An introduction to Whole Class Guided Reading – including live lessons

Whole Class Guided Reading Resource Page

Philip Webb Literacy in association with..fullsizeoutput_1eb1

Feedback from Whole Class Reading input:

‘The best part of the course was sharing ideas on Whole Class Guided Reading and looking at suggested structures.’

‘The best part of the course was Whole Class Guided Reading structures as it’s something I’m keen to develop.’

‘… showing the ease of planning and the bank of resources.’

 11 July 2018 – 9.30 am –  4.00 pm – The Academy at St James – Allerton, Bradford

I have been developing work on Whole Class Guided Reading (WCGR) throughout this school year in a number of schools in Bradford. The Staff at St James have made a brilliant start to this approach and we would like to share our work with you. I have developed a planning format and a system which seems to be working well. Have a look at the photographs from the reading journals from St James at the foot of the page for evidence of outcomes.


Message from Chris Tolson, Head of School.

Having been the Head of St James for two terms, I had focused on other priorities but it became apparent we really needed to look at the way were teaching reading. As a teacher, I had always delivered guided reading and in my previous roles I had has always been an advocate of this. However, a number of things had made me re-think this idea as I was concerned that children were not getting access to high quality texts, planning was over complicated and not effective and that the children needed access to lots of vocabulary and peer to peer support. I did some reading on blogs and spoke to Philip and decided to trial this in Year 6 for a few weeks. The impact was wonderful to watch. Pupils were engaged in high quality texts, supporting each other with vocabulary and teachers were not having to plan 5 different sessions with 5 different books. Learning was still differentiated but it was focused around one text and gave all pupils access to it. Following this trial, we rolled it out to the whole school and we have seen some wonderful progress. Pupils have a better understanding of the whole novel, are getting access to different types of questions at their starting point and self esteem and confidence is growing. One of my staff also said: ” I love the structure and how well the children are tackling this – it is my favourite lesson to teach! ” We are only at the beginning of our journey but what a start we have had! We will continue to learn and develop our practice – I can not wait to see how it develops.


Above is a plan for a sample session using my planning format


Outcomes: Participants will be introduced to the idea of Whole Class Guided Reading and compare the approach with the traditional ‘carousel’ approach. They will have the opportunity to observe ‘live’ teaching and have a follow up discussion with the teachers about the sessions. A suggested planning format will be shared that can be adapted to cover non-fiction and poetry. There will be ideas for differentiation to  support developing readers and to extend higher achievers. We will share many ideas during the day than can be used in any format of Guided Reading.

Target audience: KS2 teachers – Head Teachers and Senior Leaders – English Leaders  and anyone considering a move to WCGR.

Draft plan of the day:

  • 9.30 am – 10.30 am – An Introduction to Whole Class Guided Reading 
  • 10.30 Coffee  
  • 10.45 – 11.30 – Split into small groups to observe live teaching in KS2
  • 11.30 – 11.45 – Discussion groups with teachers
  • 12.00 – 12 .15 Reflection on the morning
  • 12.15 pm – 1.00 Lunch
  • 1.00 – 4.00 pm
    • WCGR with non-fiction and poetry
    • Differentiation and Greater Depth
    • More ideas for independent work
    • Planning workshop


Course fee – £170 per person including refreshments, lunch and online access to course materials 

Online booking here