Water Leys

Primary School

Developing Reading Fluency and Comprehension in Key Stage 2


At Water Leys Primary School, we believe that reading is an essential life skill and we are committed to enabling our learners to become lifelong readers. One aspect of our reading strategy is to develop children’s comprehension skills through whole class instruction.

When children move beyond the phonics scheme, we ensure that comprehension skills are discretely taught to all pupils in Key Stage 2. We teach these using high quality texts which will help them to:

  • Engage with a wide range of different text types including classical literature, classic poetry, non-fiction and contemporary literature.
  • Read accurately, fluently with pace and with understanding
  • Be able to read with expression, clarity and confidence
  • Develop a good linguistic knowledge of vocabulary and grammar
  • Develop the core reading comprehension skills: retrieval, summarising, inference, predicting, identifying structural and language features and understanding the author’s use of language.


  • Every child in KS2 receives daily discrete comprehension teaching through a combination of whole class and small guided group instruction.
  • The class teacher will model reading aloud to the class to help children develop their fluency, expression and tone.
  • This will be delivered using a range of teaching methods including both whole class shared reading and small group guided reading.
  • Every session will focus on the knowledge required to be a ‘good reader’.
  • The sessions will focus on classic children’s literature, contemporary literature, non-fiction and classic poetry. These texts are full of rich language and expose children to stories that they may not otherwise discover. Teachers will use Brilliant Publishing’s Developing Reading Comprehension books as the basis for their planning and resources for the whole class element.
  • Full versions (books) of the extracts studied will be available to the children so that those who want to read more and deepen their knowledge are able to.
  • In line with the latest research, the texts are studied repeatedly over a number of days. Recent evidence produced by Ofsted and the EEF recognises the importance of repeated rereading: “Repeated reading allows pupils to apply their knowledge to new material and is effective for a wide range of pupils from the early years onwards. The evidence reported in the review showed that repeated reading was effective for pupils with reading difficulties.  Furthermore, the HfL Reading Fluency Project recognised that “When pupils read a text a specified number of times, they developed proficiency, culminating in an ability to read the text with convincing expressiveness; in turn, the cognitive demand of simply word reading was reduced and pupils were able to focus energy and attention on the message that the text – read now with expert prosody – was giving them.
  • During the study period, the children will develop their knowledge in each of the Key Stage 2 Content Domains: vocabulary development, retrieval, summarising, inference, prediction, text meaning, Author’s use of language and comparing and contrasting texts.  The teaching of these content domains has been sequenced to ensure that children are able to build on their prior knowledge. For example, the children develop their knowledge of new and tricky vocabulary prior to developing their retrieval skills. The knowledge gained whilst retrieving information is then used to make predictions and to summarise the text.
  • The focus skill for each guided session is taken from the school’s reading progression document.


As we believe that reading is key to all learning, we seek to ensure that children develop the specific comprehension skills; and the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond statutory assessments. Our Reading curriculum ensure that children have the opportunity to enter a wide and varied magical world where they develop their accuracy, speed, confidence, fluency and understanding to ensure that they are ready to access the next stage of their reading journey.


Classical Poetry Spine

Classic poems are those which have stood the test of time. Their meaning is universal and timeless: as true now as it was when it was first written. These poems take readers beyond their own circumstances and change how they see the world. Classic poems give the reader a window into the past, to another time or place, while building empathy and understanding.  It is essential that children become familiar with the wealth of classical poetry from both Great Britain and other countries. The richness of language and universality of themes provided by these types of texts allow children to expand their understanding of the world. The poems selected have been intentionally chosen to provide the pupils with a variety of poets, topics and themes. This broadens their reading and ensures there will be something of interest for every reader. Although these poems represent just a small sample of the thousands of wonderful poems that pupils may wish to read and study, they provide the pupils with the opportunity to tackle more complex vocabulary, widen their knowledge of synonyms and develop an understanding of challenging language devices.


Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6

Boats sail on the rivers

by Christina Rossetti

The Bronze Legacy

by Effie Lee Newsome

Night Clouds

by Amy Lowell

“Hope” is the thing with Feathers

by Emily Dickinson

My Shadow

By Robert Louis Stephenson

Something told the wild Geese

By Rachel Field

An Autumn Evening

by Lucy Maud Montgomery

The Highwayman

by Alfred Noyes

Buckingham Palace

By A.A. Milne

A bird came down the walk

By Emily Dickinson

In Flanders Fields

by John McCrae

The Listeners

by Walter de la Mare

The Owl and the Pussycat

By Edward Lear

The cloud-mobile

By May Swenson


by W.H.Davies

North of Time

by Rachel Field

A visit from St.Nicholas

By Clement Clarke Moore

The flower-fed Buffaloes

By Vachel Lidsay

In the Bleak Midwinter

by Christina Rossertti

The Tyger

by William Blake

The Eagle

By Alfred Lord Tennyson


By Lucy Maud Montgomery

The Way through the woods

by Rudyard Kipling

A Musical Instrument

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning


Classical Children’s Literature Spine

The world of classic children’s literature is full of rich language and exciting adventures. Through these timeless stories the pupils are able to lose themselves in the settings and lives of unforgettable characters. It is essential that our pupils are familiar with the wealth of classic children’s literature from both Great Britain and around the world. The richness of language and art of storytelling provided by these texts allow children to expand their understanding of the world. They are then better able to make links between literature, history, geography, RE, science and other areas. Through exposure to these texts, the pupils are given opportunities to tackle complex vocabulary, develop stamina and endurance for longer passages whilst practising each of the eight reading content domain question types. Full versions of the texts are available in the classroom and it is hoped that the pupils will be take the opportunity to read more of the stories to further immerse themselves in some of the greatest stories ever written.

It is important to keep in mind that some classic texts include words or descriptions which, although considered appropriate or a part of everyday language at the time the books were originally published, are now considered inappropriate, stereotypical or even racist. Rather than throwing these stories away or avoiding the issues which they raise, we believe that it is important to discuss the differences in culture, language and how the world has changed as part of every pupils SMSC development to ensure that they have awareness of how language and culture changes over time to ensure that they deal with these changes in society with sensitivity and inclusivity.


Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6

The tale of Jemina Puddle-duck

Beatrix Potter

The Magic Bedknob

by Mary Norton

Little House in the Big Woods

by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Black Beauty

by Anna Sewell

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

By L. Frank Baum

The Railway Children

By E.Nesbit

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

by C.S.Lewis

The Secret Garden

by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

By Lewis Carroll

Peter Pan

By J.M. Barrie

Swallows and Amazons

by Arthur Ransome

The Jungle Book

by Rudyard Kipling

The Story of Dr Dolittle

By Hugh Lofting

The Nutcracker and the Mouse king

By E.T.A. Hoffmann

The Call of the Wild

by Jack London

Treasure Island

by Robert Louis Stephenson

Little House on the Prairie

By Laura Ingalls Wilder

The Wind in the Willows

By Kenneth Grahame

The Hobbit

by J.R.R.Tolkien

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

by Jules Verne

The Velveteen Rabbit

By Margery Williams

The Prince and the Pauper

By Mark Twain

Anne of Green Gables

by Lucy Maud Montgomery

A Christmas Carol

by Charles Dickens


Contemporary Children’s Literature Spine

Our contemporary extracts have been carefully selected to ensure that our pupils cover a range of different authors, genres and themes. It is essential that pupils become familiar with the range of genres within contemporary children’s literature from both the UK and other countries. The richness of language and art of storytelling provided by these texts allow children to expand their understanding of the world. They are then better able to make links between literature, history, geography, RE, science and other areas. Pupils are given opportunities to tackle more complex vocabulary, gain an understanding of challenging language devices, develop stamina and endurance for longer passages and practise of the eight Reading Content Domain question types. Full versions of the texts are available in the classroom and it is hoped that the pupils take the opportunity to immerse themselves in the story by reading on.

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6

Agent Zaiba investigates: The Missing Diamonds

By Annabelle Sami


The Highland Falcon Thief

by M.G Leonard & Sam Sedgman


A kind of Spark

Elle McNicoll


The Invasion of Crooked Oak

by Dan Smith

Science fiction/Friendship

The boy at the back of the class

By Onjali Q.Rauf


The Land of Roar

By Jenny McLachian


Asha and the Spirit Bird

by Jasbinder Bilan

Folklore/Indian ancestry

Letters from the Lighthouse

by Emma Carroll


A chase in time

By Sally Nicholls

Historical/Edwardian Period

Sky Pirates: Echo Quickthorn and the Great Beyond

By Alex English


Darwin’s Dragons

by Lindsay Galvin

Historical/Natural world/Dragons

Lori and Max and the Book Thieves

by Catherine O’Flynn


Daisy and the Unknown Warrior

By Tony Bradman


Starfell: Willow Moss and the Lost Day

By Dominique Valente

Fantasy/Diversity/Self belief

Dragon Mountain

By Katie and Kevin Tsang

Fantasy adventure/Dragons

The Mask of Aribella

by Anna Hoghton



By Holly Webb


SWOP and the Satsuma-Sized Secret

By Lucy Noguera


The Haunting of Aveline Jones

by Phil Hickes


October October

by Katya Balen

Family and Natural world

The Griffin Gate

By Vashti Hardy


Varjak Paw

By S.F.Said


The Hungry Ghost

by H.S. Norup


The Vanishing Trick

by Jenni Spangler



Non-Fiction Spine

Non-Fiction texts are all around us. Every day, young people encounter written news, internet articles, magazines, game instructions, leaflets and recipes. To positively engage with these texts, children must learn to identify purpose, point of view and bias. They need to understand the language and text structures of various types of non-fiction and be able to identify fact versus opinion.

We are living in an information-rich, fast-paced, scientific world. Developing solid general knowledge and an understanding of current events is key to becoming a contributing member of society who is thoughtful and aware. Reading non-fiction will help children to develop the core knowledge they need to broaden their understanding of what is going on locally, nationally and internationally – in the past, present and into the future. Technical vocabulary is incredibly important as children encounter information about a whole host of modern issues.  The non-fiction text below have been selected to expose our pupils to different non-fiction text types whilst covering wide ranging themes that support both their academic and personal development.

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6

Dog Training

Magazine Article

Relationships & pets

Are video games bad for us?

Discussion Text

PSHE & Mental Wellbeing

The high flying life-savers

Information Text


The importance of empathy

Explanation Text


Shooting for the Olympics

Newspaper Report

Sport & Ambition

Look after yourself online

Information text

Internet safety and PSHE

Couscous salad


Healthy eating

Fallen Space Rock found

Newspaper Article

Science & STEM

Fruit Crumble


Healthy eating

Dino Giant Stuns Scientists

Newspaper article


Rare Wildcats make a comeback.

Explanation Text


The rise of real life robots

Information Text

STEM & Robots

The Brains behind Legoland’s bricks

Newspaper Report

Jobs & Lego

Mount Etna’s Spectacular show

Newspaper article

Geography & Volcanoes

Should the UK ban short domestic flights?

Discussion Text


Noah’s Ark for plants turns 20

Newspaper Article

Environment & Conservation

Paddle Boarding

Information text

Sport & Leisure

A human home amongst the stars



The discovery that changed history

Information Text

History & Anglo Saxons

The composer who brought joy


Music - Beethoven

The secrets of sleep

Explanation Text

Health & Wellbeing

Is this the world’s smallest reptile?

Newspaper/Magazine article

Rainforests & Conservation

Six unbelievable jobs

Information Text

Jobs & Careers

The pilot who left a trail of mystery


Amelia Earhart