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Below are just some of the ways we teach reading and support children's development of reading throughout Upper Key Stage 2.

Shared reading sessions.

The teacher models the reading process to the whole class as an expert reader, providing a high level of support. The learner readers join in where appropriate with the reading of the enlarged text – singly and/or chorally. The texts selected are rich and challenging, being beyond the current reading ability of the majority of the class. 

Guided reading sessions led by a member of staff.

The responsibility for reading shifts to the learner. The teacher structures all reading tasks with children, who are grouped by ability. They are required to read and respond to the text themselves with the teacher supporting. Texts of graded difficulty are carefully chosen and matched to the reading ability of the group.

Independent reading.

During independent reading, children take responsibility for selecting and reading a variety of texts including fiction, poetry and non-fiction from library books, games, activities, book tapes, talking books, webpages, print and text around the school, etc. The child should be able to read these texts readily and comprehend them with little or no teacher or adult support. The focus for the reading is to provide practise and to develop personal response to text.

Story time, including poetry.

Children will be exposed to high quality literature on a regular basis during story time. The teachers will ensure a balance of genres is covered over the year encouraging an appreciation of our rich and varied literary heritage. Each Key Stage has a 'Literacy Spine' of high quality books to be read with the children over the course of the year.

Upper Key Stage's Literacy Spine consists of the following books:

Year A


Year B



Gunner’s Boy by Ann Turnbull


The Butterfly Lion


by Michael Morpurgo



Good Night Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian



What Katie Did Next by Susan Coolidge


The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

by John Boyne


The Crow Starver by Dick King Smith


The Phoenix and the Carpet

by E. Nesbit


Oranges in No Man’s Land by Elizabeth Laird


Stig of the Dump by Clive King



The Iron Man by Ted Hughes


Upper Key Stage 2 also have an agreed Poetry Spine they access throughout the year in their English lessons:


Cycle A

Cycle B

Term 1

Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll

From A Railway carriage by Robert Louis Stevenson

Term 2

The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes

Macavity The Mystery Cat by T S Eliot

Term 3

The ABC by Spike Mlligan

Little Red Riding Hood by Roald Dahl


Reading with individual children and reading scheme books to read at home.

During reading time we will continue to assess the child’s decoding, understanding and fluency, changing books as appropriate. By Upper Key Stage 2 we expect most children will have moved onto independent reading, where this is not the case, we have intervention programmes in place to assist those children.

Children assessed as being competent readers are encouraged to independently select books of their choice as their reading book, either from the class library or the school library. Guided reading sessions involve small group activities, some led by adults, some independent. These tasks support children in hearing, reading and discussing a wide range of high quality books.