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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 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


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. Texts are chosen carefully and a Mapping Potential is completed as part of the planning process to ensure that connections are made with other areas of the curriculum, pupils' wider knowledge, and previous learning. 


Reading is taught as a session daily through discussion as well as written tasks, with each unit beginning with 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.