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In this short blog post, I introduce the updated Primary English suite of materials for reading. From September 2015 onwards, the new national curriculum has been taught in all year groups across the primary range but it’s not just the old curriculum content that has gone.
For more information about the reading content domains  click KS1 reading here  and KS2 reading here.
The ordinary teacher sat down in her ordinary chair, put on her ordinary glasses and started to read the book. The first thing that the ordinary teacher did was to make a word cloud using the text from the book. The next thing that the ordinary teacher did was to find a way of turning her ordinary children into detectives.
Here at Primary English HQ we LOVE guided reading and if you read our posts regularly you’ll know that we write about it frequently.
We’ve just finished a round of training and conference workshops where we looked at the place of guided reading in the new national curriculum. The Selfish Giant is a wonderful text from our literary heritage that we’re certain your children will love reading as a guided group text. Very simply, when answering comprehension questions children need to assert the point they are making. Children working at level 5 need to be able to locate specific information from across a text and explain how it supports their point.
PEE is a universally useful way to support reading comprehension across the key stages so long as we remember to track it back and think about the developmental stages of the children we’re working with. If you found this post useful you may want to read our posts about AF3 – inference and deduction, guided reading, and guided reading from good to great. Guided reading is the aspect of Primary English teaching that we’re asked about more than any other.
We’re often asked if we have a recipe for the perfect guided reading lesson, something that will get you an outstanding lesson judgement. Imagine choosing a great adjective from a text and then a less effect one to describe James (you could even add one of your own here). This type of question can be tricky to devise but is worth the effort as it facilitates reasoning skills and also makes strong links to children’s prior knowledge.
Just think about the knowledge a child must have in order to tell you why the answer is a persuasive text.
These ideas for moving guided reading from good to great were inspired by the work of Shirley Clarke in her book Active Learning Through Formative Assessment.
You can now download our book of prompts for guided reading absolutely free of charge by visiting our resources page. Some of you may have been following us a while, some of you more recently and we thought it might be useful to reflect on a few of our most searched for and read posts. The rise of Web 2.0 and the ability for internet users to interact and upload material heralded a change in direction for teacher professional learning.
On March 21st, 2013 we were lucky enough to host one of these synchronous web discussions on #ukedchat. Video from Primary EnglishClips from two guided reading sessions in John Shelton Primary School in Coventry.
A bumper set of nature readers stuffed with facts and photos, spanning four progressive levels. Using staggered text levels that allow even the most reluctant readers to join in, these zesty and informative guides encourage an early interest in science and zoology. The student tracking form assists with monitoring progress as students move up through guided reading levels.

They’re not the curriculum but the broad headings under which skills have been grouped for assessment.
Today’s contribution from our associate, Lynne Burns, provides further guidance on how to implement guided reading successfully in your school. If you feel this way then try following my top ten tips for ensuring successful Guided Reading sessions.
You can also use extracts from longer novels or books but do make sure that the more able readers also have the opportunity to read longer books in their entirety over a number of weeks. A small swell of teachers who are saying that guided reading doesn’t work and that teaching reading comprehension to whole classes is a much more effective way to teach children to read.
It is packed with figurative language and has sufficient challenge to engage the most demanding of Y6s. We linked each of these activities to the aims statements from the new national curriculum as a way of ensuring that not only were aims met, but they were done so in an engaging and creative manner. If you are, then enjoy a little sepia tinged snigger just like you did on weekday teatimes back in the day. Popular in KS3 English classrooms for several years, PEE has now found its way into Y6 classrooms and is an invaluable aide-memoire to support children working at the higher levels in reading comprehension. The evidence is the quote or quotes from the text that they use to support their point and the explanation is where they expand on their point and if possible give a personal opinion. However, by tracking back from PEE we can scaffold the skill of reading comprehension so that eventually all children will be able to PEE.
That is, giving power to children working within NC levels 4, 5 and 6 so that they come to guided reading sessions having already read the text. A child working at level one may tell you that Goldilocks was a criminal because she broke into the three bears’ home.
Imagine how much knowledge they must have about a character to be able to confirm that the drawing is that character; and then tell you where in the text that information has come from.
These are presented as traditional questions but can easily be adapted to the structures shared above. Want to find out what other teachers in schools across the country are doing for Guided Reading? Well, it’s a bit of teacher jargon for Continuing Professional Development (what we used to call training).
Peer to peer learning, the upwards transit of information from the grassroots of the profession and the ironing out of traditional information hierarchies have altered professional learning. Throughout the preceding week, educators from across the UK (and beyond) voted for their preferred topic. Rachel is using two of the titles from The Mini Tales Pack with a year 5 and year 6 group of children whilst addressing some key reading objectives. Of course, this makes total sense; if you’re going to change the curriculum then the criteria for assessing it must also change.
They were initially formulated for test developers so they could ensure their materials covered the range of the curriculum programmes of study.
As an advocate of guided reading, I struggle to agree with teachers who are dropping guided reading.
In fact she loved it and she realised that it would make a perfect text for guided reading with Y2 children.. She knew that this word cloud would make a really extraordinary pre-reading activity for her children and that it would allow them to make predictions about the text that they were going to explore. Alternatively you may want to encourage children to compare characters across books following guided reading sessions? The version we’ve been using is the Puffin Picture version (illustrated by Michael Foreman and Freire Wright) as the illustrations add a useful scaffold for children who may otherwise struggle to access the syntactical and linguistic challenges of an older text.

In this article we start at the higher levels but also track back from PEE to show how to support children’s reading comprehension at the earlier stages of development. These are higher order thinking skills at the top of Blooms taxonomy. PEE helps them to do this successfully. Lessons are outstanding in the context of the teaching and learning that has preceded them. Whereas a child working at level 5 may be able to tell you about a variety of text, sentence and word level features which ensure that the text can’t possibly be a non-chronological report but is an explanation instead. In guided reading it is a structure which enables us to train children to make a point, find the evidence and explain – PEE as lots of teachers like to call it. The ideas we’ve shared here in the context of guided reading can be transferred to good effect across the curriculum. But it’s more than one person standing at the front of a training room imparting their wisdom to the passive listeners. Add into this the demise of Local Authorities (the traditional providers of CPD) and ever tighter school budgets, which restrict the amount of professional learning available to staff, and you can appreciate why there is such a shift in the CPD landscape. By devising hash tags such as #edchat #SLTchat #globalclassroom and #ukedchat, Twitter users have been instrumental in shaping the form and nature of CPD.  Partly used as a means of categorising and organising Tweets about the same topic, these hash tags can be searched by teachers to find information on teaching and learning. From the gigantic blue whale to the tiniest of insects, these guided readers introduce you to a huge variety of creatures from around the world. We will be starting our year with Numbers in Base Ten and Operations and Algebraic Thinking (Common Core grade 4). So, in this blog post we say RIP Assessment Focuses, and welcome to the world Content Domains. Just like the assessment focuses they are also useful to us as educators for assessing where gaps exist, for analysing formative and summative test data, and then for planning next steps in learning.
When given the time and resources, and when taught by a skilled practitioner, I believe that guided reading is the best approach that we have of meeting the learning needs of all young readers.
By all means use the classics with children, but do make sure you know the texts well enough to avoid unsuitable themes.
Practise this in the guided session and you may find that you can set this sort of question as an independent task.
It is though as a means of organising synchronous discussions on a pre-determined topic that these Twitter hash tags come into their own as a means of facilitating teachers’ professional learning. There are high-flying birds, strange aquatic creatures, jungle animals, desert animals and creepy-crawly critters. As I said, they’re not the curriculum but knowing the content domains and how to ensure that they are all covered in teaching and learning is important. Today’s blog post from our Primary English Associate, Lynne Burns supports this view. Even better still, use some of the fabulous abridged versions available from many of the educational publishers. How can you make the most of this session then to ensure that all pupils learn ‘exceptionally well’? Find out fun facts about bats, or journey far away to the Amazon rainforest to discover all sorts of different beasts! Like me, Lynne is experienced enough to remember teaching reading before the widespread introduction of guided reading in the late 1990s. ChilverJuly 2, 2012 at 4:06 PMI have printed each one off over the months and love using them with my kids.

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