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Preparing for school with a little help from Oxford University Press

Preparing for school with a little help from Oxford University Press

Parents always say that the early school years come around quickly, and there’s always lots to do! But when it comes to reading and getting your child’s books ready, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Oxford University Press has got everything you need to get your little one off to a brilliant start from their first day of the new season as they go back to school.

We’ve got exclusive book sets to support children with the resources and much-loved methods that parents swear by to help their child to read so they’ll be prepared for back to school in no time at all.

Where to start?

Read with Oxford is a unique range designed to help parents support their child’s reading journey with fun-filled stories, educational activities and much-loved characters that have been around for over 30 years. Favoured by schools and loved by parents, there are six Read with Oxford Stages to help parents navigate their child's reading journey, from first steps in phonics to reading independently. The Read with Oxford Stages can be easily matched to Oxford Levels or Book Bands that are used by schools. 

Read with Oxford Stages

Starting at the very beginning books from Read with Oxford Stage 1 are perfect for children’s first steps in reading, when they are starting to use letter sounds to read simple words. This collection has a whopping 24 books with stories and fun activities to start young readers off on their reading journey with the lovable Biff, Chip and Kipper. 

Once children have worked their way through the Stage 1 collection, they’ll be ready to move on to Stage 2. It’s ideal for early readers who are using letter sounds to read simple words and short sentences. They’ll enjoy reading some fantastic stories as they continue to follow Biff, Chip and Kipper through the next 16 books.

Moving onto Stage 3, the adventures continue for children in this brilliant 16 book set. These stories are just at the right level for children’s growing confidence as they start to read more words and longer sentences with less help from parents. There are some great titles in this collection that will make engaging your child with reading a breeze.

Stage 4 is for readers who are gaining reading confidence. This set of 16 books is perfect for children who are increasingly confident in reading by themselves and can read lots of everyday words. They’ll be fully familiar with Biff, Chip, Kipper and their friends by now and will enjoy following them on more adventures. 

Then it’s on to Stage 5, for readers who are becoming more independent, and can read and enjoy a whole story by themselves. There are a further 16 books in this exclusive set to add to your child’s reading library. These exciting stories will continue to boost their reading skills at home, supporting what they’re learning at school.

Finally, books at Stage 6 are ideal for when your child is reading independently. They’ll be able to read with confidence and understand and enjoy longer chapter books, which is a great testament to parents as well as children’s progression in their learning journey.

How to choose the right books

You’ll know you’ve got the right books because you and your child will enjoy discussing them as well as reading them or even acting them out! There might be opportunities to engage in a little role play, using accents or taking it in turns to read which are all fun ways to encourage learning. These approaches are all encouraged at school, too. 

As your child continues on their reading journey, you’ll find tips for reading in every Read with Oxford book to support your child, including help with ‘sounding out’ unfamiliar words and quiz questions to check comprehension. The Winnie and Wilbur books published by Oxford University Press is another fantastic collection that is praised by parents for covering several Stages to support children’s reading progression. 

It can feel a bit hectic with children either starting school or going back to school this term, but spending even just 10 minutes a day reading with your child will do wonders for developing and practising their skills, and increasing their reading confidence.

If you’re a little unsure about where to start, this super easy guide by Oxford University Press provides you with a short reading placement test to help parents find out which Stage their child is at. Check it out here.

Oxford Owl - Take the Reading Test online 


Check out these common questions from parents about reading.

When should I start reading with my child?

It’s never too early. Babies and toddlers enjoy looking at picture books and hearing them read aloud. Chant nursery rhymes, sing songs and share picture books from birth onwards.

What should I do if my child wants the same book over and over again?

Don’t discourage them. It’s good to have favourite books, and reading familiar stories will give them confidence. Introduce new stories but keep sharing old favourites too.

How can I support my child when they bring home books to read from school?

Once your child has started to read at school, the school will begin to send simple books home for your child to read to you. These books will most probably be in line with the phonics teaching approach used by the school. Encourage your child to read as much of each book as they can, and support them with any tricky words. Always remember to go at your child’s pace.

Should I stop reading to my child once they’ve become a good reader?

No, keep reading to them and with them, for as long as they want you to. This way you can help them to access great books that they still might not be able to read for themselves. It also gives you both the continuing pleasure of sharing stories and information, just for fun.

These tips have been taken from ‘Read with Oxford: Helping Your Child to Read’ by Annemarie Young. Discover more tips like this and advice on supporting your child’s reading journey which has already benefited many parents on getting the most from the Read with Oxford range.

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