The National Curriculum (2014) states that the programmes of study for reading at key stages 1 and 2 consist of two dimensions:
- word reading
- comprehension (both listening and reading)
It is essential that teaching focuses on developing pupils’ competence in both dimensions; different kinds of teaching are needed for each.
Skilled word reading involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Underpinning both is the understanding that the letters on the page represent the sounds in spoken words. This is why phonics is emphasised in the early teaching of reading to beginners (i.e. unskilled readers) when they start school. See our phonics page for more information.
Good comprehension draws from linguistic knowledge (in particular of vocabulary and grammar) and on knowledge of the world. Comprehension skills develop through pupils’ experience of high-quality discussion with the teacher, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction.
All pupils must be encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum.
Reading widely and often increases pupils’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. Reading also feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious young minds.
Below are some documents containing questions you should aim to use whilst reading with your child to develop their comprehension. Please click on the links below to view.
Reading Comprehension Year 1
Reading Comprehension Year 2
Reading Comprehension Years 3 & 4
Reading Comprehension Years 5 & 6
Top Tips for Reading to Children
The following videos will give some ideas of how and when to read regularly with your child. We hope it helps you and it supports your child’s love for reading!!