Key Learning in Reading

Word Reading


  • Use knowledge of root words, prefixes and suffixes to investigate how the meanings of words change e.g. un+happy+ness, dis+repute+able, dis+respect+ful, re+engage+ment.

  • Use suffixes to understand meanings e.g. –cious, -tious, -tial, -cial.

  • Read and understand meaning of words on Y5/6 word list – see bottom.

  • Use etymology to help the pronunciation of new words e.g. chef, chalet, machine, brochure – French in origin.

  • Employ dramatic effect to engage listeners whilst reading aloud.

  • Read extensively for pleasure

  • Evaluate texts quickly in order to determine their usefulness or appeal.

  • Understand underlying themes, causes and consequences within whole texts.

  • Understand the structures writers use to achieve coherence; (headings; links within and between paragraphs; connectives).

Recognise authors’ techniques to influence and manipulate the reader.


Maintain positive attitudes to reading and understanding what they read by:

  • Listening to, reading and discussing an increasingly wide range of fiction, poetry, plays and non-fiction.

  • Regularly listening to novels read aloud by the teacher from an increasing range of authors, which they may not choose themselves.

  • Recognising themes within and across texts e.g. hope, peace, fortune, survival.

  • Making comparisons within and across texts e.g. similar events in different books, such as being an evacuee in Carrie’s War and Goodnight Mr Tom.

  • Comparing texts written in different periods.

  • Analysing the conventions of different types of writing e.g. use of dialogue to indicate geographical and/or historical settings for a story.

  • Independently read longer texts with sustained stamina and interest.

  • Recommending books to their peers with detailed reasons for their opinions.

  • Expressing preferences about a wider range of books including modern fiction, traditional stories, fiction from our literary heritage and books from other cultures and traditions.

  • Learning a wider range of poems by heart.

  • Preparing poems and playscripts to read aloud and perform using dramatic effects.

Understand what they read by:

  • Using a reading journal to record on-going reflections and responses to personal reading.

  • Exploring texts in groups and deepening comprehension through discussion.

  • Exploring new vocabulary in context.

  • Demonstrating active reading strategies e.g. challenging peers with questions, justifying opinions, responding to different viewpoints within a group.

  • Inferring characters feelings, thoughts and motives from their actions, justifying inferences with evidence e.g. Point;Evidence;Explanation.

  • Predicting what might happen from information stated and implied.

  • Re-read and reads ahead to locate clues to support understanding and justifying with evidence from the text.

  • Scanning for key information e.g. looking for descriptive words associated with a setting.

  • Skimming for gist.

  • Using a combination of skimming, scanning and close reading across a text to locate specific detail.

  • Identifying how language, structure and presentation contribute to meaning e.g. persuasive leaflet, balanced argument.


Discuss / evaluate how authors use language including figurative language, considering the impact on the reader by:

  • Exploring, recognising and using the terms personification, analogy, style and effect.

  • Explaining the effect on the reader of the authors’ choice of language and reasons why the author may have selected these.


Distinguish between statements of fact or opinion across a range of texts e.g. first-hand account of an event compared with a reported example such as Samuel Pepys’ diary and a history textbook.

Participate in discussions about books building on their own and others’ ideas and challenging views courteously.

Explain and discuss their understanding of what they have read, including through formal presentations and debates, maintaining a focus on the topic and using notes where necessary by:

  • Preparing formal presentations individually or in groups.

  • Using notes to support presentation of information.

  • Responding to questions generated by a presentation.

  • Participating in debates on issues related to reading (fiction/non-fiction).

Provide reasoned justifications for their views

Justifying opinions and elaborating by referring to the text e.g. Point;Evidence;Explanation

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