence, knowing that the words tell the story, being able to talk about the pictures. They need to know that print goes from left to right and from the top of the page to the bottom.


Part of reading behaviour involves matching. Your child will learn to match shapes, patterns, letters and then words.


Children who can rhyme with strings of words, such as cat, hat, fat, mat, pat and even rhyme with nonsense words, such as lat, dat, gat etc., will have a headstart in learning to read and also in learning to spell. This is quite a mature skill so it is likely your child is ready to read if they are able to do this.

Learning Letters

When your child starts recognising letters in their name and spotting those letters in other words, they are getting ready to read. However, if you do help your child with learning letter sounds:

  • Do not use capital letters
  • Only use the sound the letter makes, not the name of the letter
    • Example: say 'a' as in the sound in 'cat', not the name 'ay'.


The more experience your child has of language, the quicker they will learn to read. Your child needs conversations with adults and with children all day and every day! The more you discuss new experiences with them, the more their language will extend and develop. 

Although the above skills are important, if your child only shows one or two of these skills but frequently pretends to read or asks questions such as 'What does that word say?' or 'What letter is that?' then this is a more certain sign that they are ready to read.

You can help them develop this behaviour by sharing books together, discussing the pictures, and tracking your finger along the text as you read to them.

Above all, let them frequently see you read. Children love pretending to be adults and are far more likely to be motivated to read by copying you doing something you enjoy.

Meet the Oxford Reading Tree Characters.

This is the Robinson Family.

This is the family, and some of their friends, who you will meet in our Oxford Reading Tree reading books.

This is Kipper, his real name is Christopher but when he was younger he couldn’t say Christopher so he called himself Kipper instead!


This is Biff. Her real name is Barbara. She is Chip’s twin and Kipper’s sister.


This is Chip. His real name is David. He is Biff’s twin and Kipper’s big brother.


Here are Kipper, Biff and Chip’s Parents – they are called Mum and Dad.

Mum and Dad

This is Floppy, he is the Robinson family dog.


This is Gran, she takes the children on lots of adventures.


This is Wilf and Wilma. They are Biff and Chip’s friends. Wilf and Wilma are brother and sister.

Wilf and Wilma


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