At Meadowside, the teaching of reading has three strands.

Talk for Reading A Guide to Teaching Reading Across the Primary School, Corbett and Strong(2022)


At Meadowside, we value reading as a crucial life skill. By the time children leave us, they read confidently for meaning and regularly enjoy reading for pleasure. Our readers are equipped with the tools to tackle unfamiliar vocabulary. We encourage our children to see themselves as readers for both pleasure and purpose.

Because we believe teaching every child to read is so important, we have a Reading Leader who drives the early reading programme in our school.

To teach comprehension, at Meadowside, we have adopted the Talk for Reading (T4R), as our main approach to teaching reading comprehension. This follows Pie Corbett’s principles and is currently being implemented across Meadowside, from N2 – Y6. It consists of 3 phases:

  • Introduction to a text/s
  • Investigation of that text
  • Independent understanding

Teachers deliver two reading units per term (in EYFS) and two per half-term (in Y1 to Y6), each unit lasts around 12 – 15 lessons.

Learning to read sits alongside our phonics strategies ensuring that children learn to read at an age appropriate level. We ensure that books are well matched to learners needs and phonetic understanding.

Finally, we strive to develop a reading culture. The cornerstone to developing a reading culture is stems from a combination of our teachers passion for reading and sharing great books and authors. To do this:

  • Teachers read aloud to their classes daily
  • reading is embedded cross curricularly in other subjects
  • vocabulary is taught across the curriculum with texts being key to it being used in context
  • Independent reading is supported and encouraged daily in school and at home.
  • Book recommendations are made to pupils in classes. Teachers share with their classes what they are reading.
  • Staff  and children talk about which books they love.
  • Our library is open weekly for children to visit with their parents after school
  • Children visit our library weekly in class to choose new books to read for pleasure in school and at home.



  1. Language Development

Reading is essential to language development. Talk for Reading is an essential tool in the development of oracy for our pupils. “Oral comprehension is the best way to develop understanding” [1]. Vocabulary is explicitly planned and taught and well matched to pupils needs. Talk for Reading allows this language to be read in context. Oracy is key to these sessions and the development of oracy supported in their delivery. Paired work and dialogical teaching are its foundation. Dialogical comprehension sits at the heart of our talk for reading strategies.

  1. Knowledge

The Literacy Company Pathways to progress are used to map out the progression in Reading for children at Meadowside.  Children are taught the key knowledge as highlighted for each year group within the national curriculum. In the Talk for Reading process, this is completed in three stages.

Introduction phase.

During the introduction phase, the children will gain a clear understanding of a text. Vocabulary is explicitly taught. The disciplinary knowledge of how we begin to understand a text is introduced. Strategies are used to activate prior knowledge and build schema to the new knowledge to be taught in this unit.

Investigation phase

During the investigation phase, the children are taught the displinary reading knowledge as they begin to ‘dig deep into a text’.  This allows children to revisit the key knowledge taught through spaced learning and also then apply it in context.

Independent understanding

To secure the taught knowledge, children are encouraged to apply what they have learnt through independent practice.


  1. Skills

Independent practice is key in our children developing their reading skill and becoming. Reading is encouraged as a key past time. Children need to clock up considerable reading milage.

The talk for reading approach gives plenty of time to apply skills independently.

Reading is built in across the curriculum to give the children the opportunities to use the skills that they have learnt in their independent writing.

  1. Attitudes and values

Reading efficacy is key to the children developing in their reading ability. We want children from EYFS onwards to see themselves as readers. Parent workshops are used in foundation stage to show parents how to encourage their children to see themselves as readers, love books and find pleasure in reading stories. Throughout the school, children are talked to as readers regularly and informally discussing what they are reading with staff.

Children are encouraged to have a growth mindset. In reading lessons and our weekly ‘Reader of the Week’ awards are given to celebrate effort and resilience. Dojo points are awarded for these reasons in classes too.  We encourage our pupils who struggle with reading that thing they can’t do, they can’t do…yet!!!

Reading is central to the development of critical thinking and Talk for reading as an approach encourages children to think critically, not accepting everything at face value. High quality non fiction tasks are used throughout school to encourage and teach these skills.

  1. Developing a love of Reading

Having secure understanding of phonics is crucial in developing the reading fluency to find the joy that comes from reading. However, we also understand that children need to enjoy learning phonics. We are keen to ensure that all children are encouraged and enjoy our phonics sessions.

 ‘Reading for pleasure is the single most important indicator of a child’s success.’ (OECD 2002)

‘The will influences the skill and vice versa.’ (OECD 2010)

We value reading for pleasure highly and work hard as a school to grow our Reading for Pleasure pedagogy.


  • We read to children every day. We choose these books carefully as we want children to experience a wide range of books, including books that reflect the children at Meadowside and our local community as well as books that open windows into other worlds and cultures.
  • Every classroom has an inviting book corner that encourages a love for reading. We curate these books and talk about them to entice children to read a wide range of books.
  • In Nursery/Reception, children have access to the reading corner every day in their free flow time and the books are continually refreshed.
  • Children from Reception – Y3 have a home reading record. The parent/carer records comments to share with the adults in school and the adults will write in this on a regular basis to ensure communication between home and school.
  • As the children progress through the school, they are encouraged to share and reflect on their own reading through Class Dojo and to keep a list of the books/authors that they have read.
  • The school library is made available for classes to use at protected times. Children across the school have regular opportunities to engage with a wide range of Reading for Pleasure events (author visits, workshops, and national events).


SEND and Inclusion

The Reading framework makes it clear why this is so important: ‘Children (with SEND) have to navigate the same written language, unlock the same alphabetic code, learn the same skills, and learn and remember the same body of knowledge as their peers. It is a critical skill in helping them prepare for adulthood.’ (The reading framework: Teaching the foundations of literacy, DfE 2021. Through task adaptation and scaffolding, we attempt to ensure all children have access to this high quality reading teaching.

Task Adaptation

We use to support any child that has a SEND that requires adaptations in order to access the learning in reading. Some children with SEND will require very few or very small adaptations to the main scheme (to meet their sensory needs, for example). However, we highlight the strategies that other pupils need on their Pupil Passport. Examples of task adaptation are as such:

  • Oral responses recorded
  • Different texts that allow them to read independently used for independent practice
  • Peer support with the physical reading of a text



As part of our quality first teaching of SEND, scaffold is one of the key teaching strategies. However, our children with SEND do need additional scaffolding both in phonics lessons and also within provision and other lessons where they are applying these phonic strategies. Examples of support are as such:

  • Modeling of work specifically for a small group of children.
  • Sound mats highlighting specific vocabulary for a task
  • Broken down instructions for a task.
  • Task organiser
  • Use of concrete resources (letter cards etc.)
  • Additional focused explanations
  • Precision teaching of key phonic knowledge.
  • Peer support.

Additional strategies for pupils will be highlighted as a part of the SEND strategy meetings and in consultation with other professionals. These form part of a child’s pupil passport and support teachers in removing barriers for learning. Dyslexia screening is completed for all pupils in year 3 and this can lead to further intervention for those pupils.


All children who are working below age related expectations read 1:1 with an adult daily.

Additional specific research based reading interventions are used throughout school to help children catch up. These include:

  • -x-Code
  • Lexonics
  • Lexia
  • Switch on


Formative assessment is an integral part of daily lessons and is first and foremost the essence of helping making our pupils make instant progress in their reading. This is done through a mixture of high-level questioning, discussion, Oracy activities and written work.

We use live marking and feedback to enable teachers to target next steps for pupils effectively. Opportunities for children to review and improve their learning are embedded into each lesson. Children are given the opportunity to evaluate their own work, and that of their peers. During and on completion of a piece of work, the teacher responds, identifying areas for development. Children’s work is valued, celebrated and displayed around the class and school.

 Formative assessment. Throughout NGRT tests are used in year 3. NFER tests are completed throughout year 1-6 in February and June with Question Level Analysis for specific groups informing planning in our reading lessons. End of Key Stage Data is used and analysed and curriculum adapted to the needs of our pupils.

Tracking of key groups allows for a better structure to learning and allows the Curriculum coordinator to further adapt their teaching of reading where needed.

Quality First Teaching

Quality first teaching is central to the teaching of all subjects at Meadowside. Our understanding of cognitive science and research-based strategies means that we ensure these strategies are used in the teaching of reading. (Appendix 1)

Monitoring of the policy

The monitoring cycle is set out by the senior leadership team at the beginning of each academic year. Monitoring includes book looks, lesson visits, learning walks, pupil/staff voice surveys. All monitoring undertaken serves to improve our practice, with the aim of bettering the outcomes for our pupils. The reading lead has half a day every other week to work with the Standards Lead to ensure compliance with the policy.


[1] Reading for meaning project, Clarke, Hulme, Snowling and Truelove


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