Therfield First School

“Bringing Learning to Life”


Guided Reading:

Guided reading is used to teach a balance of word recognition and comprehension skills to meet the needs of each group. Texts are carefully selected, at the right level, using our Little Wandle phonics scheme.


Children who are being taught within the phonic phases, typically Reception and Year 1 pupils, will have three adult-led guided reading sessions each week.  The same, carefully-matched book will be used for all three sessions.  Each session has a specific focus:

Session 1: decoding (using phonics to sound out words)

Session 2: Prosody (reading with fluency and expression - 'Performance Reading')

Session 3: Comprehension (understanding what has been read)


For pupils who no longer take part in daily phonics lessons, guided reading sessions focus on prosody and comprehension skills within more challenging texts. 


During sessions where pupils are not reading with a class adult, they will access a range of independent reading-related activities across the week. These activities are designed to support word recognition, application of phonics, reading for pleasure, fluency and comprehension.


Shared Reading:

Comprehension skills are also taught through shared reading sessions where the teacher models comprehension strategies to the whole class. Word recognition skills are also modelled during these sessions together with fluency and expression. These sessions are often delivered within the planned English sessions.


Reading for Pleasure:

Teachers and other adults regularly read aloud to their class to develop their appreciation of and engagement with reading. Texts are carefully selected to complement class topics and English themes. There is an inviting reading area in each classroom which provides a comfortable space for pupils to read and enjoy a range of books and authors. The school has an exciting library which pupils are encouraged to use during lunchtimes and borrow books on a weekly basis. The Mindfulness Garden is also used as a quiet space for pupils to enjoy independent reading. A weekly assembly, led by the Headteacher, is used as an opportunity to share and enjoy a book as a whole school.  Books are chosen to support a range of values and/or PSHE themes and children are invited to act out the different character parts as the story is read.


Home Reading:

Across the school, all pupils take home two books each week.  One will be their current reading book and the other will be a book of choice to share with a home adult.  The reading book pupils take home are carefully matched to their current reading level.


In the Foundation Stage and Year 1, pupils take home the carefully-selected phonics-based book that they have been reading during the adult-led guided reading sessions in class.  By this stage, each child will be able to read the book independently, applying all of the skills taught during the week (decoding and prosody).  This is an opportunity to practice 'reading as a reader', whatever the age/phase of the child. 


Once pupils are reading securely at grey Book Band they become a free reader and select lexiled books from our well-stocked Reading Pro scheme. Children are encouraged to read and discuss their book to a home adult before taking an online comprehension quiz back in school when they have finished the book.


The school is very clear on its home reading expectation.  All children should be heard to read at home at least five times per week, recorded in their reading record.  


Alfie - our school reading dog (2017-2022):

Each week, we are visited by Alfie, a gorgeous Goldendoodle, who is a registered therapy dog as part of the Read-to-Dogs scheme.  Different year groups take it in turns to read regularly to Alfie.  Alfie loves to listen to the different types of books that our children are reading.  We LOVE reading to Alfie. 


Introducing Luna (2022-present):

With big paws to step into, Luna has been listening to our children read every week since the beginning of the academic year 2022-23.  She also proudly wears her special Therfield purple reading tabard when she visits us!