Reading in EYFS and KS1
As well as phonics, we also have daily English lessons where we explore a book in depth. The children hear a story being read to them. They learn to orally recite the story (using story maps co-created as a prompt) and they act out the story. Once the children know the text really well they 'read it as a reader'. This involves in depth discussions around the text, focussing heavily on vocabulary and oral comprehension. They are encouraged to express opinions on their likes and dislikes regarding the text in order to improve their own writing. We encourage the children to summarise, create images from text, predict outcomes and endings and to make connections to their own lives or to other books.
Texts we use:
Term/ Year Group
Little Red Hen
Billy Goats Gruff
Three little pigs
We’re going on a Bear Hunt
The Tiger who Came to Tea
Hansel & Gretel
Jack & the Beanstalk
Peace at Last
Tell me a dragon
What the ladybird heard at the seaside
Whole class text transition into juniors:
Fantastic Mr Fox
These texts are then used as an inspiration for our writing. See ‘Writing’.
Reading in Key Stage 2
We teach reading through whole class books and extracts. Each class has set texts and we have 30 copies of each. These have been carefully chosen for quality and appeal. Extracts are from Authorfy or from non-fiction books or poetry books.
Year 3 Reading Books
Summer 1 & 2
The Diary of a Killer Cat
The Hundred Mile an Hours Dog
The Tear Thief
Carol Ann Duffy
The Witch’s Tears
Year 4 Reading Books
Summer 1& 2
Dick King Smith
The Iron Man
Coming Home & There’s no such place as far away
Michael Morpurgo & Richard Bach
Year 5 Reading Books
Summer 1& 2
The Phantom Tollbooth
Year 6 Reading Books
Summer 1& 2
Video footage (from Literacy Shed)
Documentary of Marcus Rashford
When the sky falls
The Embark Reading Strategy
We are starting to use the Embark Reading Strategy this year which has a focus on increasing fluency, close reading and extended reading. Every time we read with children we have a strong focus on explaining unfamiliar vocabulary.
As our primary focus is on increasing fluency and reading comprehension we are asking teachers in KS2 to teach fluency twice a week, close reading twice a week and extended reading once a week.
When teaching fluency we pair the children up in mixed achieving twos. The procedure we follow is:
Read the extract twice through to the children. The first time explaining vocabulary, the second time paying particular attention to prosody. Each time the children are following the text as it’s being read. The more confident in the the pair reads first with their partner following, then swap. They read it through together in chorus.
During close reading we use the extract from the fluency practice and ask questions to encourage and develop children’s reading comprehension using the skills of inference, retrieval, explanation, prediction and summarising. Each session we ask three big questions based on the text.
Our vocabulary teaching offers rich information about words and their uses. We want our teaching to provide frequent and varied opportunities for children to think about and use words that will enhance their language and comprehension.
It’s much more effective to learn about words orally because of the body language and the intonation.
Reading aloud and regularly discussing words will add much more than simply relying on incidental exposure to words through the whole class reading book.
Providing word meaning information is only a first step in building word knowledge. There is a continuum of ‘knowing’ a word. Studies show that when provided with definitions from dictionaries and then asked to create their own sentence with the word within it usually about 60% of the sentences are ‘odd’.
Dictionary definitions always have to be concise due to restricted space. Therefore, it’s better to start with explaining the meaning of a word rather than using a dictionary definition.
Intentional vocabulary teaching is about explaining meanings in everyday language. Take every opportunity to teach vocabulary intentionally and use working walls and washing lines of new words and encourage children to use newly learnt vocabulary in their writing.
To infer is to find meaning that is not made explicit in the text. Children will use their understanding of a wide range of prior experiences to make sense of events in what they see and read. As children get more confident, they should start to increasingly back these inferences up with evidence from the text. They may paraphrase or even directly quote to justify what they think.
· Why was the character feeling happy?
· Why did the character run away?
· What kind of person is _____? How does the author show that?
· How can you tell the animal is in pain?
· How can you tell this house has not been looked after?
· How is the character feeling? How do you know that?
· What impression do you get of this setting?
Children are encouraged to predict what they think might happen based on the events so far and details that are implied in the text. The emphasis here is not to necessarily be right – if all books were predictable, that could become very dull – but to engage with the plot and actively think about where the journey of the story might go.
· Look at the cover. What do you think this book will be about?
· What do you think will happen next? What makes you think this?
· Do you think they will be successful in their quest? Why / why not?
· How do you think the character is going to react? Why do you think that?
· Look at the chapter title. What do you think might happen?
Children are encouraged to explain their preferences, thoughts and opinions about a text. As they get more confident, children should also be able to explain themes and patterns across a text as well as why authors have made certain choices and the impact of these on the overall effect of the writing.
· Who is your favourite character? Why?
· Would you like to live in this setting? Why / why not?
· Is there anything you would change about this story?
· How does the author build up the tension here?
· Why do you think the author doesn’t name the villain yet?
· Why has the text been arranged in this way?
This skill concerns finding and recording information located in the text. It tends to cover some of the more straightforward and closed questions that don’t require as much inference (often beginning with who, what, when and where). However, the challenge can lie in children having to skim back over large quantities of text. You can support your child by helping them to narrow down sections to search and scan for key words that will help them look for the information they need.
· In what year did the astronauts land on the moon?
· What did the parents decide to name their baby?
· Who was the first character to climb on the boat?
· Give an example of one of the grandmother’s warnings.
· Where did the squirrel hide the food?
· What were the three things Bob was asked to pack?
Children are taught to recap the events of a narrative and sum them up (summarise). This can be an effective way to remind children of the story so far in a longer text or to build familiarity with a shorter book or traditional tale.
· How did the story start?
· What happened next?
· Number these events 1 – 5.
· Can you summarise the story so far?
· What happened in the story so far?
· How has the character’s life changed throughout this book?
During extended reading we read together and individually from our whole class reading book which we also read at the end of each day.
Throughout the week, we will also use opportunities to explore the grammar and punctuation in context and how it supports the reading and comprehension.
The daily class reading book (in addition to whole class reader):
Each class read their class reader at the end of each day. This is a relaxed time where children unwind at the end of the day, listening to a book being read really well.