Miss Daisy's Reading Tips

One of my favourite things about being a teacher is teaching children to read. I can’t emphasis enough what an amazing feeling it is when a child in your class starts decoding sounds and then blending them together to read the words.  You can see that you are opening this child’s mind to a whole new world and it is hugely rewarding. It is not just that they can now read words; it is also giving them the opportunity to become more independent at home and at school and it is incredible to watch their confidence grow by being able to read. Remember, all children want to be are adults and now they are able to do something that they see Mummy and Daddy do every day.


One of my favourite memories of teaching Reception, was that I had a boy in my class who was racing through all the reading books in my classroom. All the books were lined up in their correct order, stage 1-10 on a shelf in the book corner. This boy had almost reached the end of stage 10, he ran his finger to the final book, turned and asked me ‘Miss Daisy, when I finish stage 10, do you then hand out newspapers?’.  He really believed that the next stage of his ‘learning to read’ career would be to move onto newspapers!


As an owner and principal of three nursery schools based in central London, the number one question I get asked by parents is when should their child start learning to read; the answer is very simple, when they are ready. We always need to remember that each child is an individual and will therefore learn at their own pace in their own style.


We have to teach children the knowledge and skills before you can expect them to use them. Learning to read is built on a foundation of communication skills that children start learning at birth and the number one advice I give to parents is to create a language rich environment at home, really taking into account the importance of learning through play.  


When Sophie Carter and I created hip hop hen, our number one goal was to create a reading scheme that would build a child’s confidence in reading and most importantly, keep it positive and fun so that they would have a life long love of reading. 


Children learn more quickly during their early years than at any other time in life so it is vitally important that we do not put a child off reading by too much pressure, too many tricky words, dull stories and boring pictures as that will be their lasting memory of learning to read. Research has repeatedly shown that motivation to read decreases with age so we are trying to stimulate a passion for reading and happy memories of learning to read. 


Miss Daisy top tips for reading at home:


  • Remember lots of praise and encouragement as children learn best when reading is relaxed and enjoyable.
  • - If they are ever struggling, it is best to leave it and try again another day. 
  • Listen to your child’s teacher and follow their advice. It is very important to not confuse a child by teaching them in a different style at home or pushing them on too quickly when they are not ready.
  • Home is a massive influence on a child learning to read. Supportive and understanding parents, is key to developing your child's reading.
  • Finally keep it FUN!


hip hop hen's phonics apps provide the perfect foundation to reading that complements major phonics programmes and school curriculums. 

You can download our hip hop hen phonics them on the Apple App Store



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