What is reading?

Reading is making meaning from print. It requires that we:

  • Identify the words in print – a process called word recognition
  • Construct an understanding from them – a process called comprehension
  • Coordinate identifying words and making meaning so that reading is automatic and accurate – an achievement called fluency.

As children move through EYFS and KS1, they develop their skills in decoding. By the time they reach KS2 most children have mastered their phonic skills and the balance moves towards making meaning from the text and developing fluency.

Our approach to teaching Reading at All Saints Primary School is through two main strands: ‘word reading and fluency’ and ‘comprehension’. We use a rigorous and consistent approach to the teaching of reading throughout school which builds upon prior learning as well as developing appropriate new skills.

Developing ‘Word reading’ and ‘Fluency.’

Within school we follow the Read Write Inc early reading program. Read Write Inc. Phonics teaches children to read accurately and fluently with good comprehension. They learn to form each letter, spell correctly, and compose their ideas step-by-step.

Children learn the English alphabetic code: first they learn one way to read the 40+ sounds and blend these sounds into words, then learn to read the same sounds with alternative graphemes.

They experience success from the very beginning. Lively phonic books are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and ‘tricky’ words and, as children re-read the stories, their fluency increases.

Along with a thought-provoking introduction, prompts for thinking out loud and discussion, children are helped to read with a storyteller’s voice.

To find out more; here is a helpful insight into what Read Write Inc looks like in practise (Link to PowerPoint)

Developing comprehension skills.

Comprehension skills are split into eight separate types which link to the end of key stage content domains and national curriculum objectives. The eight comprehension skills are:

  1. Vocabulary
  2. Inference
  3. Prediction
  4. Explanation
  5. Retrieval
  6. Summarising
  7. Sequencing
  8. Comparing

What reading program do we follow in school?

As a school we teach guided reading through a whole class approach. This gives the children the opportunity to read independently, as a whole class, in pairs or in small groups. Children are able to listen to adult’s model reading correctly; using expression and intonation. Not only that, but children are able to discuss the text in detail; unpicking the finer details and having the opportunity to express and share their own opinions and thoughts about the text.

Benefits of whole class reading.

  • Children have the opportunity to encounter new words and enriching vocabulary – you experience words that would almost never come up in conversation.
  •  Helps children appreciate the beauty and rhythm of language
  • Children can enjoy and understand texts beyond their own reading ability.
  • Enhances imagination and observation skills
  • Improves critical and creative thinking skills
  • Expands a child’s general knowledge and understanding of the world
  • Empathy is developed as they make connections with the experiences of the characters in the text and with each other
  • Fluent, expressive reading is modelled
  • Enables them to make meaning from more complex texts
  • Conditions the brain to associate reading with pleasure
  • Plants a desire to read


“The whole class read, whether it’s a longer novel or a picture book, is an essential part of the Primary school classroom. It is one very important way that we can model our enthusiasm for reading and for books and create magic and excitement around the special joy of reading a good book. Adults enthusiasm for reading is one of the most important things as research shows that it has more of a positive effect on reading achievement and the life-long love of reading than any other reading intervention.” (Rupert Knight 2019).

Reading spines.

Each class has a defined set of core texts. This reading spine is intended to offer our children a core bank of texts that ensures they experience a range of high quality texts and authors during their time at school. Teachers use these in a range of ways, as whole class texts to share, during VIPERS sessions, as part of their literacy schemes and in connection with our topics.

Did you know?

If you can’t read 5% of words in a text the meaning becomes lost. This is why it is so important to read with your child to help them overcome unfamiliar or tricky words, so that they understand what they are reading.


Helpful documents:

How to support you child at home with reading.




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