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Reading: Age 7–8 (Year 3)

Children in Year 3 will hopefully be on the way to becoming a confident, independent readers. Children who have got to grips with word-reading will develop their reading skills by shifting their focus onto comprehension.

There are a variety of simple things you can do at home to support your child’s developing reading skills.

What your child will learn

Follow the links below to find out more about learning to read, with lots of information and support:

Reading skills in Year 3

Your child will now probably be a fairly fluent reader. They will still use phonics as a first strategy to decode any unfamiliar words they come across in their reading. Your child will be developing confidence and increasing independence not only in what they read but in what they choose to read.

Your child will benefit from both reading widely and having a wide range of books read to them.

Find out more about developing reading skills in Year 3 >

Reading comprehension in Year 3

In Year 3, your child will be continuing to develop their comprehension skills. They will have opportunities to read a wide range of books and to have different books read to them. They will also be encouraged to read poems and play scripts aloud.

In class, they will talk about the books they read and have read to them, exploring interesting words and learning to read between the lines.

Find out more about reading comprehension in Year 3 >

Common reading issues

Lots of parents worry about their children’s reading. Fortunately, help is at hand!

Some children can read the words quite well – it’s just that they don’t want to. We call this group of children reluctant readersFor some other children, it is difficult to remember common words or the sounds of the letters from one day to the next. Reading is a slow and painful struggle, distressing for your child and for you. These children can be called struggling readers.

Read our expert advice on how to support your child with common reading issues:

How to help at home

There are plenty of simple and effective ways you can help your child with reading in Year 3. Here are our top tips:

1. Read to your child

While your child will learn about how language works from speaking and listening, the type of language we use in writing is often different from that in speech. Reading regularly to your child, especially books that they cannot yet read on their own yet, is a great way of improving their understanding of language.

Talking about books is also a really useful habit to get into. Talk about the characters and what happens in a story, or what specific bit of information was most useful, but also get them to give you their opinions too. Let them tell you if (and why) they don’t like a book. Part of growing as a reader is learning that it’s okay not to like some books or to prefer reading on-screen sometimes!

For books to read with your child, take a look at our free eBook library.

2. Encourage your child to read to you

Making time to hear your child read isn’t just good for their reading. Seeing words in print helps them to understand the words, to spell them, and to see how grammar and punctuation are used to make meaning.

When your child is reading, occasionally talk about why the author has decided to include something and how they written it. For example:

‘I wonder why the author has chosen to describe the castle as “gloomy”? I wonder what that tells us about what might happen there?’

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