S3 & S4 – Reflection on training

Training notes:

Issues with reading:

  • Lack of fluency
  • Lack of expression
  • Lack of experience
  • Lack of reading time
  • Lack of motivation to read
  • Poor parental literacy skills
  • Poor verbal working memory
  • Poor grammatical development

Hooks into reading:

  • Letters/emails
  • Videos
  • Animations
  • Visitors
  • Artefacts
  • Visits/trips

It is important that you give the children a purpose for reading and for the reading task you are presenting them with.

Bring the lessons to life. Give them a real life purpose such as a TV company wants ideas for a documentary, an author wants help with a sequel to a book or perhaps a local attraction wants to create a visitor’s pack.

Guided reading

Goal: enable learners to become independent readers who are able to read, understand and appreciate texts on their own without the teachers help.

  • Have a clear focus for guided reading
  • Less able readers need more time to develop and practice their word reading skills
  • More able readers need to be encouraged to articulate their answers
  • Children should be reading for pleasure and information
  • Follow-up activities should be linked to the focus of the lesson but differentiated appropriately

If you see a child working hard – tell them they can go put their feet up and read for 5 minutes. Then children begin to understand that reading is for pleasure and not a punishment.


I found today’s course extremely interesting and I have certainly taken away a lot of new ideas and ways to engage the children in reading and develop their reading skills further. I particularly liked the idea of giving the children real life experiences in order to ‘hook’ them in (S4: contribute to the design and provision of an engaging curriculum within the relevant subject area(s)).

Doing this is very achievable if the right amount of time and planning has gone into it. I have taken away the knowledge that giving the children a purpose for their reading and the related activities is of high importance when it comes to the quality of work produced by the children (S4: reflect systematically on the effectiveness of lessons and approaches to teaching).

This training has already had a significant impact upon my practice as I have yet to stop thinking about all the new things I learned as well as researching further activities to introduce to the children. One thing I have noticed with my current class is that often some groups during guided reading are almost left alone to get on with a task without it having been fully explained to them, therefore the children are really not putting their full effort into it and are certainly not fully engaged in the task. In order to prevent this from happening again, I could ensure that each activity has more of a purpose than just linking to the book we are reading. The children need to know (or think) that the letter they are writing is going to be sent to the person they are writing to. It will be interesting to see how the level of work produced changes once a real-life purpose is introduced to the children.

S3: have a secure knowledge of the relevant subject(s) and curriculum areas, foster and maintain pupils’ interest in the subject, and address misunderstandings. 

Focused next steps:

  • Continue to promote a love for reading by bringing in my own book everyday
  • Reward children who are putting in a high level of effort by allowing them to relax in the reading corner for 5 minutes
  • Make sure every morning that the reading corner looks tidy, inviting and different books have been put inside the Tee-Pee so that the children can be exposed to all sort of books, in particular non-fiction.