Whole Class Guided Reading
We believe that there are essential elements of whole-class guided reading which benefit all pupils. Whole-class reading sessions mean that children of all attainment bands are immersed in the same high-quality literature and the discussions that these texts promote. Whole class reading at Church Lench CE First School takes place on average 4 times a week in all classes. A variety of texts are used including stories, non- fiction, picture texts, graphic novels, poetry, magazines and newspaper reports that will often link with a class topic.
Rationale for whole class guided reading
1. Children learn from each other and so mixed-attainment pairs or groups are often encouraged , to allow for frequent, paired discussion. It is essential that less confident readers are exposed to the high-quality reasoning of more confident readers and become part of these discussions.
2. The text chosen should provide a clear challenge for all members of the class. Often the texts that are chosen are slightly beyond the reach of our higher attaining readers; that is to say, beyond the reach of their independent reading of it and comprehending of it. However there are times when the teachers will use a simpler text or books without any text to inspire pupils’ imagination, encourage the use of interesting vocabulary and develop comprehension skills.
3. When reading, our teachers model good use of intonation, speed, movement, volume and expression. Children pick up good reading styles from teachers’ performances. Eventually, they start to emulate this in their reading and performances.
4. Teachers actively monitor pace, to ensure high levels of engagement throughout the lesson. Reading and listening to reading for long periods of time can be challenging for some children so we ensure that we intersperse longer stints of reading with paired discussions/independent follow-up tasks to keep pupils level of engagement high and their learning as active as possible.
5. Teachers use targeted and open-ended questioning. Targeted questioning is not only good for Assessment for Learning but also a good way to ensure all children engage with the lesson – if they don’t know who will be asked to provide a response then they are more likely to consider the question and make good use of their talking partner.
6. When discussing literature, the teacher models, and expects from children, high-quality responses with evidence and explanations. Children need to be able to say a response before they can write one; developing this skill at primary is vital for success as they transfer to middle and secondary school. Teachers model and encourage children to make good use of sentence stems and vocabulary that has been written to engage the reader.
7. All follow-up tasks are carefully thought out to provide challenge for all children and support for those who need it. Follow-up tasks are a good way for children to reflect on what they have read and an opportunity for teachers to observe/assess the individual understanding of a piece. Tasks can include verbal discussions, role play, written responses in groups, pairs or individually. Some tasks are differentiated to support and challenge the pupils. There are many key skills that children learn from whole class guided reading including inference, prediction, explaining, retrieval and summarising which become increasingly more challenging through the year groups.
Pupil’s independent reading books are chosen from our book banded section at their reading level. Children change their books once they have been shared with teaching staff and / or with adults at home. Staff who hear children read at school will comment in the child’s reading diary and the same is expected when parents/ carers hear their child read. Our school expectation is that children will read their book at home at least 4 times a week.
In school, class 1 pupils are heard 3 times per week, Class 2 pupils at least twice per week, and Class 3 pupils are heard depending on the need of the child. For the more able pupils who are accessing ‘free reader texts’, the reading of texts is assessed through whole class guided reading responses to language in the class texts that are shared. For pupils who are reading from the book banded section, they are heard 1-2 times a week by the teaching staff.
We expect our children to be reading at home at least 4 times per week and having their diary signed by a parent/ carer. The children who read regularly are making more progress across the whole curriculum and this is evidenced through their reading levels, writing and understanding of key concepts. We encourage all children to work together as a class to earn a reward for reading regularly at home. If 80% or more of children in class are reading 4 or more times per week then there is a chance of receiving our Oswald reward. The class with the highest percentage wins Oswald and chooses a class reward such as craft activity, extra playtime, games session, baking. Children who consistently do not read 4 or more times during the week do not have access to the class reward that week.