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At our school our children are taught to read and write using the Read, Write Inc scheme.  This is a well devised teaching programme by Ruth Miskin, who was one of the writers of the new English curriculum for the National Curriculum. It has a proven track record of ensuring children can read fluently and with expression (as we talk not like a robot) by the end of Year 1.
When we changed to this scheme, we were thrilled to hear our parents tell us their children were rushing home to get out their books and read!
The scheme works on the principle that home reading should be fun and that children re-read familiar stories in their "story teller" voice so that they feel like successful readers and so enjoy "reading" at home. The scheme moves on briskly so please help us by encouraging your child to read their home book. Also, PLEASE let us know about the books you share at home so we can chat to your child about them. Sharing a story (and chapter books eg Roald Dahl) as they get older is so important to widen their vocabulary and experience of story.
Research shows that children who read for fun do well at school and it all starts with bedtime stories!