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Approach to Reading


We believe in both the importance of developing children’s discrete word- reading skills and comprehension -  and the need to engender a love of books and reading. 


Our approach to the teaching of reading encompasses the key competencies in reading: 

• word reading skills- both phonic decoding skills and the quick recognition of ‘common exception words’ (tricky words) 

• comprehension- including retrieving information, summarising, making inferences and using evidence from the text to justify these. 


We use the Conceptual Model for Teaching Reading (see below) which outlines that in order to make any inroads into comprehension children must be able to:  

- have a secure understanding of the vocabulary within the text and will be unable to infer they do not understand the meanings of the words on the page.


- Predict 

- Clarify  

- Question 

- Summarise 

- Analyse 

- Empathise, connect and compare


Reading is sequenced throughout each week to include sessions that focus on the teaching of fluency, vocabulary and the Big Ding question - which involves children drawing from all of the components of the conceptual model. Reading for Pleasure is built into the week ensuring that children have the opportunity to enjoy books and reading. 


The act of comprehension is the result of many cognitive processes working together and at Gatehouse we believe that children are best supported in developing their skills when they are taught as a hierarchy – or journey – of skills. 


Reading is mapped out across the school through Unit long term plans to ensure that each skill is taught explicitly in line with the National Curriculum. Unit medium term plans are created whereby teachers link reading to writing.


Reading is taught as a session daily through discussion as well as written tasks, with each unit beginning with Decoding and Fluency, followed by Book Talk and Vocabulary activities (see Vocabulary Strategy). The explicit teaching of higher-level vocabulary includes a variety of strategies and models, including the Frayer model, as well as learning about words' origins and morphology.    


Pupils are taught a range of strategies for both answering and asking questions about a text through the use of Question Stems, Question Organisers, Question Matrix, and activities such as Quescussions. Each week concludes with Reading for Pleasure activities.  

Accelerated Reader


Pupils in KS2 use Accelerated Reader, which is a powerful tool for monitoring and managing independent reading while promoting reading for pleasure. It is designed to encourage independent reading at a child's own level and pace.

(See Accelerated Reader in Children Section on our website for further information about how this works at Gatehouse)



At Gatehouse, we want to promote a love of reading. We believe if teachers show they love a story, the children are likely to respond in the same way. We share stories with the children everyday using the Top 100 Recommended Reads for each group from 'The Reader Teacher'.

Reading rewards in KS1.mp4

Still image for this video