Developing Reading Skills

(Up to 60 minutes)

Strategies to help improve pupils’ reading skills in KS3.

In this module you will:

  • reflect on possible reasons for pupils’ reading skills not progressing

  • identify progression routes for developing reading skills in groups of pupils

  • plan how to develop the reading skills of one pupil or group of pupils


(10-15 minutes)

Please read the notes below and identified resources to focus on the skill of reading

This Learning Module uses two well established resources for supporting progressing pupils’ skills in reading.

CCEA Ready Reckoner for Reading (included below or click here to download)

CCEA Literacy Resource for Reading cards (included below or click here to download)

They are closely linked to the Levels of Progression for Communication. The Levels of Progression in Communication will be explored in another Learning Module.

Reading is an essential life skill and a means of accessing and achieving in all other areas of learning. Reading is understanding it is more than repeating information from a text, reading is processing the information and comprehension.

Why it is important for you to ensure that pupils progress in reading?

Pupils perform better when they understand the text they are reading. It could be an exam question in History or Home Economics, it could be an instruction on how to carry out an experiment, it could be a book they are wanting to read to obtain knowledge.

Supporting Resources

Many resources exist to support the teaching of reading.

CCEA Ready Reckoner for Reading is a straightforward guide that is suitable for both teachers and the pupils.

Before a teacher can help develop a pupil’s reading skills they need to know what level the pupil is currently working at. This is a simple fact. If you were asking for instructions for a journey the first thing you would be asked is where are you coming from? This is the same when supporting a pupil to develop their reading skills.

The Ready Reckoners are linked directly to the Level of Progression for Communication (they will be explored in another session) but they are summary statements of what is expected at each level. The key words and short phrases in bold show the differentiation between the levels.

Ready Reckoner for Reading - Key Stage 3 Communication.pdf

CCEA Literacy Resource for Reading Cards are checklists that will give pupils focus when taking part in activities that involve reading. They are designed to be used across the curriculum and in a variety of different situations.

Reading Checklist- Cards.pdf

Both above resources also cover the other modes of communication

  • Talking and Listening

  • Writing


(15 minutes)

Focus on pupils that you think are challenged with reading.

  • Why do you think they are challenged?

  • How is their difficulty evidenced? Is it in making deductions, is it in identifying words?

  • Is there one particular card from the Reading Checklist Cards that you think your pupils would find helpful?


(20 minutes)

What will your next steps be? Take the opportunity to plan how you are going to use what you have learned in this session with a specific group of pupils.

  • Can you think of a pupil or group of pupils that you would focus on for developing their reading skills?

  • Would you ask another teacher to work alongside you in doing this?

  • How would you start? Would you use the Ready Reckoner to identify the level they are currently working at?

  • Would you share the Ready Reckoners and Checklist Cards with pupils?

Further Reading and Support Materials