Learning to read begins with a rich combination of being read to, language experience, and shared reading (where the teacher reads a Big Book, with input from the the students). Guided reading instruction begins when students have developed some confidence with books, have a sense of story, and are beginning to attend to print - knowing that the words on the page represent words they can read.
Students develop early concepts about print, gain control over one-to-one matching (pointing to the words as they read), they should expect text to make sense and sound right, and start to build a reading vocabulary of high-frequency words. They also begin to use their knowledge of letter to sound relationships to sound out unknown words in the text.
Students will read daily with a teacher. Their reading teacher will likely remain the same over the Term and know their needs and abilities well. Small guided reading groups of 6-8 students allows the teacher to focus explicitly on the reading goals of the students at their own level and pace. Students will either take home the book they have read with the teacher, or an independent book, that should be at an easy to read level for them. This allows reading at home to develop fluency, expression and phrasing, rather than a lot of time spent working out new words.
While the teacher works with each group, other students will be engaged in independent reading activities or follow up tasks or will be participating in WINGS Discovery Time (our Learning Through Play programme that runs in our Junior School).