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Reading across the curriculum

We are proud to provide children with a rich and broad curriculum, and we know that reading is essential if we want children to acquire knowledge and develop a wide vocabulary. Research suggests that children become more interested in and more motivated to read the more that they talk about books with others. This is why our reading curriculum is based on rich, meaningful discussion between children, in groups and in pairs.

From Year 2 onwards, every morning children have a guided reading lesson, which we call Booktalk. The material children read is closely linked to the main enquiry subject they are learning about, and children discuss evidence and agree on the best possible ending to a sentence starter given by the teacher. It could be, for example, ‘The author creates a sense of mystery when….’, or ‘The author’s personal opinion about ….. is suggested when he writes …’

For example, our Year 6 class were studying World War 2 as part of a history enquiry, and so their reading material for their Booktalk reading lessons was taken from a range of primary and secondary sources from that period. This gave the children an opportunity to develop subject knowledge, learn new vocabulary as well as discuss what they had read in a meaningful way.

The whole class is involved, and we want all children to enjoy and fully participate in these lessons. This is why we have implemented a highly successful ‘pre-teach’ system for children who may not be as confident in reading and discussing texts as their peers. These children have an opportunity to work with an adult and read through the text before the rest of the class sees it. This has proven successful in giving children who would otherwise be less confident the chance to take on the ‘mantle of the expert’ and therefore be highly engaged in their learning.

Here are some samples of children’s work from a Booktalk lesson. You can see how the reading lesson closely supports the specific subject they are learning.

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