Year 1 – Supporting Children in English
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By Fe Luton

Find out how you can help your Year 1 child to progress in English.

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Reading and Comprehension

Word reading:

  • Practise sounding out and recognising common exception words (CEWs). You can find a list of the common exception words for Year 1 at the end of this resource. Play games with CEWs: have them on fridge to find, learn one a day, make up silly sentences with them.
  • Remember that reading is not just about phonics – when children read, the context of the writing, images and checking for sense can all help.
  • Play games with the books your child reads: spot words in books that ‘begin with… Sh’ or ‘end with… ed’ or ‘have a [oo] sound in them’.


  • Expose children to a range of books – find ones that interest and excite them. Many children will want to reread, or have reread to them, specific books – this fine as they will gain so much from listening to you read (expression, voices, fluency etc) and will gain confidence and the opportunity to practise other reading skills when they reread a book.
  • Explore the VIPERS/Reading Content Domains approach to comprehension questioning. This approach offers lots of ideas to get children thinking about what they read and what is read to them.
  • Model reading aloud, using voices and expression and correct yourself openly – this teaches children to correct themselves, which is a sign that they understand the text they are reading as they know when it doesn’t make sense! This is a sign of a good reader.
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