In Key stage 1, children are taught to decode and encode in their reading and writing. The children are taught to use specific reading strategies that will enable them to be successful:

  1. Use phonics to 'sound out' or 'segment' words into easier chunks and putting the word back together again.
  2. Reading on to the end of the sentence to see if it helps.
  3. Using pictures as clues.
  4. Using a mixture of these strategies to make sense of the sentence. Often this means re reading sentences or a whole page!

Throughout the children's school life, teachers will take care to plan activities that will challenge at every level through differentiated activities. Teachers plan to teach and constantly assess different reading foci through a range of fiction, non fiction and poetry texts. The assessment foci (AF) are:

AF1 Use a range of strategies including accurate decoding of text, to read for meaning.
AF2 Understand, describe, select or retrieve information, events or ideas from texts and use quotation and reference to text.
AF3 Deduce, infer or interpret information, events or ideas from texts.
AF4 Identify and comment on the structure and organisation of texts, including grammatical and presentational features at text level.
AF5 Explain and comment on writers' uses of language, including grammatical and literary features at word and sentence level.
AF6 Identify and comment on writers' purposes and viewpoints and the overall effect of the text on the reader. 
AF7 Relate texts to their social, cultural and historical contexts and literary traditions.

AF1 and AF2 are predominantly taught in Key Stage 1 through regular shared and guided reading. Teachers model how to read aloud by sharing a chapter book at a higher level form the books the children are reading. Whilst reading the story, they will pause and discuss the book or the strategy that they have used. In guided reading, children have a copy of the same text. The children are asked to read in their heads and think about a specific point od ruestion that the teacher has asked. The group can then have a discussion on the text and reach an answer.

AF3 is very important as this teaches the children the skill of deduction and inference. In easier texts the author takes care to state the reasons for events happening e.g 'The girl was sad because she had lost her teddybear.'  In more complex texts the  meaning is inferred so for example the text may say 'The girl stopped, she looked at a photograph of happier times with her teddybear and sighed' The key questions here would be  'How does the girl feel?' 'How do you know' 'Which words in the text can you use to justify your answer? '

AF4 relates to how texts are organiseda dn set out on a page. Teachers may ask the children to discuss for example,the difference between a letter and a poster, a newspaper and a story, an information leaflet and a poem etc.

AF5 focuses on the specific use of vocabulary that writers choose to use and the effect that this has both on the reader and the story or characters themselves.

AF6 encourage children to think about the point of view that the reader takes. What message does the author give? This again, may be implied rather than stated.

AF7 encourages children to read and discuss texts that have a historical or cultural background so that children can learn from them. Great examples of these are 'Handa's Surprise' 'The diary of Anne Frank' or 'Carries War'.

The key message when reading with children is to join in with the reading experience as talk is such a powerful tool in learning. We even asked the adults to try a few guided reading activities! Look at the photo's below.