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Early Reading in Kindergarten

The most important factor in learning to read is that children enjoy books. At Provo Primary, children enjoy having a range of stories read to them. It is our aim that they develop a life-long love of reading from this early age. We do not believe in pushing a child to read if they are not ready as this will potentially put them off reading for life. We encourage children to want to learn to read whilst developing their skills. Books are sent home regardless of whether or not a child can read, to be enjoyed together with a parent.

The main skills which children need to develop in order to read are:
Pre-reading skills
Word recognition


Skills for early reading:


Pre-reading skills: are the skills children need in order to help them to become a reader. Many of these skills are learnt naturally, during the course of a normal childhood, at home and in the preschool/JK environment. By talking and reading with your child, you will be doing a great deal to help these essential skills to develop.

Language skills: The more experience children have of language, the more easily they will learn to read. Your child needs to hear and join in conversations (with adults and children), and listen to a range of stories, songs and rhymes.

Rhyming: Research shows that children who can understand about rhyming words have a head start in learning to read and, even more, to spell.

Matching: When we read, part of what we do involves matching. Children learn to match shapes, patterns, letters and, finally, words.

Concepts of print: This is all about knowing how to handle books – holding them the right way up, turning the pages in sequence, exploring the pictures, knowing that the words can be read to tell a story.

Direction: Print goes from left to right, so children will need to be familiar with where to start each line and which direction to go in.

Letter skills: Children need to know the difference between a letter and a word. How many letters make up this word? Which letter is at the beginning or end of the word? As well as recognising letter shapes, learning the most common sounds that each letter makes will give children a head start.

Encouraging your child to read at Home

Watching a child develop into a reader is exciting. With a little effort on your part, your children can reap the rewards of a lifetime of reading.

The emergence of writing through reading:

ine Motor skills: Practicing writing letters and words as they learn to read them will help to reinforce what they are learning.

Phonics: Letters and Sounds
Children are introduced to letters and sounds using the phonics scheme Letterland.

A set of letters is taught each week, in the following sequence
Set 1: s, a, t, p
Set 2: i, n, m, d
Set 3: g, o, c, k
Set 4: ck, e, u, r
Set 5: h, b, f, ff, l, ll, ss

As soon as each set of letters is introduced, children are encouraged to use their knowledge of the letter sounds to blend and sound out words. For example, They will learn to blend the sounds s-a-t to make the word sat. They will also start learning to segment words. For example, they might be asked to find the letter sounds that make the word tap from a small selection of magnetic letters.

Sight and High-Frequency Words
Some words can’t be sounded out and children are encouraged to learn these words as whole words. These include words like said.
High-frequency words are the words that appear most often in printed materials. Word walls help display these words in the classroom for children to read on a regular basis and use in their writing

High Frequency Words – Kindergarten (Level 1)
all am and are at
away big can cat come
dad day dog for get
go going he in is
it like look me mum
my no of on play
said see she the they
this to up was we
went yes you


Some helpful "do" and "do not" tips for healthy reading and writing development:


  • Do show them your enjoyment of reading. Children are very motivated to copy the behavior of adults. Let them see you reading regularly. Share appropriate news articles, letters and other reading material with them. Talk to your child about books that you have enjoyed and learned from.
  • Do read to your child. Cuddling with a book together on the couch is a wonderful way to bond with your child. Discuss the books you read. Ask open-ended questions such as, “What do you think will happen next?”, “What would you do in that situation?”, and “Who is your favorite character?
  • Do visit the library and bookstores regularly. Let your child choose books according to their interests. If they enjoy a particular book, help them find other books in the same series or by the same author. Find books that will be easy for them to read, thus increasing their confidence.
  • Do introduce a wide variety of books. You never know what might capture your child’s interest. Keep in mind that many beginning readers prefer nonfiction books, and that pictures are very important to readers at this stage. Some favorite topics may include animals, biographies, ancient history, and fairy tales.

Do not:

  • Don’t push. Encourage your child’s interest and ability to unfold naturally. Realize that beginning readers need a lot of practice with easy books. Reading is an inherently pleasurable activity, and your child will discover this in time.
  • Don’t cover the pictures to “test” that your child is actually reading and not “cheating”. Pictures offer an important tool for decoding the text at this early stage in reading.
  • Don’t quiz or test your child. Let them tell you what they enjoyed about the book. Quizzing your children will make them feel self-conscious and nervous about their reading, while discussing will allow them to share their thoughts and opinions in an enjoyable way.
  • Don’t let other activities crowd out reading time. Turn off all screens and let your child know that reading time is a priority in your household. An effective way to find time for reading is to send your child to bed thirty minutes before lights out with a book or two. As well as enjoying the book, they will probably get a better night’s sleep because of the relaxing effects of a good book.
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