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Pre-requisite Skills For Reading


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Does anyone know of any sort of checklist or assessment which breaks down the pre-requisite skills (i.e. visual discrimination/memory skills, auditory discrimination/memory skills etc) needed before children can learn to read? I work with children with complex learning, physical and communication needs so am looking for something which identifies these skills in small steps.

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This is our Reading Readiness check


Skills and attitudes to be encouraged to become a successful reader


Early Reading Skills


Your child must be able to..


Sit still and concentrate for 5-10

minutes on an activity


Sequence events/ a story


Know that we read from left to right


Follow and make a pattern


Match objects, pictures, shapes and words


Hear rhyme


Use their visual memory— develop this through games such as pairs, ’Kim’s Game’ etc. (for ideas see school)


Hear the beginning sounds in everyday words e.g. ‘pig starts with a…’p’


Know the difference between drawing and



Identify the first letter in a word by name

Point to words


Realise a word is a unit of meaning


Understand a sentence


Show an initial interest in general punctuation


Know the difference between letters and words


Develop a key word sight vocabulary


(sight vocabulary are words that children often learn by their shape rather than the sounds that are in them. These words are the High Frequency words listed at the end of this information.)


Predict what could happen next


Retell a story using story language


For non fiction - talking about what they have found out.


As well as all of the skills that children need to become readers, they also need to have a good attitude about books and the ENJOYMENT that they can bring. We need to encourage children to...



Enjoy reading


To know reading has a purpose


To talk about the book/the pictures and turn the pages.


To want to read/to show interest

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