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The National Curriculum sets out key skills that children should learn at Year 5. At St. Gregory’s Catholic Primary School we encourage a love of reading for pleasure. We teach key reading skills at school through shared reading in English lessons, Guided Reading, Reciprocal Reading sessions and some Independent Reading. On top of this, we promote a love of reading in a variety of ways, including sending tweets to the authors of the children’s favourite novels, and sharing their replies! (Sitting together at the end of the day, comfy cushions and bean bags strewn across the floor, lost together in a quality text, is without doubt my favourite part of the school day!)


In Year 5, children should be able to read aloud a wider range of poetry and books written at an age-appropriate interest level with fluent accuracy and at a reasonable pace. They should be able to read most words effortlessly and should be able to work out how to pronounce unfamiliar written words with increasing automaticity. If your child is not reading at this level, they will receive additional reading ‘catch up’ support at school, but this should not be the only additional input – reading should, primarily start in the home. In order for us to decide if a child is reading at the correct level, we say they should be able to read approximately 90% of the words on the page without any problem. They should also demonstrate good understanding of the text they read through comprehension questions.

The focus in Year 5 is about teaching children to understand a range of texts and to be able to evaluate the author’s choice of organisation, use of language or purpose. Aside from this, children must focus on increasing speed of reading, including developing skills such as skimming and scanning, so they are able to quickly look back over the text (without having to begin reading from the beginning again), looking for a specific reason i.e. meaning of a word, or a literal event/action etc. 


Children often have a type of book that they prefer but in Year 5 it is very important that they read a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry so they can demonstrate their understanding of a range of text types. This understanding will also help develop their writing. The Department for Education has stated that successful readers read fifty books per year, therefore the children should read daily for at least twenty minutes and aim to read a book every week on average (don’t worry – they don’t have to be door-stop sized novels!).


The National Curriculum sets out objectives for reading. The children will continue to develop their skills of word reading and comprehension. (Please see the linked document ‘National Curriculum – Reading Objectives’ for further guidance on the National Expectations)


How can you help your child develop key learning skills?

By Year 5, your child may be a confident reader and be reading texts of greater length. However, you can still help them to develop their reading skills. Ensure they read aloud to you sometimes, talk to them about the books they are reading; ask questions about books they are reading and encourage them to read a range of types of books. Maybe they could recommend a book to you!

  • Most important of all; make reading with you as enjoyable as possible.
  • Remember you are a reading role model, so let your child see you enjoying reading and remember to still relish opportunities to read to your to your child – do not underestimate a child’s love of being read to at bedtime, whatever their age!
  • Ensure your child is reading a range of texts: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, magazines and even the newspaper.
  • Ensure your child is reading widely and frequently, outside as well as in school, for pleasure and information.
  • As well as reading aloud, allow your child to read silently, and then discuss what they have read.
  • When reading books with or to your child, ensure that they continue to pay attention to new vocabulary – both a word’s meaning(s) and its correct pronunciation.
  • Discuss the effectiveness of a word an author has used.
  • Discuss the meaning of words and why the author may have used a specific word choice. Consider alternative words that could have been used, and the shades of meaning between the words.
  • Summarise reading in a concisely, in a way that includes the most important information/details, also including personal opinions.
  • Prove or disprove your ideas/predictions about the text by finding the evidence to support or challenge.


Questions you could ask your child:

  • When do you think the story takes place? Where do you think the story takes place? Why do you think this? (Look for evidence.)
  • Is there a problem in this story? If so, how does the problem get solved?
  • What type/ genre of fiction do you think this? (For example horror, science-fiction, drama)
  • What if you could change the ending of this book, what would it be?
  • Can you find a new word from the book you have read? What does it mean?
  • Why does the author use ________ word?
  • Is this story similar to another you have read? Can you describe the similarities and differences?
  • Do you think this book would make a good movie? Why or why not?
  • How is the text organised to support the reader?
  • What type of non-fiction do you think this is? (For example report, Instructions, recount or explanation.)
  • Can you summarise your text so you understand the settings, characters and events?
  • After picking a specific word, either give your child the word itself, or the meaning, and have them ‘scan’ over the text looking for the specific word, or a word that matches the meaning of the word given.
  • Learn new vocabulary as you go. Could you replace the word with one you already knew, without changing the meaning of the sentence?

Point. Evidence. Explain. Reading Strategy

Point. Evidence. Explain. Reading Strategy Powerpoint with example responses. Have a go when you're reading at home!