10 top tips for parents to support reading at home

1. Encourage your child to read

Reading helps your child’s wellbeing, develops imagination and has educational benefits too. Just a few minutes a day can have a big impact on children of all ages.

2. Read aloud regularly

Try to read to your child every day. It’s a special time to snuggle up and enjoy a story. Stories matter and children love re-reading them and poring over the pictures. Try adding funny voices to bring characters to life.

3. Encourage reading choice

Give children lots of opportunities to read different things in their own time – it doesn’t just have to be books. There’s fiction, non-fiction, poetry, comics, magazines, recipes and much more. Try leaving interesting reading material in different places around the home and see who picks it up.

4. Read together

Choose a favourite time to read together as a family and enjoy it. This might be everyone reading the same book together, reading different things at the same time, or getting your children to read to each other. This time spent reading together can be relaxing for all.

5. Create a comfortable environment

Make a calm, comfortable place for your family to relax and read independently – or together.

6. Make use of your local library

Libraries in England are able to open from 4 July, so visit them when you’re able to and explore all sorts of reading ideas. Local libraries also offer brilliant online materials, including audiobooks and ebooks to borrow. See Libraries Connected for more digital library services and resources.

7. Talk about books

This is a great way to make connections, develop understanding and make reading even more enjoyable. Start by discussing the front cover and talking about what it reveals and suggests the book could be about. Then talk about what you’ve been reading and share ideas. You could discuss something that happened that surprised you, or something new that you found out. You could talk about how the book makes you feel and whether it reminds you of anything.

8. Bring reading to life

You could try cooking a recipe you’ve read together. Would you recommend it to a friend? Alternatively, play a game where you pretend to be the characters in a book, or discuss an interesting article you’ve read.

9. Make reading active

Play games that involve making connections between pictures, objects and words, such as reading about an object and finding similar things in your home. You could organise treasure hunts related to what you’re reading. Try creating your child’s very own book by using photos from your day and adding captions.

10. Engage your child in reading in a way that suits them

You know your child best and you’ll know the best times for your child to read. If they have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) then short, creative activities may be the way to get them most interested. If English is an additional language, encourage reading in a child’s first language, as well as in English. What matters most is that they enjoy it.

This advice come from the Department for Education

Welcome to Bluebell

We would like to invite all our new starters in Reception to take a virtual tour around their new classroom.

To help with transition we have created a virtual reality tour of the setting to help children get used to the space.

Even if you’re child is not starting in Reception it’s worth a look.

Planning Your Day

Planning your day is an important part of working from home. This video gives some helpful tips.

Consistent routines are important for behaviour and wellbeing. Routines support behaviour and you will be finding a new rhythm with your family. You could share this checklist with your child. Talk to them to help them plan their new routines.

Own it – Help children take control of their online life!

A lot of children are spending more time using devices at the moment.

The Own It app, from the BBC, operates as a keyboard but reminds children to make good choices.

Download from your Apple or GooglePlay store. If you’re under 13, make sure your parent or guardian has given you permission first.

There is more information on this site:

Returning to Bluebell

We are pleased to be welcoming back some more of you to school next week. Those who have been allocated a space have been emailed. Please check your emails!

I have included the assembly where I tried to show what the school will be like next week. Apart from a few bits of tape I actually think the school looks pretty good – the staff have been working flat out this week to get it ready.

Many of the frequently asked questions are answered below; however, for parents, the main thing we ask is that you stick to the social distancing rules and keep to the allocated drop off and pick up times:

  • queue up outside the school at the correct times;
  • drop off/collect swiftly; and,
  • leave following the one-way system. Mrs Sharred, Mr Organ (the Chair of Governors) and I (Mr Dooley) will be there to help you if you’re unsure.

Children need suitable, clean clothes each day (we will be outside a lot and will have windows open in classes for ventilation), bring or order a packed lunch and be ready to have fun.

There are new rules in place to keep everyone safe but they will be discussed with the children when they arrive. I have put links to the policies below if you want more information.

We can’t wait to see you and look forward to when the rest of you will be back in school.

What I need to know before my child returns to school

What is the school day like?

The school day will look different, it will finish earlier.  Start and finish times will be staggered for different groups to avoid lots of people on the playground.  Being on time to start and pick up is essential.


Where do I need to go?

You will need to bring your child in by the gate that is on your information sheet.  You will leave your child at the allocated place and leave by the gate at the back of the field.  Markings are down for you to follow.


What if I am late?

If you bring your child to school and the gates are locked then they will not be able to come in (unless by prior arrangement eg a medical appointment) – this is due to infection control.


Can my year 6 child come to school on their own?

Yes, but you need to plan their time of leaving their home so that they arrive at school at the right time and they need to adhere to social distancing guidelines.  If they do not do this, we will insist that a parent has to bring them.


What about if there is poor behaviour or children cannot social distance?

When in school your child will be taught about social distancing and the importance of following the rules in an age appropriate manner.  Children will need to follow these rules  to keep themselves and others safe.  If your child is finding it difficult to keep to these rules then we will have a conversation with you and you may be asked to collect them while we plan or do a risk assessment.  All other school rewards and consequences remain in place.  To see the complete annex to the behaviour policy, please look at the school website.


What if my child does not attend or is poorly?

Although it is your choice to send your child to school, if you have been allocated a space, then we expect you to telephone us if, for any reason, your child is unable to attend school.  Please give the office as much information as you can.  If your child is unwell, we need to know what their symptoms are and if it is COVID related or not.


Does my child have to wear uniform?

Your child needs to wear clean clothes every day to help with infection control. We would advise that they change out of these clothes once they get home.  If they have uniform they can wear it, but if it is in the wash then send them in clean practical clothes with sensible shoes to do outdoor activities.


Can my child wear a face mask in school?

No – children are not permitted to wear a face mask in school.  If they arrive in one, they will need to remove it and place it in a plastic bag, or the parent can help them remove it and take it home with them.


Will staff be wearing PPE

Not during the normal day. Staff will only be required to wear PPE (Face mask, gloves, apron and visor) if your child is vomiting, has a nose bleed or is coughing and spluttering a lot as it is through these that he droplets which carry the virus could be passed from the child to the adult 

(The above will be exactly the same if it is a staff member who becomes unwell)


What will school be doing about hygiene?

Children will be asked to wash their hands on arrival into the class and then at various intervals throughout the day, especially before and after lunch as well as before and after using some resources.  Tables will be wiped with a disinfectant spray regularly throughout the day, hand gel is available if anyone is unable to wash their hands.  Children will have some activities around hygiene and we will promote the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ especially if children are sneezing and using tissues.  Tissues and bins will be available in all classes and bins will be emptied twice a day.

On arrival at school, you will be asked to confirm that your child is not showing any symptoms.


Will I have to come in to school for meetings

Parents will only come into the school building for essential reasons, eg illness or safeguarding. On these occasions, only one parent will be permitted to enter the building.  Please do not pop in to ask to speak to someone.   All visitors will be asked to maintain a 2m distance, as well as to confirm that they do not have any symptoms of Covid.   If you wish to speak to someone you can telephone the school and ask for Mrs Sharred or Mr Dooley, if you need to speak to Mrs Bowen, our parent support advisor, she can be contacted on  07955 727840.


What is the best way to travel to school?

  1. The best way to come to school is on foot, bike or scooter.  Please avoid walking in large groups or with members from another household.   If your children come on a bike or scooter the parent can leave it in the bike shed when leaving the school premises after drop off, and then collect it with their child after they have collected them from their ‘bubble’.


If parents have to bring their child in the car, please do not transport anyone else other than members of your own household.  We request that only one parent drops their child at the bubble, if you have other children with you, they must remain with the adult at all times.  If you are travelling on public transport, the Government advise is that you wear face coverings.


What will the classrooms look like?

Classrooms have been set up to manage social distancing.  Each child will have their own space, a table and chair.  Each child will have their own set of resources that will remain on their table in their tray for them to use throughout the day.  They are not permitted to share these resources.  Any resources that may be shared will be cleaned between usage.  We have moved all resources that cannot be cleaned easily. 

The school has developed a one way system, with child friendly social distance markers and arrows to remind them which way to go and to give them markers if they need to queue within the corridors.  If children need the toilet, an adult will initially escort them to ensure that social distancing remains in place and that the children use the toilet allocated to their bubble.


What about lunches?

Children in Reception and Year One are entitled to free school meals – we are only able to do packed lunches at this time – these will be ordered in the morning, brought to the classroom and left outside the door.   Children in year six can bring a packed lunch from home or if they are eligible for free school meals they can order one from school.  There will not be any opportunity to buy a lunch.  


Will I still get the FSM vouchers?

No, if your child returns to school they will get a lunch in school in place of the vouchers.


What does my child need to bring?

Your child does not need to bring anything other than themselves, their packed lunch, a hat if it is a hot day and a water bottle.  Reading books will remain in school and adults will hear children read throughout the day. Please put suncream on your child before school if it is going to be sunny – they will be outdoors. 

What do I do if my child is not well?

If your child is showing any symptoms please do not bring them to school.


If your child is showing symptoms at school, they will be taken to the Headteachers office – as this will become the isolation room.  You will be contacted to collect your child as soon as possible.  If they are symptoms of COVID 19 then you will need to contact 111 and enquire about having them tested.  Your child needs to remain at home until the test results are returned.  You will inform the school of the test result as soon as you receive it.  If it is positive, you will need to follow guidelines, which will include your entire household self isolating for 14 days.  


If anyone within your household develops symptoms please do not send your child to school as they will need to self isolate at home with the rest of your household for 14 days.  For the safety of all, we will not hesitate to send children home who are displaying any symptoms.  We have thermometers in school so if they appear to have a temperature we will take it.If first aid is needed, each bubble has a first aid kit and where possible the staff will talk the child through and encourage them to sort it out.  Often it is a bump bruise which will need cleaning. 


How will you help my child transition back to school after lockdown?

Lockdown will have been a completely different experience for everyone, child and adult.  We are fully aware that children’s well being and mental health may have suffered.  On return to school the staff are planning a range of activities which will aim to support your child/children.  There will be trusted adults who your children can talk to, there will be a lot of PSHE in class and opportunities for children to talk about their experiences, negative and positive.  Their well being is the most important thing at this time.  If you have had any concerns, or significant changes during lockdown,  it would be useful for you to share them with us via message, text or email so that we can then plan how best to support your child