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Reading Guidance


We will approach the teaching of reading in several different ways:


Reading as part of the English lessons


Reading all sorts of varied texts will be an integral part of the English lessons, where we will encourage children to read for pleasure, teach them how to analyse texts for deeper meaning and communicate their thoughts and opinions about what they are reading. Reading will also always form part of the writing process.


Guided Reading


Children will be divided into Guided Reading Groups and will have a Guided Reading session once a week. Our Guided Reading structure is based upon the practice of ‘reciprocal reading’.  where children are gradually taught to take on group roles to explore and find meaning in texts. Reciprocal reading sessions emphasise teamwork and support independent comprehension skills.

In each session the students are assigned different roles in the group and performs set tasks. Here are some example roles and the part they might play in a reciprocal reading session:


  • The Leader decides who will do what. They are in charge! The Leader introduces the text and must try to ensure everyone is joining in and following.
  • The Predictor asks all the readers to make predictions about the text based on information they already know. What do you think will happen? What will happen next? What will this character do now?
  • The Clarifier helps the group to identify confusing words, sentences and ideas. They help the group to understand the text. It can be useful to ask each reader to highlight confusing words, sentences and/or passages for discussion as soon as the reading is over.
  • The Summariser helps the group to identify the most important ideas in the text and what the text is mainly about. They provide a summary of the text.
  • The Questioner asks questions about the text. With training, the questions will help the children develop their higher order thinking.
  • The children work together, play their different roles, and in the end they gain a more thorough understanding of the reading text, while also gaining valuable teamwork skills.


Reading – what we would like you do at home


  • It is well known that with spellings, reading and times tables children achieve far better in school if they are supported in regular practice by the adults at home. Because of this we ask that you listen to your child read on a daily basis.
  • As a parent of three, I appreciate that parents are very busy in the evenings and weekends, but if you can try to find the time to hear your children read it will really help them out.
  • For those of you who feel unconfident in helping your child with reading at home, I have found some advice for parents on how to:
    • make the sessions more enjoyable,
    • make the sessions more effective in developing your child’s reading and
    • create a more positive attitude to reading.


1. Choose a quiet time

Set aside a quiet time with no distractions. Ten to fifteen minutes is usually long enough. It could be part of your bedtime routine.

2. Make reading enjoyable

Make reading an enjoyable experience. Sit with your child. Try not to pressurise if he or she is reluctant. If your child loses interest then do something else.

3. Maintain the flow

If your child mispronounces a word do not interrupt immediately. Instead allow opportunity for self-correction. It is better to tell a child some unknown words to maintain the flow rather than insisting on trying to build them all up from the sounds of the letters. If your child does try to ‘sound out’ words, encourage the use of letter sounds rather than ‘alphabet names’. If you need help with this, please let me know.

4. Be positive

If your child says something nearly right to start with that is fine. Don’t say ‘No. That’s wrong,’ but ‘Let’s read it together’ and point to the words as you say them. Boost your child’s confidence with constant praise for even the smallest achievement

5. Success is the key

Parents anxious for a child to progress can mistakenly give a child a book that is too difficult. This can have the opposite effect to the one they are wanting. Remember ‘Nothing succeeds like success’. Until your child has built up his or her confidence, it is better to keep to easier books. Struggling with a book with many unknown words is pointless. Flow is lost, text cannot be understood and children can easily become reluctant readers

6. Visit the Library

Encourage your child to use the public library regularly.

7. Regular practice

Try to read with your child on most school days. ‘Little and often’ is best. Teachers have limited time to help your child with reading.

8. Communicate

Your child has a reading diary to link home and school. Try to communicate regularly with positive comments and any concerns. Your child will then know that you are interested in their progress and that you value reading. Remember also we have a pages for prizes reward scheme in school.

9. Talk about the books

There is more to being a good reader than just being able to read the words accurately. Just as important is being able to understand what has been read. Always talk to your child about the book; about the pictures, the characters, how they think the story will end, their favourite part. You will then be able to see how well they have understood and you will help them to develop good comprehension skills.

10. Variety is important

Remember children need to experience a variety of reading materials egg. picture books, hard backs, comics, magazines, poems, and information books.


Here is a link to more information to help you with home reading https://www.frederickbird.coventry.sch.uk/parents/reading-at-home/


Book Bands and changing reading books


The children will continue to work through the Book Bands reading system until they become free readers. The teachers in class will decide whether a child moves onto the next level, and will base their decision on whether a child is decoding the words successfully (using their sounding out skills to accurately read words) and, more importantly, whether they are showing a good level of comprehension of the text. We will assess this in class through Guided Reading and 1:1 Reading.


What are we looking for in Year 3 to show that a child is decoding the words successfully?


  • They can break words down into their sounds (phonemes) c-a-t or th-a-n
  • They can combine those sounds confidently into whole words.
  • They can read age appropriate common words without sounding out.


What are we looking for in Year 3 to show that a child has a good level of comprehension of the text they are reading?


  • They can discuss words that capture their interest and imagination.
  • They understand what they read by checking that the text makes sense and are able to discuss their understanding of words.
  • They understand what they read by asking questions to improve their understanding of a text.
  • They can infer characters' feelings, thoughts and motives from their actions, justifying their ideas with sections or lines from the text.
  • They can predict what might happen from details in the text.
  • They can identify main ideas drawn from within one paragraph and summarise these.
  • They can explain how language, structure, and presentation help them to understand a text, including paragraphs, headings, sub-headings and inverted commas to punctuate speech.
  • They can discuss what they think about books, poems and other texts that are read to them or they read themselves, taking turns and listening to what others say.


There will be an opportunity for the children to change their reading books every day. The children will change their reading books with an adult, when the teacher is confident that the child can decode fluently and shows a good level of comprehension. Independence in changing books will be encouraged as the year progresses.