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Holy Family Catholic Primary School

Guided & Whole Class Reading


We use the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) statutory framework for Reception and the National Curriculum from Y1-Y6 to teach reading at Holy Family.

Guided Reading - EYFS and KS1

Guided reading is taught daily using a 2-week cycle.  The children are split into reading ability groups. One group reads with the class teacher using books from Ransom Reading Stars Phonics to ensure complete fidelity to the Unlocking Letters and Sounds progression we follow. (Once children progress beyond decodable texts, they move onto our book scheme so that they can continue to progress in their decoding, fluency and comprehension skills to become avid, expert readers.) The other groups participate in independent reading activities e.g. comprehension activities; lowest 20% readers with TA; stop, drop and read sessions with follow-up activities; extra phonics lessons for those with gaps in phonetic knowledge - especially from remote learning - and phonics activities to consolidate learning from that day's phonics. 

With the class teacher the children will:

WEEK 1: Pre-Reading

Introduce the book, look at the phonemes, common exception words and new vocabulary covered in the text. The teacher reads and the children track along with their fingers - left to right. The book is then discussed as a group making connections book-to-self, book-to-world and book-to-book’. Children join in with repeated phrases and explore prosody in reading. 

WEEK 2: Re-Reading

The children take it in turns to read to the group, all children track along with their fingers as they are asked to read in an unspecific order.  Book connections and vocabulary discussions continue as per WEEK 1.

Whole Class Reading - KS2

Using the VIPERS (vocabulary, inference, prediction, explanation, retrieval and summarise) approach to whole class reading, teachers provide a daily 30-minute reading session. On Monday and Friday the class book is used as a whole class reading text and VIPERS questions are explored.  On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday every class explores a variety of fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts or a song/film. At the start of every lesson, teachers introduce/review vocabulary. Moving on to reading the extract as a class, every child is provided with an extract and reads along. Then the children answer questions that link to the specific skills of VIPERS.

Please see the tabs to the right for example planning for EYFS & Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 and other useful documents.


Children’s progress in reading is continually reviewed through phonic assessments, our own Holy Family Reading assessments – which was created using the ‘The Book Band Guide’ by BookLife –, regular one-to-one reading, the Phonics Screening Test at the end of Year 1 and using the statutory assessments at the end of Key Stage One. These results are measured against the reading attainment of children nationally. However, we firmly believe that reading is the key to all learning and so the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the results of the statutory assessments. By teaching high quality phonics and early reading, we give all children the opportunity to enter the magical worlds that books open up to them. We promote reading for pleasure as part of our reading curriculum. Children are encouraged to develop their own love of genres and authors and to review their books objectively. This enhances a deep love of literature across a range of genres, cultures and styles.