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Talk for Reading

Reading at Tenterden Primary Federation

Talk for Reading at Tenterden Primary Federation

Talk for Reading, developed by the same team as the successful Talk for Writing programme, is the structure which is used to teach children to read at Tenterden Primary Federation from Year Two onwards.

This process is based around the exploration of texts which would be considered ‘challenging’ to children working at age related expectation. Through appropriate levels of scaffolding from the teaching team, children are encouraged to share their thoughts, ideas and use these to generate a clear understanding of the text’s purpose and meaning. By the end of each cycle, the children develop a good understanding of the text they have studied and are then able to independently answer a series of questions provided by the teacher.

The process utilises the following flexible structure:


Children listen to and track a text. They explore the language and answer simple fact retrieval questions. At this stage, predictions can also be made and children are encouraged to give their opinions on the impact of the chosen text.


Children are taught to make links between different phrases, lines and paragraphs/stanzas. They learn to identify patterns and explain what these patterns mean by paraphrasing and assigning quotes to their opinion. They also take on the role of key figures from the text which they have studied and act/write in role as their chosen character.

The final action of this phase is for the children to prepare a performance either independently or as a group which uses the understanding which they have developed to ensure full confidence and fluency.

Independent Application

Children independently apply everything that they have learned when asked a series of questions relating to the text. These are based on the VIPERS (Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval and Summarise) approach to reading comprehension questions and are used to inform future Talk for Reading units. Once the children have independently answered the questions, the class discuss their answers together and take the opportunity to share and refine their thoughts.

Developing a ‘Love of Reading’ at Tenterden Primary Federation

At Tenterden Primary Federation, we want our children to enjoy and love reading. We ensure they have access to a broad range of books from both narrative and non-narrative genres and have opportunities to read throughout the school day. Our teachers act as role –models and select engaging and exciting extended reading books which are shared during our DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) time at the end of each school day.

As part of the wider curriculum, we encourage regular exploration of supporting texts in all foundation subjects. As a Christian School, we explore Bible texts in RE lessons and have high level discussions about their meaning and impact on our own lives.

For the community, we also have book swap sheds available in both the Infant and Junior school playgrounds which can be accessed by children and parents throughout the day. We offer regular reading workshops and encourage children through our Homework Menu to complete simple reading activities.