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Wexham Court

Primary School

Preparing every child to become a successful individual in an ever evolving world

Reading Strategy

Reading in the biggest factor in giving our pupils from Slough the biggest opportunity to be success worldwide.

CORE IDEA: Effective instruction is not about whether we taught it. It’s about whether the students learned it.

What is the intention behind our reading strategy?

Provide disadvantaged children with the best chance of success in later life

Increase the likelihood of reading for pleasure

Widen vocabulary

Increase the likelihood of understanding the next book read

Gain general knowledge and cultural capital

What are the active ingredients of the reading strategy?

  • Vocabulary instruction (EEF – Improving literacy in KS1, KS2; Beck – Bringing words to life) 

  • Deliberate choice of text (Doug Lemov’s 5 plagues) 

  • Modelled and shared reading 

  • Oral language comprehension (York reading for meaning project; Snowling - Developing reading comprehension) 

  • Teaching background knowledge (Wexler – The knowledge gap) 

  • Phonics / fluency and prosody (EEF - Improving literacy in KS2, KS2) 

  • Comprehension strategies (EEF - Improving literacy in KS1, KS2) 

  • Study of etymology and morphology

  • Read to understand others’ emotions and ideas

A structure for teaching reading

  • That units of work should be driven by the text, not by the structure (for example, don’t force ‘prediction’ if that’s not the best use of the text) 

  • That (independent) comprehension of a text has these prerequisites: 

    • The child can read the text fluently 

    • They know the meaning of most of the words 

    • They have sufficient background knowledge 

Phase 1

Teach and talk about background knowledge and vocabulary required to understand the text 

  • Understanding of 7 basic plots

  • Geographical and historical knowledge

  • Plot

  • Setting

  • Characters

  • Vocabulary instruction

Phase 2

Model and get children to practise reading fluency and prosody. 

  • Modelled and shared reading

  • Practise for fluency and prosody

  • Check understanding orally

  • Related fiction, non-fiction, poetry and song lyrics

Phase 3

Comprehension tasks

  • Book talk

  • Map the text / graphic organisers

  • Written responses

  • Quote analysis

  • Emotion graphs

  • Links to other texts

  • Responses to varied question types like in SATs

Story time daily


  • Phonic knowledge / segmenting / blending

  • Reading speed

  • Multidimensional fluency scale

  • STAR

  • Accelerated Reader

  • Teacher assessment

Please find below our diverse and relevant reading spine for children at Wexham Court Primary School.

Ruth Miskin
Jigsaw Flagship
The Laurel Trust
Horticultural Society
Music Mark School