Skip to content

  Give feedback Search Menu  Close 

Reading

Download our reading assessment (PDF 380kb) Opening a new window - an assessment tool to help you identify a pupil's reading needs.

You can also download our baseline reading and spelling assessment (PDF 965kb).


Strategies to develop early reading fluency

In order to read fluently children have to employ many skills.

The ability to read high frequency words with automaticity is key to developing confidence and fluency and is a skill that children with the specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia find particularly challenging.  It is essential that these children are given many opportunities to overlearn in a multisensory way.

Reading walls can be used to record the words that a child is learning to read.  Teach the child the word using a flash card, using tracking exercises, by highlighting the tricky part etc.  Review regularly using flash cards and tick the word on the reading wall each time the word is read by the child without hesitation.  When a word has 5 ticks by it, date it and highlight it as known.  Every so often, revise previously learnt words to ensure that they have been retained.  If the word has been forgotten, re-teach.  The reading wall should soon have a mix of known, partially known and new words on it at one time.

Good readers use a range of strategies when reading text.  Children who are learning to read or who are having difficulties acquiring this skill, often get 'stuck' when they rely on one or two strategies only.  Children need to be taught these different methods in guided reading sessions or when heard by an adult.  Using a miscue analysis (or running record) will help you analyze the strategies a child uses. 

Once a child has been taught to read a high frequency word, they need to be taught to read it rapidly and without hesitation in order to improve reading fluency.  For children with a specific learning difficulty (including dyslexic type difficulties), this often requires overlearning.

Speed reading sheets are designed to allow additional practice.  Write approximately 5 words that you have taught the child.  Repeat these randomly across the grid.  Ask the child to read the words in the grid (tracking across the grid as they would in reading) as quickly as they can.  Record their time.  The grid can be used as part of the child's homework with a parent timing.  Challenge the child to beat their previous time.  Change the words regularly as new words are learned.

Games make overlearning fun and increase the likelihood of new learning to 'stick'.  Try using a ‘4 in a row’ grid e.g. it can be used when reading flash cards to increase reading fluency.  Play with pairs of children who have their own coloured set of counters.  Every time a child reads the word correctly, they place a counter on the grid.  The children take turns.  The first child to get four of their counters in a row, is the winner.  If a child is playing with an adult, it can be adapted so that the adult can only place a counter on the grid if the child makes an error.  Hopefully this will increase the chance of the child winning!

Blank Four in a Row Game

Identifying Difficulties with Reading

Reading is a complex skill which most children learn relatively easily.  For some children it is a skill that they learn with great difficulty.

The model of reading found in the Rose review is a helpful one.  It divides readers into four main groups.  Children with a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia, have difficulty decoding due to weaker phonological skills and memory, resulting in poor scores in single word reading tests.  Often, but not always, they have better reading comprehension although their reading accuracy can impact negatively on this.  Some children have overlapping difficulties such as speech and language delays or disorders, which can also affect their reading comprehension abilities.

Click on the simple view of reading tab to download a copy, which is based on the model discussed by Sir Jim Rose.  If you are a class teacher, why not place the children's names in your class in the four sections?  Use this as a starting point to help you meet their needs.

Simple view of Reading

SpLD assessments with instructions are available online for reading phonics and high frequency words as well as running record.

Teaching Phonics through Onset and Rime

Onset and rime is a method that can be used to teach children to decode phonically regular words.  Whilst most children in school learn to decode using the synthetic phonic approach (which is now used widely in UK schools) some children find this difficult and make slower progress.

Onset and rime is an approach widely used by specialist Specific Learning Difficulties teachers as it lessens the load on a child's working memory and is the stage that comes before phoneme blending in a child's phonological development.  Children with a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia, have a weakness in their underlying phonological abilities and often have memory difficulties.

With CVC words the onset is the first part of the word such as 'c' for the word cat and the rime is at.  The rime contains the vowel and the part after it.  This approach divides the word up into larger chunks so the child has to hold less information in their working memory.  This means that they are more likely to blend the word successfully.

Specialist teachers teach onset and rime in word families so that a child can use analogy to help them remember which words have the same rime.  For example, the grapheme 'ai' could be taught as the rime 'ain' - pain, paint, main, gain, rain, train.  Multi-sensory methods are used to make the new learning 'stick'.

Alternatively try 'Word Maps' by Margaret Bevan - Partners in Education as a resource for older learners.

You can download the free resources Onset and Rime Cards and Guide to Teaching Word Family which may help.

0300 123 4043 - Hertfordshire County Council customer call centre

Cookies

Like many other websites, we place small information files called 'cookies' on your computer.

Why do we use cookies?

To remember your settings, for example your language and location. This means you don’t have to keep entering these details when you visit a new page.

To find out how you use the site to help us update and improve it.

How do I change my cookie settings?

You can change the settings of your web browser so that it won’t accept cookies. For more information visit AboutCookies.org.

But, doing this may stop you from using some of the online features and services on this website. 

Cookies we use

Cookies do a lot of different jobs, and we use 2 types of cookies:

Required functionality cookies – these cookies are essential for the website to work.

Performance and feature cookies – these cookies help to improve the performance and feel of this website, for example providing you with personalised services.


Take a look at a list of cookies we use on our website:

NameTypeHow we use itHow long we use the information for

ASP.Net_Sessions

 

Required functionality

An automatic cookie set by our software. 

Just for the time you are on our website.

ServerID

 

Required functionality

An automatic cookie set by our software. 

Just for the time you are on our website.

_ga

Required functionality

To track the effectiveness of our website using Google Analytics. 

2 years

saved-pages

Performance and feature

To save the pages that you visit by clicking the heart at the top of the page. 

1 month

geoPostcode

Performance and feature

This stores your postcode (or partial postcode) when we ask you for your location.

Just for the time you are on our website or 30 days (you choose this).

geoCoordinates

Performance and feature

This stores your location as a pair of latitude / longitude coordinates.

Just for the time you are on our website or 30 days (you choose this).

reckonerName-history

Performance and feature

This keeps a history of all answers submitted to the ready reckoner.

This is set in the control for each ready reckoner. If you haven't interacted with the ready reckoner for the set amount of days, the cookies are deleted.

reckonerName-content

Performance and feature

This keeps a history of what content cards are clicked on when using the ready reckoner.

This is set in the control for each ready reckoner. If you haven't interacted with the ready reckoner for the set amount of days, the cookies are deleted.

SQ_SYSTEM_SESSION

Required functionality

This used to track user sessions on forms hosted on eservices.hertfordshire.gov.uk

Just for the time you are on our website.


Third party cookies

There are links and content from other sites and services on our website. These sites and services set their own cookies.

Below are a list of cookies that the other sites and services use:

Service namePurposeMore information

Google analytics (_utma/b/c/z)

These are used to compile reports for us on how people use this site.

Cookies of the same names are also used for the same purpose by other websites such as Building FuturesCountryside Management Service and Hertfordshire LIS.

Visit the Google Analytics website for more information about the cookies they use.

You can prevent data from being collected and used by Google Analytics by installing Google's Opt-out Browser Add-on.

Google Translation - googtrans

This cookie is used to remember which language to translate each page into if you have chosen to do so.

It expires at the end of your browser session.

Bing

We use a Bing cookie to track the success of our marketing campaigns and make them more efficient.

Visit Bing to find out more about their cookies.

Google

We use a Google cookie to track the success of our marketing campaigns and make them more efficient.

Visit Google to find out more about their cookies.

Facebook

We have a number of presences on Facebook, which we may link to. Facebook may set some of its own cookies if you follow these links.

Visit Facebook to find out more about their cookies.

Twitter

We have a number of presences and feeds on Twitter, which you may wish to follow or read from this website. Twitter may set some of its own cookies.

Visit Twitter to find out more about their cookies.

YouTube

We have a YouTube channel, which we may link to. YouTube may set some of its own cookies if you follow those links.

Visit YouTube to find out more about their cookies.

Netloan

This ASP.NET_Sessionid cookie is essential for the Netloan secure online payments website to work, and is set when you arrive to the site. This cookie is deleted when you close your browser.

 

HotJar

This session cookie is set to let Hotjar know whether that visitor is included in the sample which is used to generate funnels.

Visit HotJar to find out more about their cookies.

Siteimprove

These cookies are set to help us report on how people are using the site so we can improve it.

Visit Siteimprove to learn more about their cookies.