Learning to read is such an important skill to acquire, opening the door to future learning and success. At Abercromby, we are passionate about supporting all children to develop a love of reading books. Each room has a wonderful calm book area with carefully chosen books and props to support storytelling. We also have books strategically placed throughout the nursery and if children are not interested in coming to the book area for a story, we bring the books to them! In this way children soon learn to appreciate the magic of books. These books are changed regularly in response to the children’s interests and learning needs. Each child will have the opportunity on a daily basis to enjoy stories in groups and individually with adults. Children then learn to “read” books by themselves, retelling the stories as they revisit their favourite books.



Most children will learn to read for themselves as they move on from us to a Reception class in a Primary School, and will learn letter sounds (phonemes) and their corresponding shapes (graphemes) through a “synthetic phonics programme”. At Abercromby, we focus on getting the foundations of listening, attention and sound discrimination in place, through games and nursery rhymes etc. This is sometimes called Phase 1 Phonics. We’ve made a video which explains more about this very important stage of learning to read:



Sharing books with your child at home is one of the most powerful things you can do to support their learning. You can join a public library and borrow books to take home. We also have our “Book-Home” scheme, where your child will choose a book with their key person and bring it home in a special book bag to keep it clean and dry. You can enjoy the book together at home and then return it in exchange for another. We even have dual language books of favourite stories, where the text is in English and another one of our community languages e.g. Arabic. You and your child can then enjoy that book in both their languages!


Once your child knows a story very well, you could try an approach called “Dialogic Reading”. This is a series of prompts for talk around that book, proven by research to improve children’s language and thinking skills. You will be given a handout about this in your book bag or you can read more about it here.