Sinéad Gaffney

What’s the best path to take for your primary reading strategy?

Thanks to curriculum changes, primaries are now shifting towards the whole-class approach to reading. But is that choice – instead of implementing guided reading – the right one? Sinéad Gaffney referees the debate between the two camps

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As we seek to turn our word-pointing four-year-olds into story-loving, book-confident, word-curious 11-year-olds, the choice of how we go about the business of teaching reading is one of the most important decisions we will make.

Back in the heyday of Literacy Strategies, guided reading was strongly encouraged and, over decades, it became the expected practice for teaching reading.

But the 2014 curriculum changes have been a catalyst for debate: different curricula can require different pedagogical approaches and many teachers have now ditched guided reading in favour of whole-class reading.

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