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Reading at CJS

Children are taught explicit reading strategies in well-paced comprehension based lessons 3 times each week for 45 minutes where each week’s lessons are link together by a theme. Children are taught English for between 50 minutes and 1 hour daily in their own mixed ability class groups which will not be set by ability. Mixed ability classes allows for equal opportunities for all children, challenge for all children, and positive expectations that all children will achieve and make progress. At CJS, we will not put a ceiling on any child’s learning through setting children for their English lessons.

Cross-curricular opportunities to use reading skills as part of the wider curriculum used in all other subject areas:

  • The children will be given opportunities to practise their reading comprehension skills in foundation subjects through research, active learning lessons, use of films, or being given focused information gathering activities.
  • The children will be given opportunities to read a wide variety of texts to support experiential learning in the wider curriculum, from different genres appropriate to their Year group, as detailed in the long-term and medium-term planning.

Teaching Reading

Class novel

  • It is imperative that children are read to for at least 15 minutes at least 3 times per week – the teacher reads the class novel NOT the children.
  • The class novel should be challenging. The children should be able to access it, but it should be a text that many of the class could not sit and read cover to cover independently. The English Lead will maintain a list of books for each year group that could be chosen as a class novel. Teachers are free to choose their own class novel but it must meet the above criteria.
  • Only the class teacher should read the class novel aloud so that children fully get the best possible understanding of it.
  • Teachers can use the class novel to model the reading practises they need to see from the children during whole class reading sessions.
  • Quick quiz retrieval questions and recap questions are used once a week during a whole class novel session to ensure children are retaining important retrieval information as they listen to the class novel.
  • Class novel sessions need to include lots of recapping.
  • The English Lead will provide a suggested book list for each Year group to ensure challenge and progression from Year 3 to Year 6.


  • VIPERS – Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval, Summarising form the core and need to be linked to the questioning.
  • The phrase ‘authorial choice’ needs to be referred to frequently during whole class reading sessions.
  • Children will be asked to APE (Answer, Prove, Explain) their thinking and answers using sentences stems when writing in books or during class discussions or paired work (appendix 7).
  • Children will use sentence stems during whole class discussions to improve oracy using the ABC format: Agree, Build, Challenge (appendix 5 of the Reading Policy below).

Whole class reading

  • All children have the opportunity to read aloud across the three 45 minute reading sessions each week.
  • Teachers might read some of the text for modelling purposes, but children should do the majority of the reading aloud. The text should always be read aloud.