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------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Approach to the teaching of reading at Leyburn Primary School

As a staff, we know that our own awareness of children's literature is key to the development of reading across the school and so, in 2019-20, we started a Teachers' Reading Group which meets regularly throughout the year. 

In addition to this, the children shadow the Children's Book Award. 


In Early Years and KS1, whole class texts are carefully chosen to support and extend children’s knowledge of the world through the taught curriculum, knowledge of themselves and their own experiences and knowledge of story. These books are shared with adults, read independently by the children and sometimes used as a basis for writing.

As children begin to confidently apply phonics in order to become independent readers, there is a move away from group reading to whole class reading. This is now well established from the summer term in year 1.


Whole class reading structure

  1. Go through key vocabulary from the text (ask the children to say each word). Key words may also be written on the board.
  2. Read the text and children echo back. If it is a long text, the teacher may just read a section without the children echoing (but still following along). Check understanding where appropriate by asking retrieval questions after a longer section.
  3. Children practise reading themselves - this may involve partners reading a sentence and partner echoing it back then reading the next one. It could be a small group  reading the text in unison, etc.
  4. Children answer questions based on text (could be a mixture of VIPERS or focusing on one particular skill).
  5. As an extension, children use some of the key vocabulary in a sentence of their own (to check understanding).
  6. Pre-reads with weaker readers are sometimes relevant, too, when they wouldn't otherwise be able to access the text.

If we are focusing on a particular skill, one lesson might involve a shorter/easier text where the teacher models how to answer a question and the children write this down then apply it to a similar question. They may then find a partner and read out their answer so that the partner can magpie ideas and improve their own and vice versa. The next lesson would then be a harder text where the children then answer the same types of questions more independently (may still provide support for weaker readers).  


KS2 have a whole class reading session at least three times every week for approximately 30 minutes. Texts are chosen based on the purpose of each session. For example, if the purpose is to retrieve information from a piece of non-fiction, then a text will be chosen that either recalls information learnt in the foundation subjects (or science), or that introduces the key vocabulary for the next sequence of learning. E.g. this half-term, our science focused on evolution so the week before we read a text about human evolution and focused on introducing the children to the key vocabulary. Texts are chosen that provide a challenge to all pupils and a pre-read is conducted for those who may require extra provision to understand the text in the main session (often by a TA during intervention times). Sometimes a less challenging text may be chosen when introducing a new question type so that the children can focus on knowing how to answer a question before then applying this to more challenging texts. 

During writing sessions, a model text is used and this will often be introduced to the children at the start of the sequence of learning through echo reading so that we can pick apart its key features, structure, vocabulary, etc.


We believe in the value of books and the pleasure they can give. By ensuring a sound foundation in phonics, focussing on decoding and improving reading fluency we work hard to give children the skill to read. By using a wide range of texts, we aim to then give them the will read and to inspire their interest and enthusiasm in books and reading. 



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