Teaching of Reading

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We have a whole school embedded approach to the teaching of reading, at Dallimore. This is based upon an approach called ‘inference’ which is grounded in educational research. All staff model and teach the skills that good readers use to understand what they read. Texts are chosen carefully to support learning through shared, guided, cross curricular and individual reading.

During each term, whole class novels are read to children. These are selected to compliment the writing curriculum. Along side the curriculum novels/ stories, regular story time sessions develop and encourage a love of books and reading.

What is inference in reading?

From Key Stage 2 onwards, inference is at the centre of the reading curriculum. Skills of inference are needed not just to be able to ‘read between the lines,’ to detect the unspoken hidden meanings that enrich overall understanding of a text or to draw one’s own personal conclusions about a text.

Progression through the phases

In EYFS early reading skills start in the nursery through singing and nursery rhymes etc and phonics sessions start in the summer term (or sooner). Reception children have daily phonics lessons to support the development of children’s decoding and blending skills. The Song of Sounds scheme is used throughout to provide an enjoyable and well-structured phonics scheme.

<— Click on the Song of Sound Logo to find out more

Every classroom in EYFS, and the outdoor area, has a book area so that books are always available for children to explore during child led learning time. We also have a book based curriculum in which our focus book changes weekly and each book supports the topic focus for the half term. There is a daily story time and children read one to one with an adult at least weekly and children are chosen to take books home for bedtime stories.


Phonics Play is used to compliment the daily phonics sessions in both EYFS and KS1 and this can be accessed at home.

In KS1, daily phonics lessons take place using Song of Sounds and this builds upon the skills learnt within the foundation stage. Guided reading sessions take place up to 4 times per week. There is a mix of whole class and small group sessions depending on the needs of classes and individual children. Children are encouraged to read individually at home and change reading books once per week. Children are rewarded with ‘Reading at Home’ certificates.

Throughout their time in KS1 children may also access Reading Recovery. Reading Recovery is a school-based literacy programme designed for the lowest achieving children aged five or six, which enables them to reach age-expected levels within 12-20 weeks. It involves a short series of daily one-to-one lessons for 30 minutes with a specially trained teacher. Reading Recovery is different for every child starting from what the child knows and what the child needs to learn next.

In UKS2, reading lessons are based around the whole class texts that have been mapped over the course of the year to work alongside the writing curriculum or topic focus. Daily lessons include a retrieval practice quiz, a vocabulary check and a range of VIPERS questions. Retrieval practice quizzes and vocabulary checks are used to support struggling readers to get the gist of the text and to ensure they have a good opportunity to understand newly read content. Teachers also model the skills of good readers when reading aloud to the class. Children also have access to Read Theory – an app in which children earn knowledge points for completing short quizzes. 

Our library

We are lucky to have a lovely school library. This is timetabled throughout the week so that classes can have time to choose additional books to read at home. Children can choose from a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction books and these compliment the school reading scheme and the class libraries.