In November 2016 our Literacy Team ran a workshop for parents about strategies to help with speaking, reading and writing.

On this page, you will find much of the information given out at the workshops along with printable versions to download.

The term ‘literacy’ refers to the skills of Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing. All these skills are interlinked so the more you practise Speaking and Listening, the better reader you become; the more you read, the better writer you become. It all helps develop a wider vocabulary and awareness of the use of language and tone for different situations.

Here are some practical and fun suggestions for ways in which you can help your child to develop essential literacy skills. Some of them may be things you already do, others may be ideas that other parents have found successful.

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Want to brush up on your nouns, verbs and adjectives? Then download our grammar glossary.


Support your child at KS2

Because speaking and listening is the foundation for both reading and writing; it is important that you devote some time each day to talk to you child about the things you’ve both been doing. As you do so, you will help your child by modelling the use of language and engaging them in discussion. It is also important to let them see you read, whether it be books, magazines or online news. Share opinions and make time for talking about what you have read or done.

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Game Ideas

  1. Word Tennis. This is an adaptable game of quick-fire word play. The players think of a category, for example adjectives that might be applied to an object, or animal, and like tennis, the players throw words at each other until one of them runs out of words or uses an incorrect word.
  2. Car Number Plates. The aim of this game is to make up short sentences using words that begin with letters from car number plates. Example: EN79 AAG would give you the letters E N A A G, which could become Even Numbers Are Always Grouchy.
  3. Coffee Pot. One player chooses a person, place or thing and writes in onto a label. This is then stuck to another player's forehead. The second player must try to identify who, where or what they are by asking questions of the other players.
  4. How many words? Encourage your children to expand their vocabulary by thinking of alternative words in a short game suitable at any time. For example, how many words can you think of that mean ‘big’ or ‘sad’?
  5. Word chains. Use the last letter of one word as the first two of the next and see who can make the longest chain e.g. apple - lemon - onion.
  6. Hangman. This old favourite is a good one to encourage strategic thinking about which letters tend to follow others and embeds the knowledge that words always have at least one vowel or vowel sound in them.


  1. Leading by example is really effective – let your child see you using a dictionary to check your spellings and encourage them to do the same.
  2. Wordsearches and crosswords are a good way to extend vocabulary and practise spellings.
  3. Talk to your child about the characters in a story. What do they like/dislike about them?
  4. Let your child see you reading.