Reading Intervention Team


As part of our commitment to reading at Blackhorse we have a team of specialist Teaching Assistants managed by the SENCO who contribute towards the school reading ethos.


Our aim as a reading intervention team is to develop capable, confident readers who enjoy reading a variety of texts and can articulate their thoughts and opinions accordingly. The team use a system called Benchmarking in KS1 and KS2 to assess and monitor progress.


Benchmarking- A child reads a fiction or non-fiction text to themselves, at a specific level and is then asked to read it aloud. One they have finished reading we ask them to tell us what the text was about. We have a set number of questions we ask about the text which are designed to assess how well they can understand and then articulate their understanding of the text. Based upon what we observe, we can then identify what support they require to progress their reading.


Children who receive the Pupil Premium are guaranteed access to the Reading Intervention team and will receive sessions tailored to their ability. The team’s main role is to work 1-1 to support children who would benefit from additional reading support. If parents/ carers have concerns about reading they are happy to offer help and advice, you can talk to your child’s class teacher about this. They all love reading and are passionate about engaging children and helping them love reading too!




We have one Teaching Assistant working in EYFS whose role is to support the teaching from class phonics lessons with 1-1 and small group work. All children develop at different rates, particularly during the first year of school life. Children who may need additional support with recognising and understanding phonics will come to the Reading Intervention TA. The children use cursive and non-cursive flash cards to learn sounds and various games are used to keep sessions fun and engaging. Your child will come home with ‘tricky words’ which need to be learnt by sight as a whole word and sessions with the Reading intervention TA reinforces this learning. Children will be encouraged to blend the sounds they have learnt to read words in books at the appropriate level.


KS1 Reading Team


KS1 has a team of two Reading Intervention TAs who work with the Year 1 team to assess phonic recognition and establish initial colour reading band level. They offer intensive 1-1 sessions with children to consolidate the use of phonics and other reading strategies to de-code new words and comprehension. Children learn in different ways and each session will be tailored to an individual’s need. Progress is monitored using a system called Benchmarking to assess reading ability and understanding and children move and on and off the scheme as appropriate and agreed with teaching staff.

In Year 2 we tend to work more on comprehension where appropriate but again all sessions are tailored to the individual child’s stage and progress. Parents receive comments in the child’s Reading Record and regular home reading with an adult is absolutely essential. We have a wide range of resources in addition to the general book stock we use to target specific areas of learning. You may find your child comes home with additional resources or slightly different books chosen by the team as more suitable. We are always happy to help parents support their children and your child’s teacher can help arrange a meeting in school with one of us if required.


KS2 Reading Team


KS2 has a team of two Reading Intervention TAs who work with children over the 8 KS2 classes. A child is identified by the class teacher as requiring support to either achieve their ARE (age related expectation) or achieve mastery in reading. Working with individual children we assess their reading capabilities. We use a system called Benchmarking to assess what strategies a child uses to read and how well they understand the text.


The sessions are tailored to the individual child. We use a range of methods which include children reading to us, us reading to children to model expression/fluency, role play using playscripts, and sharing the reading. We spend a lot of time discussing the texts with the children, encouraging them to question what they are reading e.g. why, who, how, what next….? We want children to enjoy reading and there is no ‘one fits all’ approach.


We have a wealth of resources that we use, from phonics resources (we work with the KS1 team to ensure consistency), a variety of texts apt to the level of the child we are working with, comprehension cards, Dyslexia friendly texts (mainly Barrington Stoke), Nessy, Read Write Inc, playscripts and other texts that would interest particular children, e.g. superhero texts.


Comprehension cards- we have a box of 60 cards (a mix of fiction and non-fiction) each box covering years 3-7, which are a terrific way of providing a short, structured comprehension focus. The non-fiction texts cover maths, science and social studies topics. The child reads the text on one side and then answers up to 5 comprehension question on the reverse side of the card. The question are multiple choice however to encourage deeper thinking, we may ask the question and encourage the child to find the answer without the multiple choice options.


We keep track of progress and assess the support required by benchmarking the children and holding termly team meetings. We feedback to class teachers on a regular basis and discuss strategies to promote progress.


We are always happy to provide parents and teachers with support whether it be assessing levels, identifying useful resources, or providing reading/comprehension materials.