The love of reading

Here at Sacred Heart, we understand how essential developing a love of reading can be at an early age to a child’s development and reading journey in the future. Reading is celebrated, encouraged and at the forefront of all teaching and conversation within school.

Reading for pleasure is encouraged by an ever increasing range of provision such as:

  • The opportunity for children able to visit Starbooks (the school library) and take books home
  • Whole school events and celebrations
  • Reciprocal Reading sessions
  • Story clubs
  • Starbooks loyalty cards
  • Weekly visits to the local library
  • Training sessions with librarians
  • Weekly raffle competitions for frequent readers
  • Reading lanyards for frequent readers to earn extra privileges
  • Daily reading of a class story for pleasure

Progression in Reading 

Click here to open our Progression in Reading Document


Reciprocal Reading at Sacred Heart


Reciprocal Reading is a dialogue between the teacher and a group of students for the purpose of jointly constructing the meaning of the text.. The teacher uses a balance of explanation, instruction, modelling and guided practice to develop. understanding of key reading skills. As children progress through school, they are encouraged to take a more independent role in Reciprocal Reading sessions. One of our main aims as a school is for children to confidently lead their group and independently dissect and discover the meaning behind words and sentences within the text.

Key Stage 1

Throughout their time in Key Stage 1, children will be exposed to the different job roles within Reciprocal Reading. Teachers introduce the different ‘job cards’ within their reading groups and demonstrate how to use the cards to answer questions and deepen understanding of the text. Pupils are encouraged at a young age to take on the role as ‘Boss’ and lead their group within the session. Allowing children to ask questions about vocabulary and texts ensures they have a better understanding of the book and can then apply this when reading independently. The main cards children are encouraged to use independently in KS1 are:

Key Stage 2

When in Key Stage 2, teachers take a step back from leading groups and allow children to take ownership of their Reciprocal Reading sessions. Pupils are encouraged to work as a team to clarify, question, summarise and predict when reading the text. Again, allowing the pupils to take charge of the session gives them a deeper understanding of vocabulary and meaning from the text, as they can move at their own pace. Teachers have the ability to change the Reciprocal Reading sessions according to the need of the class. For example, if the class need work clarifying words within the text, the whole group can work together to do this, modelled by the adult, to ensure they are more confident at using the skill; they can then apply this independently in the next session.


Please click the links to hear Reciprocal Reading explained or watch it in action:




How you can you support your child at home?

Step 1– Have an oral discussion of a text. Model being a reader and have discussions. This session is based around book talk.

The key skills being modelled are:

  • Know when to slow down
  • When to reread
  • To spot errors and self-correct
  • Tie clues together
  • Think about meaning so that it makes sense
  • Read with expression

Step 2– After the discussion, ask your child to annotate the texts with their thoughts, wonders and questions.

Some strategies you could use are:

  • Echo reading
  • Adult reads each sentence with expression
  • Child follows and marks text
  • Adult rereads bit by bit
  • Child echoes
  • Line by line reading This is slow reading line by line and involves tying clues together as the text is explored together.

Step 3– The text used will be the same text as in lesson one. Have a discussion about vocabulary. Select the vocabulary, explain the vocabulary, allow children to explore the vocabulary and then consolidate the vocabulary. There are many ways to teach vocabulary. Some important strategies are:

  • Say it/repeat definition/ use it/ find and/or use in a different context/ synonyms/antonyms
  • Looking at intensity/shades of meaning/word families
  • Model language/learning to love words/root word/word class/spelling rule