Just Imagine

Between the Lines: an approach to developing comprehension skills in context

This comprehensive, practical and interactive course explores the full range of reading skills It addresses knowledge-based and skills-based perspectives and proposes pedagogical practices which develop skills in rich and meaningful contexts.

The content draws on a two-year research project managed by Just Imagine Director, Nikki Gamble for the London School Excellence Fund and on work undertaken
for Guiding Readers: Developing Effective Approaches to Reading Comprehension (winner of the UKLA academic Book of the Year 2017).

We start with an overview of the model of comprehension that underpins the National Curriculum, drawing on insights from recent research as well as school based and LA wide projects to demonstrate what works. We make a clear distinction between the teaching approaches needed for developing reading comprehension and for the assessment of reading. Test preparation is addressed and considered in this context.

Areas of focus

  • Understanding comprehension and inference
  • Selecting texts and mapping the potential of the text
  • Discussion and dialogue
  • The most effective evidence based strategies including reciprocal reading strategies, visualisation, use of graphic organisers, text marking, think aloud
    authentic questioning and other metacognitive strategies
  • Robust vocabulary instruction
  • Comprehending fiction, non-fiction and poetry
  • Teacher assessment
  • Auditing and action planning

Key Stage suitability

Can be tailored to cover any or all Key Stages from EYFS to UKS2

Course length

Recommended three days across three terms with opportunities for gap tasks.

Option for one- or two-day versions of this training, focusing on specific aspects, are possible. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.


For schools seeking to develop deeper professional knowledge and pedagogic practice, two- or three-year projects can be devised.


  • Guiding Readers 7—11 A handbook for teaching comprehension Wayne Tennant, David Reedy, Angela Hobsbaum, Nikki Gamble (2016)
    A copy of this book for each delegate can be included in training costs at a special training price.