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Bug Club Guided, Pearson

Transformational Guided Reading with Bug Club

Transformational Guided Reading with Bug Club

Age Range
Early years5-77-11

Bug Club Guided Reading for KS2 enables you to take a consistent approach to teaching and build upon the key comprehension skills that are evaluated

Key points to take away

  • Bug Club Guided Reading for KS2 helps to create really enthusiastic, confident readers with advanced critical thinking and writing skills.
  • Bug Club Guided Reading for KS2 is great for developing those all-important analytical reading skills even for children who struggle to decode.

Consistency and coverage

When St. Faith’s and St. Martin’s Junior school decided to adopt Bug Club Guided Reading KS2 as a whole-school resource they were looking to achieve a consistent approach to teaching comprehension skills across the school. Year 5 teacher Debs Taylor explains that previously there had been no single framework for Guided Reading, with different teachers in different year groups using a multitude of different resources. “We wanted something that would logically and consistently build up the full range of comprehension skills. When you’re doing something that’s more ad hoc, you’re not necessarily addressing the comprehension skills that the children need that do prepare them for assessment. Although assessment isn’t the be all and end all, they do need to be able to tackle that.”

While a little sceptical of using a scheme to begin with, Debs was quickly won-over by the structure, the quality of the resources, and ultimately the children’s positive response to the programme. She has already seen an improvement in reading comprehension in their Spring term assessment results and believes a key part of this is the ‘Three-question’ approach used in Bug Club Guided Reading KS2, which mirrors the types of questions that children will encounter in the national tests – the Looking question, which practises finding textual references; the Clue question, which helps children develop inference skills; and the Thinking question, which builds confidence in accessing prior knowledge.

Creating independent and enthusiastic readers — and writers

Debs has created a finely tuned carousel system for implementing Bug Club Guided Reading KS2 with her class, to the point that children are so familiar with the way it works they are able to take the lead if the class ever needs to be covered. “I can just set them off and they’ll talk like it’s a book club!” The programme works on a weekly cycle, and while it can be run with a whole class, Debs is staggering groups so that every child gets more out of the Day 3 activity – a teacher-led discussion to really help children dig deeper into the text. She has seen confidence and independence skyrocket: “My more confident readers have really accelerated and, when you look at the standard of work they do in their book each week, the quantity that they write and the detail that they write in is amazing.

It has impacted on their work in other areas as well. They’re using the research skills they’re learning with Guided Reading in other subjects. For example, in History we’re looking at the Romans and they’ll pick up an iPad or laptop or a thesaurus or dictionary and carry out research independently.”

“They’re using research skills they’re learning with Guided Reading in other subjects.”

Debs is also excited about the impact the programme is having on her less confident readers. Although she had been initially uncertain whether they would be able to access the Year 5 texts and benefit from the programme, with adult support for decoding, she has been amazed at the results. “I have two less confident children who are really low-level readers — reading around Year 2 or 3 — and some of the discussions they have around the Year 5 texts are phenomenal.” The online versions of the books come with ‘Read to Me’ functionality which can also help struggling readers to access the content while still keeping up with the rest of the class in terms of comprehension.

“I can just set them off and they’ll talk like it’s a book club.”

Debs is looking at re-mixing the groups after the Easter break to make them more mixed ability. While it may be harder to tailor her input to the teacher led discussions, she believes that the higher attaining children will help elevate the comprehension skills of her average-attainers by exposing them to richer discussion.

Great books that inspire a love of reading and learning

The selection of books in the programme is also key to its success. “They love the non-fiction stimulus texts: The King in the Car Park about Richard the Third was their favourite; they were enthralled by it. It’s amazing the amount of questions they asked and the research they went away and did. When they talked about the boys in the tower there was so much interest and discussion, especially when they realised it really happened! That’s where Bug Club Guided Reading KS2 hits the nail on the head – the right books and the right interest.” Debs reports hearing from lots of parents at a recent parent evening that the children had been talking about it at home – a sure sign that the children are excited and engaged by it.

And it’s not only Debs who has become such a passionate advocate of the programme. Her colleagues have been equally impressed with the results, mentioning an improvement in pupils’ vocabulary, a good level of challenge, and easier marking as additional benefits of the programme.

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