Project X Comprehension Express

Comprehension success in 10 weeks

Project X Comprehension Express is a whole-class teaching program that is specifically built to help students in Years 3–6 master comprehension. It is a 10-week intervention strategy that benefits students at different reading levels in the same class. Training and guidance is available to support schools to achieve maximum impact and positive results with this program.

Why it works

Designed around 10 research-based comprehension strategies for Years 3–6.

10-week program that fits alongside usual classroom practice.

Diagnostic guidance to effectively close gaps in students' comprehension learning.

Online teaching support available via Oxford Owl for ongoing best practice guidance.

Get the most out of your class and reduce planning time with 30 ‘pick up and go’ lesson plans.

Full school, whole class and small group value packs available to suit your school or classroom.


Project X Comprehension Express has three stages, each delivered in 30 lessons over 10 weeks, with highly structured lesson plans and pacing guidance. The series includes Student reading books, Student Workbooks, Student Reading Practice Test Books, Teaching and Assessment Handbooks, Expert Tip Posters and Tip Cards.

Stage 1
Student reading books

Stage 2
Student reading books

Stage 3
Student reading books

Stage 1,2 & 3
Teaching Handbooks

Stage 1,2 & 3
Student Workbooks

Expert Tip Poster
and Tip Cards

Comprehension Strategies

Project X Comprehension Express supports teachers in explicit modelling of the comprehension strategies. Research has shown extensive evidence to demonstrate the impact of teaching reading comprehension using the approach of explicit modelling and supported practice of the key comprehension strategies.

  • Children need to recognise when understanding in a text breaks down as a result of a word, phrase or a concept being unfamiliar to them.
  • Teachers need to support the clarification process by encouraging children to acknowledge their lack of understanding and indicate that this acknowledgement is a positive step.
  • A sound knowledge of text structures is likely to enhance understanding.
  • Closely linked to prediction, this strategy enables children to determine from the outset what type of text they’re reading- narrative or non-narrative.
  • Knowledge of story schemas, different genres and different written styles aids comprehension.
    Proficient readers monitor themselves as they read, checking for accuracy and checking that the text makes sense to them. Students need explicit instruction to:

  • Become aware of their thinking as they read
  • Detect confusions that derail understanding
  • Understand how reading strategies can help them repair meaning when it breaks down.
    Rereading a text is an important function in the reading process. It is a strategy all efficient readers do, often without being aware of it. Rereading helps children to:

  • Develop a deeper understanding of what they have read
  • Read with greater fluency, allowing them to give more attention to making sense of what they have read
  • Develop greater accuracy in reading. When children reread a text, it becomes increasingly easy to work out the meaning of words that they may have struggled to decode on first reading.
  • Supports comprehension by enabling children to draw on what they already know about a subject and apply it when reading a new text
  • Allows the reader to re-interpret information as well as acquire new knowledge.
    Enables Students to:
  • reflect on what they have read and draw out themes or key pieces of information from a text
  • differentiate between the main point or ideas and subsidiary or less important information.
  • identify key passages or key information and articulate their thoughts to others.
  • identify key passages or key information and articulate their thoughts to others
    Closely linked to the use of prior knowledge, this strategy:
  • provides a framework for students to anticipate before or during reading what might occur in a text
  • requires students to actively engage with the text, to search for sources of information and come to a conclusion as to whether their predictions were accurate or not.
  • Question-generating promotes higher levels of comprehension.
  • In order to ask sensible questions about a text, students need an overall understanding of a text.
  • It is essential that this strategy is modelled by the teacher before students are asked to generate their own questions.
  • An important aspect of reading is the creation of visual images in your head as you read, thus clearly engaging with the author and the text.
  • This cognitive activity is carried out by effective readers, but can be enhanced through instruction and support.
  • Periodically pausing when reading a text and asking students to create visual representation of what they see supports the comprehension process.
  • Children can create story maps which can assist sequencing and memory.
    There are different types of inference:
  • Cohesive: Helps the reader build up a coherent understanding of the text.
  • Bridging: Made by linking pieces of information in a text together.
  • Predictive: Not essential to comprehension, but may enhance understanding of a text.
  • Evaluative: Responding emotionally to a text requires evaluations to be made about a character’s feelings and emotions.

The teaching sessions are underpinned by features that are known to be critical to success. Sessions are designed around a sequence of learning episodes: Briefing, Preparation, Exploring and Debriefing. Each learning episode has its own beginning (led by the adult), middle (learning activity for students) and adult-led check on understanding.

Lesson plan

Based on the latest research on the most effective strategies for deep comprehension.

Teaches 10 essential comprehension strategies and introduces 10 expert tips aligned to these strategies.

Designed for whole-class teaching with advice on meeting the needs of higher and lower achievers.

Students use drama and actions to embed their understanding of challenging words.

Diagnostic assessment

Allows you to diagnose where students might have a block in their understanding – so you can effectively identify and close gaps.

Guidance for conducting a 1:1 conversation to further diagnose gaps is available in the Teaching and Assessment Handbook with free support videos available on Oxford Owl so you can see these in action.

Possible next steps to close gaps are included to maintain students’ progress.

Texts are carefully pitched to be accessible for every student. Challenging words are explored in detail to broaden and enrich students' vocabulary. As students work through the stages, the texts build in complexity and sophistication. Students are motivated to work through the series with collections of linked poetry, fiction and non-fiction texts.

Student reading books

Bespoke texts have been written to give students plenty of opportunity to practise reading full texts, apply expert tips and compose answers to questions.

These texts ensure high levels of motivation and ample opportunity to apply comprehension strategies.

Student Workbooks

Activities explore the text in more detail and help students embed higher level comprehension including inference and deduction.

Each workbook provides a clear record of progress.

Schools implementing the full Project X Comprehension Express program will be eligible to receive a training session at their convenience. This session will help teachers to implement the program with confidence.

Implementation training covers:
• the theory and pedagogy that underpins the series
• an introduction to the 10 essential comprehension strategies and how to generate a common or shared language around the strategies
• the importance of metacognition and how to model the Think Aloud and Explain Your Thinking techniques to students
• an overview of the components of the series and how the program fits together
• suggested models and preparation for successful implementation.

As well as implementation training, ongoing online teaching support for Project X Comprehension Express is also offered via Oxford Owl.

Online teaching support

Extracts used in teaching sessions are downloadable for use on the interactive whiteboard to save you time.

Implementation advice by comprehension experts and a video of a lesson in action.

Best practice videos of all activities covered in My Reading Test Practice book. These are great to watch with children.

Complete this form to download the Project X Comprehension Express evaluation pack:

Uncover the features of Project X Comprehension Express with this evaluation pack that showcases sample pages from the series.