Creating a reading school


This week we take a look at how to create a reading school. In a change to our usual approach we pose a number of questions for you to ask about the organisation and management of reading in your school.

Reading Spaces

What do the reading spaces in school look like? How are the used? Who uses them?

  • Consider library, classroom reading spaces, outdoor reading spaces etc.,

  • Involve children in a critical appraisal of reading spaces. Where do they prefer to read?

  • Is the quality and range of book stock regularly reviewed and updated?

Guided Reading

Is effective guided reading taking place?

  • Is there an understanding of the different organisation needed in guided reading for children at level 3 and above?

  • Are the resources appropriate? Are they will managed?

  • Is guided reading taught by the teacher or by teaching assistants? If the latter, what training is provided?

Independent group reading

Do children have opportunities to read purposefully and independently in groups? Have you considered techniques such as:

  • Reciprocal teaching

  • Literature circles


How is comprehension taught?

  • Is there a clearly articulated understanding of the difference between testing and teaching comprehension?

  • Are children explicitly aware of the strategies they use?

Reading Practice

What opportunities do children have to practise reading?

  • Are these opportunities regular, sustained, purposeful?

  • Do these opportunities include reading across the curriculum?

Adults as good models of reading

Are children read to throughout KS1 and KS2?

  • How frequently?

  • Who reads to them?

  • What sorts of reading material is selected?

  • Is the value of reading aloud to children fully appreciated?

Home and School working together

What home school links are in place to support reading?

  • Are home school reading records constructive or a vehicle for policing reading?

  • Are opportunities to share knowledge and experience mutually respectful/valued?

The Reading School and the Community

Does the school get involved in reading practices with the wider community?

  • Local community?

  • Beyond the local community?

  • Celebration of children’s achievements?

 How is reading managed?

  • Who manages the reading and tracks progress?

  • What interventions are provided?

  • Is the effectiveness evaluated?

These prompts are based on a presentation given by Nikki Gamble, Independent Literacy Consultant to teachers in Coventry, December 2012.

Rachel Clarke and Charlotte Reed – Directors, Primary English Education Consultancy Limited



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