Picking the right reading approach: carousel vs whole-class

Know the pros and cons of the carousel and whole-class approaches to reading, so you can decide which method is right for your school.

Last reviewed on 25 May 2022
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 39532
  1. Carousel 
  2. Whole-class reading


You're likely already familiar with this approach, as this is the more traditional way schools teach reading. It's sometimes also referred to as 'guided reading'.

How it works 

The teacher:

Pros  Cons  Suitable for classes with a large gap in pupil ability  Suitable for pupils who might need more structured lessons  Your teachers may already be comfortable and confident with this approach Puts pressure on teacher workload – they need to plan and differentiate (usually 5) different activities Relies on a teaching assistant (TA) to supervise pupils carrying out independent activities  Could be difficult to carry