Henwick Primary School




Here at Henwick, we use a whole-class guided reading approach where rich and challenging texts are at the centre of our practice.

An assortment of reading skills are taught alongside the text which provide the children with the skills to comprehend and understand a variety of genres.

Why this approach?

  • It is a focused approach where reading skills are explicitly taught.
  • It expands pupils' vocabulary and deepens their understanding of the texts they are reading.
  • Children are able to access rich and challenging texts, with the opportunity to learn from each other and discuss different perspectives.
  • This approach enables verbal discussions and written responses.
  • This approach increases the children’s stamina for reading.

How does it work?

Whole-class reading follows a similar structure to other taught curriculum subjects; there is one learning intention for the whole class based around the same text and the desired reading skill(s) to be taught.

Over the course of the week, the children complete a range of activities that are devised by the teacher depending on the themes and structure of the chosen text. These activities focus on the core reading skills such as summarising, sequencing, retrieval, inference, prediction and vocabulary.

At the end of the week or sequence of lessons, the children complete a ‘big question.’ This ‘big question’ is shared with the children at the beginning of each reading sequence and it provides the children with the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of the text. In addition, it is a combination of the learning throughout the week – a learning journey.

Whole-class reading takes place from year 2 to year 6. Children in year 1 focus on their phonics, and in the summer terms, they are gradually exposed to this approach.

Text Selection

The choice of text is fundamental.  Where possible, texts are selected that link to our topics, which further supports our cross-curricular learning.

Throughout the year, each year group will cover a range of genres including narratives, information texts, newspaper reports, letters and poetry.