At school > Subject guides > Reading at primary school > Reading in Year 3 & 4

Reading in Year 3 and 4 (age 7 - 9)

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Most children will be really taking off with their reading in these years – reading much more fluently and beginning to tackle longer books with chapters as well as developing their own reading interests and opinions. There are still new skills to learn and reading in the junior years is about developing understanding of what they read and beginning to think about how and why a writer writes.

Reading to learn

Children in the lower juniors read for lots of different purposes across a wide range of different subjects and topics in the classroom. They will be taught how to decide what they need to know and then how to find and use information from a range of sources including dictionaries. They learn to work more confidently in groups and discuss, share and express views and opinions. They’ll probably be comparing what they see on screen and on the page.

Reading and writing skills

When reading and spelling unfamiliar words your child should be able to use what they know about the way words are structured to help them to read aloud and to understand meanings. Teachers will encourage children to write down their ideas using sentences, punctuation and words more adventurously and some schools will send home weekly spellings to be learned.

Your child will be learning to become an independent, fluent and enthusiastic reader and writer, using more varied grammar and vocabulary. Additionally, they will read extracts and whole texts as well as read, rehearse and perform these to improve their ability to speak well in different situations and with/for different people.

Independent reading

Your child will more frequently be choosing their own reading book(s) now, although some children still benefit from levelled books to help them to take steps towards reading longer books and also building their reading confidence. There will still be whole class and group/ guided reading sessions in class too, when the teacher will teach particular aspects of reading and writing. But there is less time for teachers to hear children read individually, so encourage your child to read alone and read with you at home and sometimes, silently.

Assessment and reading

Teachers are still assessing all the time, collecting examples of your child’s reading and recording their observations too. Some schools get the children to take end of year practice tests. It's very common for children to assess or mark each other’s work as well as their own as this can be an effective form of learning. You will be kept informed about your child’s progress (through record books and parents' evenings) and if your child is finding reading tricky then extra support is usually provided by the teacher or specialist teacher, in consultation with you. This support is often through small group work and may be in or out of the classroom. Your support and encouragement is hugely important but as ever, if you’re worried then do talk to your child’s teacher.

Reading in Year 5 & 6 >

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