Reading comprehension strategies – KS2 exercises & resources

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Key Stage



Years 3-6


If you’re looking to brush up on your knowledge of reading comprehension strategies, these four handouts from the National Literacy Trust will prove useful.

Discussion exercises

Questioning is key to comprehension. Questions help to show that a pupil has engaged with a text and understood what it contains. This download contains four discussion exercises to try with your KS2 class.

Definitions of reading comprehension

This handout contains nine definitions of reading comprehension to discuss with your colleagues. The first three definitions are as follows:

  • Retrieving the sense of individual words, combining clauses to make sentences and make meaning from successive sentences and paragraphs. (Cain 2010)
  • The skill of reading to extract knowledge or reading with understanding. (Moyle 1972)
  • A process in which readers construct meaning by interacting with text through the combination of prior knowledge and previous experience, information in the text, and the stance the reader takes in relationship to the text. (Pardo 2004)

Top 10 reading comprehension resources

This PDF points you in the direction of ten further resources about reading comprehension, if you want to learn more. The first three recommendations are:

Getting them reading early, Ofsted – Guidance and training for inspectors on how to assess reading comprehension.

Reading Comprehension Strategies, Education Endowment Foundation – Reading comprehension approaches to improving reading focus on learners’ understanding of the text.

Ready to read?, Ofsted – A study of how reading is taught in 12 primary schools in Stoke-on-Trent

Reading comprehension curriculum overview

This document contains a comprehensive breakdown of all national curriculum reading comprehension objectives for Years 1 to 6.

These handouts are taken from the National Literacy Trust’s two-day course, Raising Standards in Reading Comprehension in Key Stage 2. The National Literacy Trust is an independent charity that empowers children, young people, and adults with the literacy skills they need to succeed. Browse more reading comprehension KS2 resources.

Reading comprehension strategies documents
Reading comprehension strategies – KS2 exercises & resources

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