Learn to read with Peter and Jane!
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Learn to read with Peter and Jane!

You can now explore a whole new world of adventures in this edition of Key Words with Peter and Jane, based on tried and tested methodology.


What does the series do?

The series methodology was created by the original researcher and author of the first Key Words series, William Murray. His research found that:

  • 12 words make up 25% of the all the words we read and write
  • 100 words make up 50% of the words we read and write
  • around 300 words make up 75% of the words we read and write.

The series has a simple structure to follow: there are twelve levels with three books in each level (a, b and c). As children read the books in order, (1a, 1b, 1c, 2a, 2b, 2c and so on), they will learn and practise reading all 300 high-frequency words or Key Words.

How are the Key Words introduced?

The first two pages of the ‘a’ book in Levels 1 to 11 introduce the new Key Words for the level, and the same Key Words are repeated at the foot of the page where they first appear in the story. In the ‘b’ book there is no Key Word introduction, encouraging children to move straight into the story with their new word-recognition skills. Each new Key Word is still repeated at the foot of the page where it first appears — just like the ‘a’ book. The ‘c’ book doesn’t have the Key Word introduction nor the New Key Words panels, which helps children move towards more independent reading. Once they’ve been introduced, the Key Words are used in later levels too, so children become more and more familiar with them and recognise the words ‘on sight’.

As well as the Key Words, the stories gradually introduce phonically levelled vocabulary. This combined approach of Key Words and phonics sets children up to become fluent readers and supports the way that they learn to read in school.

More about the stories

The stories are fun and engaging, and Peter and Jane’s world represents life in modern Britain. From swimming to trips to the park, beach clean-ups to a street party, Peter and Jane’s antics will feel familiar and keep children entertained. The detailed illustrations support children’s learning as the pictures reflect the stories and the Key Words in the book.

What to expect inside the books

Peter and Jane’s world is familiar to children today. As your child learns the Key Words and follows Peter and Jane on their various adventures, they’ll get to know the words they’ll use most in everyday life. By reading the books through from 1a to 12c, children can return to a cast of characters they’ll love and a world they’ll want to explore!

Each book includes a handy information spread that explains the background to the series and offers tips on making the most of the books. At the back of each book, there are comprehension questions. These are a great opportunity to check in with your child – try asking these after you’ve read the book together. Answering the questions will reinforce what your child has learnt in that book and help you to spot anything they might have missed.

Tips and activities

  • Look at the Key Word introduction in the ‘a’ books (pages 6 and 7). The Key Words are clearly written out, and images are included for some of the words to help make the connection between the word and its meaning. Before you get started, read the words together and point to the corresponding picture. As you read the story and come across the Key Words, look for the object or action in the pictures together too.
  • As your child progresses through the series, they’ll become familiar with the characters who inhabit Peter and Jane’s world! If you spot a character that has appeared before, ask your child if they can remember who they are and which story they appeared in. This starts a conversation about a previous story they’ve read and encourages them to use the Key Words again, increasing their familiarity with them.
  • The books see Peter and Jane at school, the park, the local swimming pool, in shops, and many more everyday locations. Point out these locations in the pictures as you read together. You could also mention similar places in your area to strengthen the connection between the words and their real-life meanings.

Extra resources

There are extra resources available to support you and your child as you read Key Words with Peter and Jane.

  • The Parent Guide is the perfect place to start. It has information about the background to the series as well as helpful advice on getting started with the books.
  • There are also audio tracks available for each book, which feature a fantastic cast of characters reading the stories! The audio brings the books to life while reinforcing your child’s knowledge of the Key Words.
  • Each book has a downloadable writing activity to go with it. This reinforces the words learnt in the book and gives your child writing practice alongside their reading. Making the connection between reading and writing is important as children develop these key skills.

The Parent Guide, audio tracks and downloadable writing activities can be found on the Key Words series page.

Join Peter and Jane as they set out on a whole new world of adventures!




English as a first language | home learning | Key Words | Phonics