The teaching of reading skills is an integral part of every lesson in school and children are developing their reading skills in a wide range of contexts through all curriculum areas.


Literacy lessons
Children are taught specific reading skills through direct teaching in Literacy lessons. For example younger children may be sharing a ‘Big Book’ with the teacherand learning to apply their phonic knowledge, whilst older children may be learning to infer meaning from a complex text. Throughout these lessons, teachers are continually assessing children’s reading ability through direct questioning, fluency when reading aloud and their understanding of the piece. The children are taught a wide range of reading strategies.


Guided Reading
Children read with the teacher or Teaching Assistant in a small group. During these sessions the skills taught in Literacy lessons are reinforced and extended through challenging texts, and children develop the ability to draw upon a range of reading strategies.


Other reading in class
The class teacher is constantly observing children’s reading in a wide range of contexts in other lessons. For example:
• Instructions & information on the whiteboard
• activities on worksheets
• written instructions in text books
• through ICT: Learning games and the internet
• ability to use a dictionary, thesaurus and other reference material
• phonics and spelling work
• reading comprehension exercises
• reading aloud in whole class shared reading


Individual home-reading books
These are provided for children to practise the skills they have learned in school at home with an adult. The class teacher will not always hear children read their home-reading book on a one-to-one basis as assessments are made through the teaching of Literacy and Guided Reading.

It is important that children read regularly at home. It enables them to develop reading fluency and aids their written work as they develop knowledge about the structure of texts and widens their range of vocabulalry.


A child’s reading at home should not be restricted to their school reading book; they should be encouraged to read a variety of texts in a range of contexts.

Below are some suggestions for supporting your child’s reading development:


• Join a library: encourage your child to choose books to read. This is an important reading skill as it enables them to make choices based on the book cover, the genre (type) of book and the difficulty level.

• Encourage your child to attempt a range of genres, e.g.: non-fiction, poetry, biographies, playscripts, magazines etc.

• Play simple word games - reading leaflets, traffic signs, posters, food labels, shopping lists, adverts and so on.

• Encourage your child to develop ‘sight vocabulary’ of high frequency words. There are many words which cannot be ‘sounded out’ – children just have to learn to recognise them visually E.g.: said, was, wanted, where, were, would, because, laugh etc.

• Share Literacy based games such as Scrabble, Hangman, I-Spy, Word search puzzles, educational computer games etc.

• Encourage them to use a dictionary and thesaurus when writing to extend their vocabulary


Reading together
In the early stages of reading development, sharing a book with an adult at home is an important way of reinforcing the learning happening in school. Children should read for a few minutes every day rather than longer blocks of time less frequently.
As children become more fluent they may read independently more often, although it is still important to talk about what they have read to check their understanding. They may also need support to understand the meaning of new words.

Through the teaching of reading children learn to draw upon a range of strategies for attempting new texts. It is important that children learn and practise all these strategies and not become reliant on one particular method.


Below are a range of documents to download. These include the recommended books lists given out at the recent Reading Evening for Parents.


Click to download

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