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Parents Return To Class To Learn New Ways Of Helping Their Children

Ayda Ling (6) with mum Laurel Lond and Bethany Phillips with daughter Paris (7) in the new Reading Room at Reynolds Academy. They were taking part in the parental learning sessions to familiarise themselves with online resources such as Bug Club and Spelling Shed.


Helping parents to help their children has been the theme of a number of interactive sessions held at Reynolds Academy since the school returned for the Autumn Term.

The in-school presentations have been all about familiarising parents with online resources, such as Bug Club and Spelling Shed, to ensure that their children get the best out of the reading and spelling aides when they are at home. 

During the short sessions, teachers have shown parents and pupils how to navigate the websites, use the online tools, and learn how to get the best out of the resources.

The websites are all interactive, providing on screen rewards for users and promoting comprehension. Bug Club is a core reading program which helps children develop as confident and motivated readers. It combines over 500 books with interactive eBooks and an online reading world – so teachers can allocate books to individual pupils for home reading and assess their progress instantly. It includes an enormous range of fiction, non‑fiction and poetry, offering variety to keep children engaged and develop a love of reading. 

Spelling Shed aligns with the National Curriculum and can be used alongside any existing spelling schemes. It includes games which engage pupils and make them eager to practise their spellings more regularly. The games, quizzes and reward systems ensure that children find spelling fun. The games are played in class and are also assigned for home learning with parents’ support.

Rebecca Scott, Principal of Reynolds Academy, said: “The aim of these  sessions is to make sure that parents know how these sites work so that they can help their children get the best out of them. These resources do not replace teaching in school, but they do complement it, and they make learning fun and accessible for our children, especially when they are at home. It means that we can set spellings on the website instead of children having to take lists home with them, and the games and rewards are added incentives to ensure that the children do their homework and enjoy it.

“Teachers can see each child’s progress in reading and can add to the Bug Club library each week with new books that include the sounds they have been learning in class.”

Many parents took part in the sessions, which involved all year groups, including Nursery. Laurel Lond joined her daughter Ayda Ling (6) in Year 2. She said: “We do take it in turns to read at home and Ayda does like using the websites so it is useful to get some proper tuition for parents.”

The online books, however, do not replace physical books and the Academy has just created a brand new Reading Room and updated its library shelves to ensure that children have daily access to the most up- to-date reading resources.


Reynolds Academy Nursery pupil, Alfie Walters, 3, with dad Joey Fisher take part in an online learning workshop, on the software that the youngsters can use to continue their learning at home.

Paris Phillips (6) shows mum Bethany Phillips the Bug Club site on the iPad in the new Reading Room at Reynolds Academy.

 Year 5 children and their parents get to grips with the online learning resources.

Nursery pupil Taylor-Lee Blakeley-Middleton, 3, with mum Yasmin Blakeley during the parental sessions.

Nursery pupil Ruben Blain, 3, reads with mum Laura Ellis.

Above and below: The new Reading Room at the Academy.




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Reynolds Academy Principal

Rebecca Scott
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