Coram Beanstalk's training for parent reading helpers is perfect for Early Years settings that want to upskill, energise and inspire adults who leave the training ready to interact with and share the wonderful world of words, stories and reading with children aged 3-5. It is also suitable for virtual schools or fostering agencies looking to train foster carers who are supporting children of that age, or for other groups or organisations working with adults who support early years children.

What is Coram Beanstalk's reading helper training? 

This three-hour course is delivered on site by a professional Coram Beanstalk trainer to a selected group of volunteers from the setting community, or a selected group of foster carers. Our training helps adults see books through the eyes of a young child and enable the children to become involved in the reading experience before they are able to read words themselves.

As part of the training package you will receive:

  • Online promotional materials and templates to attract the right people to the training course
  • High-quality, evidence-based interactive training delivered by a skilled trainer
  • Reference materials to share via email that summarise and reinforce content delivered on the day

Course learning outcomes 

Participants of the course will learn how to:

  • read aloud really effectively to children
  • help children feel they are actively involved in the reading experience
  • use the inter-active (dialogic) reading techniques that are proven to have the biggest impact on the development of emergent literacy skills
  • share text and pictures to expose children to rich and varied vocabulary
  • have a really purposeful conversation around a book to develop all six emergent literacy skills

The course is designed to take away any worries about supporting the 'teaching' of reading and leave people free to share the joy of brilliant books with children. Once your reading volunteers have received the training, they will be equipped to support children within your school to read for pleasure and grow a love of reading.

Course content

The course covers:

  • Reading aloud to young children - how to read to young children in a way that inspires and engages them, bringing the story to life and adding meaning to the text.
  • Engaging a young child in a book - how to bring a child’s attention to a book and keep them involved as you look at the pictures together, making the most of opportunities to develop pre-reading skills
  • Inter-active reading - how to enjoy a book with a young child in a way that presents them with plenty of opportunities to join in, and lead, the telling of the story as you turn the pages together

Our reading helper training works best for settings that can source between 12-20 parents or people within their community who are capable, confident and understand the need for reading for pleasure.

The course costs £1,500 for a group size of up to 20 individuals.

I learnt that I can have confidence in myself when reading and adding voices into my books. The whole group were absolutely amazing, [the trainer] was very helpful and I gained a lot from the training day. I learnt about the best ways to continue a story on, without it just being read and how much open questions benefit a child's story. [The trainer] also helped me to gain an overall understanding of how to read a story in order to gain rewarding sessions with my chosen 3 children to gain the best outcome and evaluation." - Early Years Professional

Why choose Coram Beanstalk? 

We are an award-winning national reading charity with over 45 years' experience in training volunteers to help children aged 3-13 to improve their reading skills. 74% of children showed an improvement in their reading ability after working with a reading helper we trained.

For more information, simply fill in the form below, email [email protected] or call 020 7729 4087.

“It has been 20 years since I had pre-school children and the training reminded me to think more like a child and not to make things over complicated. Carolyn, Northampton