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Teaching Primary Reading: The Complete Story

Just Imagine, and Agate Momentum Trust are delighted to be working in partnership to offer a comprehensive reading course designed to have maximum impact in your school. The course comprises workshop-based sessions and classroom visits to observe and reflect on practice.

How do schools with well above average free school meals and EAL students achieve significantly above national results? Hallsville and Scott Wilke, situated in Canning Town and Custom House, have done just that.

According to their leaders, the answer lies in the following: prioritising reading on the timetable and school development plan; ensuring staff are knowledgeable about how to teach reading insisting teaching materials are enriching, deep,
sequenced and well thought through.

“Agate Momentum Trust has, for the past four years, been working in partnership with Just Imagine – an organisation that seeks to promote excellence in the teaching of reading. Our greater-depth results have never been so high, and I know this is down to ‘Take One Book’ and the ‘Reading Gladiators’ – programmes that are planned and provided by this amazing company.”

Keri Edge, Trust Leader and NLE

What does the course cover?

  • The relationship between teaching reading and raising readers.
  • Creating a culture of reading and environments that support real reading.
  • Teacher knowledge of children’s literature, including fiction, nonfiction, picturebooks, graphic novels and poetry.
  • Effective approaches to developing comprehension and meaning-making
  • Increased knowledge and understanding of inference-making and the challenges that texts present.
  • Learning about language, including grammar, punctuation, vocabulary and literary language.
  • Creative teaching approaches that engage learners, including storytelling, drama, music and art, understanding how they work and when to use them.
  • Understanding the challenges of disciplinary literacy (history, science and geography) and the teaching approaches that support learners.
  • The potential of texts and planning a sequence of work.
  • Whole school policy and making sustainable change.


Course Description
Teaching reading is, without doubt, one of the most important objectives of primary education. It has been a hotly contested topic. Research indicates that children who choose to read experience many other benefits, such as better health and wellbeing,
increased chances of academic success and, as a result, better chances of social mobility.

Teacher knowledge and understanding are crucial for developing effective practice. This comprehensive course examines the latest reading research and practical application in the classroom. In this course, we demonstrate the connections between
reading, writing and oral language, with high-quality dialogic teaching being a key factor. We focus on blending reading for pleasure with reading skills, rather than treating them as discrete aspects of reading. We look at developing a reading culture in which children choose to read in school and at home. This is the bedrock on which the other elements of this course are built.

The course starts by exploring fundamental questions: What is reading? What is reading for? How do children learn to read? What makes a reader? The importance of high-quality children’s literature, book provision and text selection is a theme that runs through the course. We will look at the many different ways in which books are made available to children both for reading for pleasure and consider how we choose books for teaching by close examination of their potential for teaching.

We examine in depth how children make meaning from what they read and how comprehension can be supported and developed through the judicious teaching of reading skills. Skills in themselves are not the objective of teaching. Routines and rituals
carry a high degree of redundancy, so teacher identification of which skills need to be taught, when to teach them and how, are considered in depth. Alongside the teaching of skills, we present reader response approaches that examine
the importance of developing cognitive and affective responses and the teaching strategies and tools that support this.

We also detail the specific challenges of disciplinary literacy – reading in science, history and geography and new approaches to teaching reading across the curriculum. Delegates will be introduced to a flexible framework which synthesizes the different
elements of reading instruction. This framework was initially devised as part of a London Schools Excellence funded project (4XR) and further developed and refined by Just Imagine as Take One Book. The framework is designed to progress from orientation to reading through first encounters (establishing a literal understanding) to a deeper understanding and reflection. The framework is useful irrespective of whether a school adopts Take One Book. Delegates will be taken through a planning process so they can apply the principles to texts of their choice.

Please note: that while this course acknowledges the importance of good phonics teaching and may indicate opportunities for practising phonic knowledge, an approach or scheme for teaching phonics is not incorporated into the sessions. It is expected that schools will have a scheme for teaching phonics in place.

What Is included in the training?
● 8 face-to-face training workshops with class observations and review
● Introductory and final session to include a senior leader
● Practical gap tasks to inform reflective practice
● 12 months Just Imagine subscription, which includes access to Take One Book,
Just Imagine Book Club (if you are already a subscriber, you will have 12 months
free subscription from the date that your renewal falls due).
● A collection of 6 books used in Take One Book, which will be used in workshops


First teacher £1100 plus VAT
Additional teachers £800 plus VAT
Invoices must be paid prior to the start of the training.

Training Dates
5th October
19th October
16th November
18th January
7th March
25th April

Plus 1 date TBC July 2024

Booking link