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During reading lessons, we teach the children a range of reading strategies for when they come to unknown words.

Visual Clues

We teach the children to look at the pictures to help them with the unknown word.


The children are encouraged to apply their phonics knowledge to blend unknown words. To be able to blend, the children need to know the phonemes (letter sounds) and digraphs (2 letters put together to make one sound e.g. ea) - please see our "Phonics and Grammar" section for more information. 

Using context

We teach the children to use the words around the unknown word (the context) to support finding the unknown word.

We teach these strategies together so the children have a range of tools for when they come to unknown words.

Reading Comprehension

In guided reading the children are taught about fiction and non-fiction texts. When you read with your child you should discuss whether the book is fiction or non-fiction and how they know this. It is important to check that your child is understanding what they are reading, you can check this by asking them questions about the text.  

Questions to ask your child:

  • What do you think the book is about?
  • What do you think is going to happen next?
  • How are the characters feeling? How do you know?
  • How would you describe the character? 
  • How did the characters behaviour change throughout the story? 
  • Where is the story set?
  • Why did the character act that way?
  • What do we learn from the story?
  • What has happened so far? Who are the characters?
  • What have you learnt?
  • Can you tell me a fact about the text in your own words?