School Alerts


Reading Fluency

Being able to read words with appropriate speed, accuracy and intonation.

How do we know if a child is struggling with fluency? They. reads. every. word. like. this. Or that child who misses lots of words out, or stumbles on lots of words or that child who readslikethiswithoutabreath or even those children in your class that seem to read beautifully but really struggle with comprehension – even retrieval.

Fluent readers can read at an appropriate pace, accurately with appropriate stress and intonation. Remember fluent talkers = fluent readers? If fluency is measured by the ability to read as if talking – how many of our pupils are unable to talk in sentences fluently? Think about this. (TH quote.)

Why is fluency important?

Because, without fluency, comprehension suffers. Better fluency leads to greater understanding. We should read as we talk. No faster, no slower, (unless punctuation or fonts give us clues to)

Fluent reading supports comprehension because pupils’ cognitive resources are freed from focusing on word recognition and can be redirected towards comprehending the text.


All of the activities below can be used for a variety of text types. Stories, non-fiction and poetry. Poetry is perfect for fluency practice because of the rhythm and rhymes – making it fun.

Have a go at some of these activities at home using your child’s reading book or other texts which they enjoy!


Teacher  or Adult Modelling

By listening to good models of fluent reading, children learn how a reader’s voice can help written text make sense. By reading effortlessly and with expression, you are modelling for your students how a fluent reader sounds during reading so that children can eventually identify this in their own and others reading. This is a perfect opportunity to talk to children about how our voice changes when we read. For example – how our voice tone slightly raises when near the end of a question or how we pause appropriately after a conjunction.  Solid modelling of pitch, rhythm, volume and tone and the different between these should be evident in these sessions. These should be verbally discussed with KS2 children.

Echo Reading

The teacher will begin by reading a sentence or small paragraph. The children then echo the sentence straight after, ensuring they listen and copy the correct level of intonation. The teacher then reads the next sentence, and again this is echoed by the children. This is continued.

Choral Reading

The teacher reads a piece of text. (Sentence, paragraph, page) The children then read this together as a class, or small group. This is particularly effective this poetry. Watch vulnerable pupils here, sometimes lips can move with no sounds coming out! This is a great activity for practising pace and rhythm.

Repeated Reading

When the text is read by the teacher once or twice. The children then read the text 2/3 times by themselves, improving fluency, accuracy and pace with each read.

Peer Assessment Reading activity works well here – See attached sheet.

Children will read the passage 3 times. Giving their partner a score for each read. This is based on fluency, expression and confidence. This activity is only appropriate if children know and understand what these 3 key aspects of reading sound/look like.

Fluency Theatre

Children spend time taking part repeated reading of a small passage before performing to the rest of the class or to a small group.

Peer assess based on fluency and expression.

Whole class/group of children performing short plays, poems or stories is a great way to develop fluency.


Scooping and Swooping

Underline groups of words and scooping these together for reading. A visual support for children to see how to develop intonation. As children move up Y3+ use swooping and scooping to further develop children’s understanding of taking note of punctuation whilst reading. Where would we swoop if there is a comma coming up?

This strategy helps children hear for themselves how words come together.


Reading Ping Pong

A strategy used to support fluency and engagement.

Children work in pairs. They take it in turn to read a sentence from a passage. If one of the children loses where they are, or is not following, their partner gets a point and they start reading the passage again, from the beginning. Points are recorded at the bottom of the sheet. This activity is fabulous for ensuring children are ready for their sentence. You will find that children, without realising will be reading their partners sentence under their breath to get ready for theirs.

Repeat After Me.

This activity requires children to work with an iPad. Children will watch small clips of the teachers reading a passage. They will begin by listening and watching the mouth movements of the teacher at least three times. Then, once ready, children play the recording and try to read along at the same time to work on and develop pace of reading. Children will need a copy of the text or passage to read from – don’t expect them to memorise it.

Read, Record, Rate, Repeat.

How often do children get to hear themselves read? How do they know what their expression and pace is actually like?

Children work individually to film themselves reading a short passage. Then watch it back. Review it and rerecord for a second attempt.

For Y2+ give the children the text first to annotation and make notes around. For example, if the passage includes speech, the children could highlight the speech and write a note next to it.’ Angry voice here’ etc.

In a minute fluency.

Children are given a passage/piece of text.

Children are to work with a partner. One at a time the children read, their partners job is to underline any words that their partner stumbled on. After a minute. The children put a star in the text where they managed to read up to. They count the number of words read and record. Any words which their partner underlined goes in a box for the child to practise reading. This is also an opportunity to connect with vocab – do we need to check the definition of this word in a dictionary? Swap and continue.

Reading Relay

Children work in teams of 4/5. Children are given a text to read which will be on 4/5 cards (or highlighted in different colours on one sheet)

The activity starts with the children standing in a line or around a table. The first child will begin reading and then will pass the ‘baton’ onto the next child. If the next child is not ready, then the baton goes back to the beginning. Each group has at least 10 minutes to practise before two or more groups go against each other. Who will finish first? REMEMBER – teams can be disqualified for reading too quickly or rushing. Winners always read like we talk.

Ready, Steady, Read

Children are given 3 small paragraphs of text. Red, Amber, Green. They begin by reading the red passage and recording how long it took for them to read. They then read the paragraph another 2 times and record. Did they improve? Continue with the Amber and Green paragraph.


Please open the document below to see how we teach reading here at Kingfisher.

Literacy expectations

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