Glemsford Road, Stowmarket, Suffolk, IP14 2PN

01449 613112

Combs Ford Primary School

Welcome to Combs Ford Primary School

Reading Comprehension - A Whole School Approach:

How is reading comprehension taught in school?

When a child first comes to school, teachers focus on giving children the skills they need to read the letters and individual words on the page. Children are taught decoding skills so that they can begin to join letters together to read words.

Once a child can do this, the focus shifts slightly.  Meaning is attached to words and sentences and children progress from learning to read to reading to learn.

Giving children the tools they need to enjoy and understand books is taught through a whole class reading approach from Year 1 upwards.

Children will still have 1:1 reading time with an adult but the majority of reading teaching will be done in daily whole class reading lessons.

In these lessons children focus on eight key reading skills:

  • Clarifying - understanding language.
  • Retrieving – finding information in the text.
  • Inferring – using the clues in the text to understand it better.
  • Summarising – to identify the main ideas in a piece of writing.
  • Questioning – to be able to ask questions about what is read.
  • Predicting – thinking about what might happen next.
  • Evaluating – considering the effectiveness of a piece of writing.
  • Making links – the ability to make links with other books or their own experience.


These eight important skills are taught in all classes but are adapted to meet the needs of the pupils in each year group. The choice of book is considered carefully to ensure it is enjoyable and appropriate to individual year groups but also to ensure it allows teachers to teach the reading skills adequately.

The reading model documents below show how whole class reading is taught in each phase.  The progression document also shows how the reading skills are adapted across the school to provide suitable challenge as readers grow in confidence and their understanding of the eight reading skills develop.

If you would like any additional information regarding the teaching of reading please do not hesitate to contact your child’s class teacher.


Reading Schemes

We have a wide variety of different reading schemes, including Oxford Reading Tree, Storyworld, Risby Stars, Fireflies and Collins Big Cat Phonics within our school, allowing children to access books that they enjoy reading. 




We also have synthetic phonics books in Foundation Stage and Key Stage One.

The books are grouped to enable children to build on their reading skills, phonics and keyword knowledge, using a colour-based scheme.  The children work their way through these colour levels.  Children in Year One and above choose their own books from the shelves.


We encourage the children to read a range of books from different reading schemes and different authors so that they become well read individuals.

Reading at home with your child is an essential part of their education.  As they read more, their fluency and comprehension also improve and this in turn helps their writing. 

Below are some documents that you can download to help you when reading with your child at home.

Ways to help your child read

Questions to ask your children when hearing them read

What to read next - a useful guide if your child is stuck on one author!

The Ultimate Guide to 'What Next' - links to the What to read next guide. (You will need to click on the + or zoom button in order to zoom in so that this will be readable).