The Reading Framework | Series 1, Episode 13

The reading framework - guidance for teachers and schools from DfE.

Episode 13

Episode 13 show notes

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Episode 13 transcript

The Reading Framework, DfE guidance, and how the School Reading List’s free resources can help.

A few thoughts on the recent updates to The Reading Framework by the DfE

The government’s Reading Framework was updated in July. Let’s take a look at the changes and how the free resources on the school reading list website can help schools and teachers meet the requirements of the new guidance.

Building upon its foundation from July 2021, this upgraded framework introduces some interesting new themes and changes.

There’s a Holistic Approach. The framework’s expansion beyond key stage 1 marks a significant stride. This extension ensures that it now offers tailored guidance for key stages 2 and 3, recognising the evolving needs of students as they progress through their educational journey.

It addresses Reading Attainment. Recent KS2 SATs results indicating a decline in reading attainment, from 75% in 2022 to 73% in 2023, emphasise the timely relevance of the updated framework. The framework positions itself as guidance to equip educators with tools to counter this trend and elevate reading outcomes.

It recommends using fluency as a bridge. The new framework prioritises fluency in reading comprehension. Section 4 delves into techniques to develop fluency, bridging the gap between word decoding and comprehension. It recommends employing strategies such as repeated readings and timed exercises to enhance students’ fluency skills.

It introduces strategies for deeper understanding. Section 5 sheds light on the importance of teaching reading comprehension strategies. It emphasises multifaceted skills like prediction and inference, which skilled readers employ to navigate complex texts. Educators can encourage students to make predictions before reading and later compare them with the text’s content. Implementing peer-led reading discussions can also enhance analytical thinking and inference skills.

It specifies targeted support for students. Section 6 is dedicated to identifying students requiring additional support. From personalized interventions for fluency struggles to decoding and understanding barriers, the framework provides practical guidance. Peer reading partnerships can be employed to foster a collaborative learning environment where proficient readers assist their peers.

There’s a focus on reading for pleasure. Section 8 emphasises nurturing a culture of reading for pleasure. Independent reading sessions provide students the freedom to select books that resonate with them, fostering genuine interest. Additionally, the framework encourages the establishment of book clubs, where students come together to discuss their chosen reads and share recommendations.

It stresses amplifying vocabulary knowledge. Vocabulary takes centre stage in section 7. The framework underscores the significance of building a robust vocabulary that extends beyond immediate textual context. This aligns with the framework’s emphasis on vocabulary’s role across the curriculum.

Interdisciplinary reading skills are highlighted. Sections 9 and 10 advocate for integrating reading skills across subjects. Educators can design cross-disciplinary projects involving reading and analysing diverse texts. This approach enhances reading comprehension and deepens students’ understanding of the curriculum’s broader concepts.

The reading framework’s impact on educators. While the framework’s guidance is a move forward, its real impact lies in educators’ hands. Armed with this comprehensive resource, and the authority of the government guidance, educators have the opportunity to reshape the reading landscape, nurturing inquisitive minds and fostering an enduring passion for learning.

Let’s have a look at some themes schools can develop using this guidance as a platform:
Foster lifelong learning. By instilling a love for reading, educators can pave the way for students to become lifelong learners. With the framework’s support, we can inspire curiosity, critical thinking, and a genuine appreciation for the written word.

Promote inclusivity. The framework emphasises diverse voices and characters in literature. Educators can curate a reading list that celebrates various cultures, perspectives, and experiences, fostering an inclusive learning environment.

Harness technology. While the framework remains rooted in traditional reading practices, it acknowledges the role of technology. Educators can leverage digital tools to engage tech-savvy students, blending traditional and modern approaches seamlessly.

Encourage collaboration and professional development. The framework encourages collaboration among educators, fostering a culture of sharing best practices. Additionally, it highlights the importance of continuous professional development to stay updated with evolving pedagogical strategies.

Improve parental engagement. The framework underscores the role of parents in nurturing reading skills. Educators can collaborate with parents by suggesting age-appropriate reading materials and facilitating at-home reading routines.

Move towards increasingly personalised learning. With its detailed guidance on identifying individual reading needs, the framework supports educators in tailoring instruction to each student’s strengths and challenges.

Measure progress effectively and efficiently. The framework emphasises ongoing assessment to gauge students’ progress. Educators can employ formative assessment tools to monitor comprehension growth and adjust instruction accordingly.

So the updated reading framework is an asset in our mission to cultivate skilled and passionate readers. But how can we use resources and ideas from the education internet to flesh out the framework and make it a reality in the school environment?

Here’s how the free resources found on the School Reading List website can be used.

Book clubs – we’ve created over a year’s worth of free ready-to-go primary and secondary book club resources. There’s also advice on participation, staffing, promotion and funding.

The teacher as an influencer. If you need ready-to-go book-tasting blurbs for new books, we have it all done for you. We have fiction, nonfiction and picture book books of the month, on Twitter and Facebook we also publish classic and new books of the day. Also, have a look at our new term previews which cover upcoming books for next term. These previews cover the present day and go back to 2017. Use these links and you will have access to thousands of free children’s and teen book recommendations.

The reading framework doesn’t favour reward schemes that offer prizes or points, so try one of our reading challenges that reward by encouraging more reading, rather than old-fashioned incentive schemes like book bingo or schemes that depend on prizes or bribery. Have a look at our free reading challenge resources.

The reading framework wants teachers to take time to get to know their pupils as readers and know their likes, dislikes and interests. In a future feature, we’ll take a look at how to organise a whole school reading preference audit.

The guidance encourages teachers to have up-to-date subject knowledge of literature and other books that help pupils put in the reading miles. Keep abreast of not just our new book resources, but also children’s and YA literature awards that celebrate the best new material each year.

Also, consider planning visits to children’s literature festivals and events, develop connections and keep a dialogue with your local children’s bookshop and make sure you follow the key children’s literature online blogs.

There it is. The reading framework and how to use the resources on our website to embed it into your school’s curriculum.

Episode 13 credits

To see full details of licensing information, creative commons, GNU license credits and other attributions that apply to every episode of this podcast, see our School Reading List podcast credits information page.

Credits specific to this episode

  • Kevin MacLeod – Bummin on Tremelo – (purchased lifetime extended licensed registered to Tom Tolkien license ID FML-170359-11969).
  • Listener submitted monologues from debut and self-published authors including: Katy on Broadway by Ella English, Movie Night with the Wizziwigs by Saxon North-Cornell & The 4th Dimension by Dr. Joseph J. Pamelia.

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About Tom Tolkien

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Tom Tolkien is a highly qualified (BA Hons, PGCE, QTS) children's literature expert and teacher with over 25 years of experience. He has led inset courses, developed curriculum materials, spoken at conferences, advised on longlisting for several international children's literature literature awards and written for educational publishers including contributing to a BETT award-nominated app. Social profiles: Twitter | Linkedin