How to approach guided reading in the EYFS

Find tips and resources to help you deliver guided reading in the EYFS, and see how 3 schools have approached this.

Last reviewed on 23 March 2022
School types: All · School phases: Primary
Ref: 8401
  1. Focus on the early learning goal (ELG) for literacy
  2. Group pupils based on ability
  3. Remember that some pupils may be unfamiliar with books
  4. See how 3 schools approach this
  5. Refer to these resources for further support

Focus on the early learning goal (ELG) for literacy

For word reading, pupils at the expected level of development will: 

  • Say a sound for each letter of the alphabet and at least 10 digraphs 
  • Read words consistent with their phonic knowledge by sound-blending 
  • Read aloud simple sentences and books that are consistent with their phonic knowledge, including some common exception words 

This is set out on page 13 of the EYFS statutory framework. Find out how to deliver high-quality reading lessons

Group pupils based on ability

It’s likely that pupils in the EYFS will be working at a range of abilities. Use differentiated groups with reading material suited to each group’s ability. 

Teachers could then discuss the story in these groups while also doing some phonics work (if appropriate).