What does ABC to read training include?

Our 9 hour (over 2 school days) initial training sessions aim to give our volunteers the confidence and basic skills to help children who are struggling with reading, for a variety of reasons. The course is highly interactive and uses a range of activities to help prospective volunteers understand how they can help children learn to succeed at and enjoy reading.

The topics covered include:

  • Being a good volunteer – the qualities required
  • Why some children don’t learn to read
  • The importance of speaking and listening skills, rhythm and rhyme, sharing stories and other pre-reading experiences
  • Exploring and reviewing picture books
  • Some strategies for helping children
  • The importance of praise
  • Supporting children’s reading – role play exercises
  • Reading comprehension and asking open questions
  • Safeguarding – not a replacement for Level 1 training but general information, advice and guidance specific to the role of ABC to read volunteers. (We do also run occasional Level 1 courses specifically for our volunteers, or signpost them to other locally provided courses. Some schools invite volunteers to join their own in-house training too.)
  • The importance of games and a chance to try some out
  • The National Literacy Strategy – what it is and some ways reading is approached in schools.
  • Phonics – how initial sounds are made
  • Planning sessions – hints and tips for different children
  • Health and Safety and practical information about being in school

Following successful completion of the training course, volunteers are accompanied on an initial visit to their placement school by their ABC to read Fieldworker, where they will meet their link teacher, complete all necessary paperwork and usually have a tour of the school. They may also meet the children they will be working with on this visit.