Reading Update: What is Paired Reading?

What is Paired Reading? 

Paired Reading is a technique that parents can use to help their own child with reading practice. The method involves the parent who is a skilled reader and the child who is learning, reading a book together. 

Who is it for? 

Every child will benefit from using Paired Reading.

What are the benefits? 

Parents who have undertaken Paired Reading report that not only does the child’s reading improve but that child’s self-esteem has improved, and generally the child is more co-operative at home also. This can be attributed to the quality parent – child relationship that develops as they spend more time together. 

When should it be done? 

Choose a suitable time when the parent and child are going to be in a good frame of mind. Avoid any time when the child is likely to be tired, hungry or irritable. Agree on a given time, five to seven times a week and stick with that schedule. 

How do we choose the books? 

The child’s class teacher may be able to offer suggestions about suitable books to read. Seek the advice of your librarian when you visit the local library. Allow the child to choose the book if possible. 

If you have to choose the book yourself, make sure the vocabulary is suitable, and that the print is clear. Books with pictures are generally best. Don’t worry if the child uses the pictures to predict the text. The important thing is that the child is getting practice at reading and that reading is becoming more enjoyable. 

Think about a child learning to ride a bike. In the early stages you give the child encouragement, confidence and control, by holding the bicycle. Your own instinct will tell you when to let go. So you can gradually disengage for longer periods until your child is able to ride without help. The same applies to Paired Reading. It is an ideal way of helping your child to become an independent reader. 

Working to a plan 

Reading Together 

Your child selects a book. It must also be suitable to his/her reading level. 

  • Discuss the book: 
    • What is the title of the book? 
    • What does the cover picture tell you? 
    • Why did you pick this book? 
    • What do you think will happen in the story? 
  • Invite the child to read along with you. 
  • You both read together. Pace your reading to the speed of the child. 
  • If your child fails at a word, or struggles at a word for longer than 4 seconds, pronounce the word clearly for him/her. Then continue reading as before. 
  • Ask questions occasionally e.g. at the end of a page: What do you think will happen next? 
  • Make observations about the story: “That’s terrible! He must feel very sad”. 
  • Praise the child frequently for his/her effort. 
  • A period of 5-7 minutes is recommended for reading together. Always stop at a natural break in the story, if the book is too long to read at one sitting. 

Letting Go: 

After a period of reading together, you are ready to gradually “Let Go” 

  • Gradually lower your voice during paired reading. 
  • Let the child’s voice dominate. 
  • Begin to drop out from reading aloud. 
  • Rejoin if your child gets a word wrong or begins to struggle. Continue reading with the child until you feel she/he is ready to continue on her/his own. 

Things to avoid:

  • Turn off the television, radio etc. – they are obvious distractions. 
  • Avoid other family members interrupting you while Paired Reading is taking place.. 
  • Avoid negative comments. Do not make comments like “Look at what you are doing” or “Concentrate, you knew that word last week” 
  • Don’t continue with a session if the child is obviously very tired. 
  • Now that your child is reading himself/herself don’t stop reading to him/her at other times. The more times you read to your child will increase his/her enjoyment of books. 


Topping, Keith (1987) Paired Reading: A Powerful Technique for Parent Use. The Reading Teacher 40,7. 

Morgan, R. (1986) Helping Children Read: The Paired Reading Handbook, London, 

Methuen N. Moloney, The Road to Reading, A Practical Guide for Parents, C.D.U., Mary Immaculate College, Limerick,

Monday’s Assembly (Take 2)

This is the second attempt. After failing miserably to publish this on the school’s YouTube channel last night, here it is hosted on the school website. Once you have seen this, I’m sure you will agree it was worth the wait. The quality of the video editing is exceptional; you would be forgiven for thinking I was in the original Dad’s Army!

I know it is clearly a breach of copyright laws but I hope the BBC will let me off this time.

Remember kids: be original!

Home Learning Timetable (KS1 and 2)

Here is the suggested home learning timetable for this week.

As always, please help your child(ren) to do as much as you can; but, do not feel pressured to achieve everything.

The theme for this week is: Victories. This would be a good time to set realistic targets for what work can feasibly be achieved and then take the opportunity to celebrate these victories.

As you may be aware, it is the 75th anniversary of VE day this Friday. The school are asking all children and families to make some bunting (even if it is just one triangle) to celebrate the day. If you can, please take a photo of it with yourselves wearing red, white and blue and send it Mrs Sharred (via WhatsApp) on 07895 359543. She intends to make a video out of it to share with the whole school community so if you don’t want to be in the photo please just photograph the bunting. There is a post on Class Dojo explaining more.

I hope you have a good week and, as always, please contact the school if you need any support.

Virtual Learning

Bluebell Virtual Learning.

Just to let you know that we are always updating the virtual learning pages on the school website. These are resources that children could do in addition to the work that has been set by the teacher.

Staff are posting links to things the children can get on with independently or there are some resources that parents can use to help support the learning.

I would also like you to look at the online safety page and check out the resources there.

Please let me (Mr Dooley) know, via a Class Dojo message, if you know of any other good websites that we could put up on there.

I have separated the links out into different subject areas to make it easier to scroll through and find what you’re looking for.

Reading Update: 8 Reasons to go to your local library

  1. Borrow up to 15 books for free, for up to three weeks at a time to read for fun and relaxation or to help with your studies
  2. Download e-Books e-Audio books and e-Magazines free of charge on to your smart phone, tablet or other device
  3. Libraries are not just about borrowing free books. It’s cheap to also borrow films, games and music
  4. Use computers free of charge including office software, email and the internet.  You can print for a small charge or save your work on to a memory stick.
  5. There is free Wi-Fi in all Norfolk libraries
  6. Meet friends, look at magazines and join in with events and activities.  Some of the projects young people have been involved in include: Our Norfolk StoryYarmouth Strikes BackCarry On Bridge
  7. Find out more about volunteering in a Norfolk library
  8. Shelf-help is the Reading Agency’s list of books recommended by young people and health experts. It’s a brilliant mix of fiction and non-fiction and they’re all available at your local library

Reading Update: Access your local library even when it is unstaffed.

Open Library lets you access your local library, its books, computers and spaces even while the building is unstaffed.

Just talk to a member of staff and they’ll add the extra access to your library card.

If there’s no member of staff available, give the library a call on 01603 774777.

If you’re under 16 you can’t sign up for Open Library, but you’re welcome to come in to the library during unstaffed hours if you’re with a parent or guardian who is registered.

Open Library is available at Earlham Library

How to use Open Library
  • Hold your library card 10-15cm below the number pad, barcode side up – you should see a light scan your card and hear a small beep
  • Type in your PIN code when it says so on the screen then press the green enter button
  • At some libraries you might also need to press a large button before the door will open
  • To leave the library, push the button by the door

Safer Internet Day 2020

Safer Internet Day is coming up next week. On Tuesday 11th we will be discussing ways to stay safe online.

For more information please go to the Safer Internet Day website.

In the meantime, here are some top tips for staying safe:

  1. Only talk to people you know and trust in real life
  2. Don’t give away personal information to strangers – like what street you live on, or where you go to school. Say “no” if they ask you to share photos or videos of yourself
  3. Set your profiles to private
  4. Be ‘share aware’ – once you share something online, you’ve got no control over what anyone else does with it. And it’s illegal to take, share or view sexual images of under-18s, full stop
  5. Be mindful of your digital footprint – it could come back to bite you
  6. If you see something upsetting, or someone bullies you, tell an adult you trust
  7. Don’t assume everything you see is true to life. People often make their lives look more exciting online
  8. Watch out for hoaxes and scams, like messages you’re asked to pass on or that as you for payment details or passwords
  9. Be wary of schemes that promise easy cash in return for you receiving and transferring money, and don’t be fooled by anything that glamorises gang lifestyles
  10. Watch out for loot boxes or other ways that games get you to pay – before you know it you can spend a lot on them