English Newsletter

Dear Families of Yewstock,

My name is Jules Daulby and I am Head of English at Yewstock School. Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions, my email address is j.daulby@yewstock.dorset.sch.uk

Spelling and handwriting

I will be doing a daily spelling lesson on YouTube (Monday-Friday 11am). This will be appropriate for any child ready to write but don’t feel under pressure if they are not at this stage. It’s called #SpellingwithJules and is on the YouTube channel, JulesDaulby. (I’ve taken #PEwithJoe as inspiration but I’m not as handsome!) Here’s the link:
I will include handwriting in these lessons so you will have both covered!

Reading to/with your child

Reading to your child is probably the most valuable gift. Picture books are a fantastic resource and generate lots of talk and sets your child up to become a good reader. These techniques are recommended:

Activate prior knowledge – this means if the story is about a beach, talk about the times you’ve been to the beach. The things you might see and hear, seagulls, shells, arcades etc. Even the smells, salt water and taste, ice cream. You can use the senses for any story, farm, planets, zoo – anything.

Prediction – get your child excited about what might happen next before you turn the page.
Ask them ‘What would you do?’ or ‘What do you think they should do?’. Prediction skills are an important part of being a good reader.

Generate talk – asking them how characters might feel or what they might do. Use your own experiences such as ‘I once did this and I felt happy’. You can talk about the pictures, the details, anything really and if this starts off a different conversation that’s fine!

Filling in the gaps – another skill of a good reader is to be able to fill in what the writer has not said. This is called inference. An example is ‘I am watching a film with my friends eating popcorn’. You might assume that this is at the cinema but it doesn’t explicitly say this. What’s missing in stories that you the reader have to fill in?

Summarise – one of the skills of a good reader is to be able to summarise a story. If you can encourage your child to summarise or retell the story, this will help with their understanding of it. You may need to help them sequence for example, what happened at the beginning? What happened in the middle? And what happened at the end?

Your child reading to you

• Your child should only read to you books they are able to decode comfortably. The general rule is being able to read 95% of the words. There are what we call decodable books for children to do this with and can be found for free on our ReadWriteInc website. There are also lots of videos on there and I’d recommend watching ‘How to pronounce the sounds’. It’s very important to ensure these phonic sounds are said correctly to aid reading skills.


I will be using the sounds in my spelling videos so this will help if you watch them.

I intend to write a weekly newsletter for families giving other ideas and useful information. Next week I will write about our whole school narrative work which was kindly funded by Friends of Yewstock.

Thank you for reading and once again, please email me if you have any questions.

Best wishes,


Jules Daulby
Head of English
Yewstock School

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