How to approach guided reading in the EYFS

Find tips and resources to help you deliver guided reading in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), and see how 3 schools approach it.

Last reviewed on 20 March 2023
School types: AllSchool phases: PrimaryRef: 8401
  1. Focus on the early learning goal (ELG) for literacy
  2. Group pupils based on ability
  3. Books aren't familiar to everyone
  4. Prepare staff to lead guided reading
  5. See how 3 schools approach this
  6. Consider alternative approaches
  7. Resources for further support

Focus on the early learning goal (ELG) for literacy

For comprehension, pupils at the expected level of development will:

  • Demonstrate understanding of what has been read to them by retelling stories and narratives using their own words and recently introduced vocabulary
  • Anticipate key events in stories
  • Use and understand recently introduced vocabulary during discussions about stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems

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.

Group pupils based on ability

Teachers can then discuss

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