School Logo


What is Guided Reading?

Guided Reading is where children put into practise their developing reading skills and understanding in a structured situation. Small groups of children, working at a similar stage of reading acquisition, work with an adult to read an unfamiliar text that has been chosen to reinforce, challenge and further develop their independent reading strategies. The adult scaffolds the session so the children can take the initiative and put into practise what they have learnt in other reading and literacy activities.

Sets of texts are used so each member of the group has a copy. During Guided Reading the whole or a section of the unfamiliar text is read. Texts are chosen so that each member of the group can readily read and understand between 90 – 94%, i.e. at the instructional level.

Each guided reading teaching sequence will have most of these parts –

  1. Text introduction and sharing the learning objectives with the children
  2. Walk through the text
  3. Reading strategy check
  4. Independent reading
  5. Returning to the text for teaching points
  6. Responding to the text and follow up

Helping your child with reading

Reading with your child is vital. Research shows that it's the single most important thing you can do to help your child's education. It's best to read little and often, so try to put aside some time for it every day.

Think of ways to make reading fun - you want your child to learn how pleasurable books can be. If you're both enjoying talking about the content of a particular page, linger over it for as long as you like.

Books aren't just about reading the words on the page, they can also present new ideas and topics for you and your child to discuss.

Tips for helping your child to enjoy books:

  • Encourage your child to pretend to 'read' a book before he or she can read words.
  • Visit the library as often as possible
  • Schedule a regular time for reading - perhaps when you get home from school or just before bed.
  • Look for books on topics that you know your child is interested in - maybe dragons, insects, cookery or a certain sport.
  • Make sure that children’s books are easily accessible in different rooms around your house.

For further information, please follow these links:

 Phonics and Spelling

At John Mayne Primary School, we believe that phonics is the building block which provides the foundations to all reading and writing. Therefore, phonics is taught in a variety of ways throughout the school using the Letters and Sounds programme. Trugs (Teaching Reading Using Games) and Toe by Toe are used to develop confidence and fluency with phonics right up until Year 6 in the form of small group interventions.  From Year 2 to Year 6, spellings are taught that develop children’s understanding of spelling rules and patterns and ensures progression through these year groups.

For further information, please follow these links:


Quality reading and quality discussion fuel quality writing. Our focus at John Mayne is providing children with the raw materials to write well and with purpose.

We have recently introduced a 'talk for writing' approach that ensures children get a chance to orally rehearse and discuss their writing before they do it.

We also believe in giving children regular opportunities to write for extended periods across all subjects, giving them the chance to apply the skills they have been taught in spelling and grammar and to experiment with techniques and styles they have seen in their study of texts.

Shared writing is often used and is an effective way of scaffolding the writing process for pupils. It helps to teach them how to write and involves a gradual movement from instruction to independence. Shared writing gives a focus on the key vocabulary, sentence and text features that the children need to make progress. 

We also emphasise the importance of redrafting and reviewing work to improve it and make it the best we can possibly produce. The children should also get chances to read their own work and that of others; to give and receive constructive feedback.

At John Mayne we have learning environments that are developed in collaboration with the children and are accessible by all. They are used to celebrate work as well as display the learning and creative processes the children have been through to reach the final goals. Working walls provide key vocabulary linked to the current genre as well as key features of the text types studied.

Children are given support from staff during writing tasks and further comments to reflect on and respond to through marking. The children respond to their teachers' comments using 'The Purple Pen of Progress'! Children are encouraged to write spelling corrections in their personal vocabulary books so that they build up a bank of regularly used words


Punctuation and Grammar are integral to the reading and writing progress. Therefore, both are not only taught inclusively and in context within our Literacy lessons, but also as discrete lessons throughout the school.