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West Didsbury CE Primary School

West Didsbury CE Primary School

Guided Reading

Guided Reading can be a powerful way of supporting children to make progress in reading, providing a regular and supportive time for children to encounter engaging texts that will resonate with their interests and capture their imagination. Over the course of a school year, children will have the chance to encounter a wide range of genres, some of which will be unfamiliar. All this helps to broaden their experience, helps them to form opinions about books and authors, and gives them the opportunity to use literary language. They will also have the satisfaction of enjoying a whole book from beginning to end.


What is Guided Reading?

Guided Reading is a teaching technique teacher use to support children with reading.  It involves an adult working with a small group of students who demonstrate similar reading behaviours and can all read similar levels of texts. It is a strategy that supports students to discover the meaning of a text for themselves.  Guided reading encourages use of problem-solving strategies to figure out words they don’t know, deal with difficult sentence structure, and understand concepts or ideas they have never before encountered in print.


What does a Guided Reading session look like?

Guided Reading sessions are led by the class teacher or teaching assistant and can last 20-25 minutes. There can be up to 6 children in a Guided Reading group, and they are all reading the same book (range of text types — fiction, non-fiction, play scripts, newspaper etc.).

Years 1 to year 4 have a guided reading carousel. See the link below for the type of reading activities that the children engage with while the guided reading session.

Years 5 and 6 have some of their guided reading sessions as whole class. Whole-class reading sessions means that children of all attainment bands are immersed in the same high-quality literature and the discussions that these texts promote.


Structure of a Guided Reading session

 Book Introduction

  • Looking at the cover and the blurb
  • Making predictions
  • Locating and explaining new vocabulary


Strategy Check

  • Recapping reading strategies that they can use to help them understand the text
  • These are strategies that we encourage the children to use at home too!
  • KS1 strategies are weighted towards decoding and include
    • Using pictures as prompts
    • Using phonics to blend new words
    • Segmenting up longer words
    • Missing out the word and reading to the end of the sentence and returning to it
  • KS2 Strategies often lean towards comprehension and include
    • Skim reading for key information
    • Cross-checking by using a number of strategies
    • Inference (making a sensible guess)


Independent Reading

  • A reading focus is introduced.
  • Children are given a chapter or a number of pages to read independently while the adult circulates listening to individuals.


Return and Respond to text

  • The adult brings the group together and returns to the session focus.
  • Through targeted questioning a discussion around the pages that have just be read takes place.
  • At the end of this discussion session, the adult returns to the focus and the children recap what they’ve learnt