Reading is highly valued across the school and taught in a range of ways using a wide variety of text types. An enjoyment of books is seen as vital in our school and all classes regularly save the last fifteen minutes of the day for whole class story-time.

Throughout the school parents are expected to support their children at home through daily reading with their child.

This page gives you information about the various aspects of Reading in our school:

Guided Reading

Shared Reading

Individual Reading

Reading Schemes

Early Years Foundation Stage

Key Stage One

Key Stage Two


Guided Reading

Guided reading involves planned, focussed reading activities with an adult and up to six ability grouped children. The learning is objective led and this is shared explicitly with the pupils at the   start of the session.

Objectives are chosen to suit the text, and to ensure coverage of all the assessment focusses. The session can follow a range of formats, but typically would involve some modelling of reading on the part of the adult, highlighting the learning objective. Children will then be given an opportunity to read, either quietly to themselves, or taking turns to read aloud to the group. The approach to the session will depend largely on the assessment focus.

For example, if the focus is reading with fluency and expression, then reading aloud would be appropriate. If the learning objective is to select information from a non-fiction text, then it may be more appropriate to pose questions to the children, and then for them to quietly find the information and explain their findings to the group.

In some instances, the child may be asked to take the text home to read more, or to answer further questions in preparation for the next guided reading session.

Guided reading with younger children will sometimes be book-based, but will also incorporate reading games, such as card games, treasure hunts and matching games designed to meet specific objectives  and spelling patterns.

Children’s reading is assessed during the session and children are given supportive verbal feedback, praising their reading skills and suggesting ways in which they can improve.

Assessments are recorded briefly for the purpose of future planning, and the fact that the child has engaged in guided reading is noted in the each child’s reading record book for the parent’s information.

Guided reading takes place once a week.

Shared reading

Shared reading involves whole class or large group reading, supported by an adult, and can cover a wide range of genres across the curriculum. Children are supported in reading a text that is visible to all. Differentiation is achieved by level of questioning and relies on the adult having a good knowledge of the children’s reading ability.

Less able readers will be asked to contribute to the session by decoding and reading words at their level, while more able readers will be stretched by reading more challenging sections, or by responding to higher level comprehension questions.

Repeat reading by the adult leading the session following children’s contributions ensures that all pupils are able to follow and understand the text.

Shared reading takes place many times during the week, and children’s reading can be assessed when possible by discrete note taking by teaching assistants.

Individual reading

This involves children reading 1:1 with an adult in school and usually involves the child reading some of their current reading book to the adult, who supports and encourages the child, while gently highlighting strategies to help the child improve their reading. Sometimes the session will involve discussion of a book or part of a book the child has read at home, to establish comprehension skills. The adult records the reading session with a note in the child’s reading record book and the class reading records. The session is also used as an opportunity for the adult to check that the child is reading at the correct level in the school reading scheme, and to note assessment points and pass comments on to parents regarding the child’s progress in reading.

Teachers aim to ensure that most children read individually with an adult at least once a week in EYFS and year 1, and once a fortnight from year two upwards.

It is the expectation of the school that Individual reading also takes place on a daily basis at home with an adult, and this is also noted in the child’s reading record book.

Reading scheme

School reading scheme books are selected from a range of publishers to ensure that children are exposed to variation in style, presentation and content, and to reduce reliance on one particular type of text or illustration, The books are divided into colour coded ‘bands’ according to their ease of reading, and each band contains a spread of genres appropriate for children reading at that particular level. Main publishers featuring in our reading scheme include Oxford, Cambridge, Usborne and Pearson.

Depending on their ability and rate of reading, children are encouraged to take up to three books home to read, and to change these as they become competent. In some cases, with beginning readers, this may involve them reading the same book several times to develop fluency or practice recognising and decoding words. More able readers will read a longer text just once, perhaps reading some of it aloud to an adult or discussing its content to ensure comprehension before moving to a new book.

Within each colour band there will be a range of levels of difficulty, to enable children to be both challenged in their reading skills and to develop the enjoyment and confidence that comes with reading an easier book for pleasure. We recognise that the long term aim is to produce lifelong readers, and that this involves fostering a love of reading.

Records are kept of reading scheme books read by children to ensure that reading is progressing at an appropriate pace, and that a range of genres is covered. In EYFS and Year 1 this record is maintained by school staff, while in year two upwards the children are taught to maintain their own records, which are overseen by teaching staff.

Early Years Foundation Stage

Here reading is taught both through phonics – decoding texts through an understanding of phoneme/grapheme correspondence, and through developing reading behaviours, through modelling reading and enjoying a range of books together. Children are also taught to recognise some familiar and frequently used words by sight.

By the end of the first half term (or sooner, depending on ability), children are taking home phonics materials and/or reading books to share at home. Children engage in whole class shared reading, small group guided reading and individual reading with adults. Children are encouraged to spend time each day quietly enjoying books, and the learning environment has a dedicated and well- resourced reading area, which is regularly refreshed to motivate and inspire early readers.

Early reading comprehension is introduced, often involving the children following simple written instructions to colour, draw a picture, make a model or find clues in a treasure hunt!

Reading materials from a range of publishers are carefully graded to ensure children’s progression and coverage of a range of genres. Most children will read with an adult in school at least twice a week at this stage (guided and individual reading).

Key Stage One

Year One

Reading in Year One is taught through a range of strategies including on-going phonics teaching, shared reading, guided and individual reading. Children are also encouraged to spend time reading quietly each day, choosing from a well- stocked and carefully resourced classroom reading area.

Reading comprehension activities are further developed, but still at a simple level, involving children drawing or making to show their understanding of a piece of simple text, e.g. ‘Draw a red cat with three black spots and a long tail.’

Most children will read with an adult at least once a week at this stage, though some will read more frequently depending on their learning needs.

Children take books home and these are changed and reviewed regularly by teaching staff, checking reading progress and coverage of a range of genres.

Year Two

Reading in Year Two continues to be taught through phonics, shared, guided and individual reading. At this stage pupils are taught to develop their comprehension skills using a wide range of genres, and to express their understanding of texts in writing.  Reading for information across the curriculum involves children learning to use the organisational features of non-fiction texts, including captions, illustrations, contents and index, to find answers to questions and to extend their knowledge.

Key Stage Two

In addition to the shared, guided and individual reading, children in these classes are also taught to complete written comprehension activities, involving both literal and inferential questions. Comprehension activities are differentiated by reading and recording ability and cover a wide range of genres including narrative, information, recount, instructions, letters, persuasive, poetry,  explanation and descriptive text.