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How to help your child with comprehension

As a child begins reading, they are introduced to phonics to help them with word reading. Word reading is the name given to recognising the words on a page or screen. But this is only half of the story- they need to make sense of heat they're reading. This is comprehension.

From year 2(6-7 years)onwards, the focus will probably move more heavily towards comprehension and away from phonics. There are lots of simple and effective ways you can help your child with comprehension.

  1. Read to your child

Reading to your child will help them to enjoy reading, to build their comprehension skills, and to become a confident reader themselves.

Children benefit from listening to books that they can't read themselves yet, as they will see and hear adventurous language and ideas that they might have not encountered in their independent reading.


Asking your child questions can help them to think about what they're reading. Try to ask open questions that begin with 'how' and 'why'. See if your child can go back to the text and pictures to tell you how they know the answer.

Talking about what is happening in a picture, what the characters might be thinking, or what might happen next all help to develop early reading reading skills.


As well as reading for pure pleasure, your child is likely to need to read for particular purposes as they get older. They read to find information, to learn about something, or to answer questions. Practising this can be useful for success at school.

Remember, learning to read takes time. Be patient with yourself and your child.

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