Avening Primary School


 At Avening Primary School, our aim is for children to develop a life-long love of books and reading. Phonics is an important skill that we use to teach children to learn to read and we place high importance on teaching how to phonetically decode through daily phonics lessons.   

Outside the phonics lessons children will practice their phonics skills when reading in guided reading lessons. The books they read, and activities they carry out, are tailored to their reading skills along with phonics that they are learning. This regular practice helps children apply their skills and become confident and fluent readers. 

All of our early reading books are closely matched to the phonics the children have been taught, enabling us to reinforce the graphemes which need further practice.

 Reading – Comprehension

 Reading is a key element of English which underpins the ability to write effectively for many different purposes and it is a source of stimulation for creative thinking and imagining. We develop pleasure in reading by sharing with children a wide-range of stories, poems, plays and non-fiction.

 During guided reading sessions, teachers across the school use three levels of questioning:


1. Literal

  • Meaning is found directly in the text
  • Who, what, when, where questions – children can point to the answer in the text
  • Find and locate information to answer questions
  • Find different language features (e.g. examples of alliteration or similes)
  • Vocabulary focused questions (e.g. synonyms and antonyms).

 2. Inferential

  • The exact answer cannot be found directly in the text. Children must ‘read between the lines’ to interpret what is in the text.
  • How or why questions about a character’s feelings or behaviour
  • Predict what happened before or after an event
  • Predict how a character might react
  • Compare characters, times and places
  • Consider the morals/themes and the significance of a text
  • Interpret figurative language
  • Organisational features – why has the text been ordered or structured in that way?

 3. Evaluative – including personal response

  • Did you like/ dislike it? Why? Which bit?
  • Demonstrate empathy for characters, happenings, ideas
  • Is the text effective? How/ why?
  • What is the impact of the reader of this word/ sentence/ chapter/ book?
  • How else could the information be presented?
  • Is it fact or opinion?
  • Is the information in keeping with similar information in other sources?
  • Is the character right or wrong? What would you do?
  • Can you link this with another book you have read?

 The questions teachers write for discussions and follow-up tasks will fit into the following categories, linked to the levels of questioning detailed above:

    • Inference – requiring children to think about what the author is trying to show-not-tell. In KS2, these will often require a Point, Evidence, Explain structured answer where children are expected to justify their answers with evidence from within the text.
    • Retrieval – requiring children to find specific information from within the text.
    • Choice – requiring children to think about why the author has chosen to use a particular word or phrase and how meaning is enhanced though this choice.
    • Grammar – requiring children to find particular grammatical aspects or to think about why these are used within the text.
    • Structure – requiring children to think about how information / narrative content is related and contributes to meaning as a whole.
    • Summarise – requiring children to identify key information from a text in order to summarise paragraph(s).
    • Predict – requiring children to think about what might happen next using details stated or implied within the text.

These questions may be presented under these subtitles to ensure children know the type of answer expected.



In EYFS, children are introduced to discussing stories in a small group when they are ready – usually from the Spring term. Daily story time is an important part of our provision in EYFS.

 In Key Stage 1 and 2, guided reading sessions usually take place four times a week for approximately 30 minutes. 

Each week, children from Year 1 will usually complete the following:

  • One guided reading session with an adult
    • One follow-up task
    • One Independent task
    • This should include time to respond to marking by teacher and completion of follow-up task
    • This may involve a ‘What’s in the News’ comprehension at KS2
    • In KS1, this may involve a phonics game, laptops or a listening station
  • Reading for pleasure
    • In KS1, this may involve having a story read as a group
    • In KS2, this time may be used to pre-read text in preparation for guided reading session with an adult
    • This may involve reading to ‘reading buddies’ - a much loved feature of our reading sessions by the children where older children read with younger.

In addition to regular guided reading sessions, in Key Stage 1 and 2, class comprehension tasks are planned. These questions will also fit into the previously mentioned categories, with clear expectations of the answer required. Through this method, all children get to experience rich and challenging texts, and the children are able to encourage, challenge and inspire one another.

 Our school library is central to our provision and all children have the opportunity to borrow books each week, guided by our volunteer librarians. The library is open to parents once a week.

 The school participates in special days, such as World Book Day, in order to celebrate books and the pleasure to be had from reading.

 Parents are expected to listen to their child read aloud at least four times a week.