Alternative to guided reading: whole-class reading

Some schools are moving away from 'carousel' reading sessions and implementing whole-class reading. Learn how this approach can work and how to introduce it in your school.

Last reviewed on 31 October 2022
School types: AllSchool phases: PrimaryRef: 34325
  1. The approach in a nutshell
  2. How it works
  3. How and when to introduce it

The approach in a nutshell

Instead of a carousel of activities, pupils have reading lessons as a whole class. These lessons:

  • Are built around the teacher reading high-quality and challenging texts, which are dissected by the class through high-level questioning and discussion
  • Include a range of activities – not all of which have to have a written outcome – that enable pupils to develop their vocabulary and comprehension skills
  • Do not require you to group pupils by ability


Know the pros and cons of the whole-class and carousel approaches so you can decide which is