At Oxford, we believe that the more children read, the better their educational outcomes. Developing comprehension, language and literacy skills in the primary school years can foster an enthusiasm for reading and writing, shape future educational success and ignite a lifelong love of learning.

For students to be independent, successful readers they need the ability to:

  • - decode and name words with accuracy and fluency
  • - derive meaning from what they have read.

Phonics is used as the methodology for teaching children how to read the words on the page. As new phonic skills are introduced, the number of words that children are able to sound and blend increases.

Reading comprehension is a sophisticated, multi-dimensional skill. While it is possible to break comprehension down into discrete skill areas, the whole skill (i.e. the ability to understand what is read) is dependent on the reader using several skills at the same time. All readers meet words they aren’t familiar with in texts. Skipping or misreading the odd word – as long as it is just the odd word – is ok, but this is also why comprehension monitoring is so important.


Teach a child to read and keep that child reading and you will change everything. And I mean everything.

– Jeanette Winterson

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Explore our literacy resources

Using levelled texts to build reading skills

This paper explores the benefits and limitations of levelled texts as part of a reading program, and strategies for using them effectively.

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Reading for meaning: A guide to the research on best-practice teaching of comprehension

The comprehension white paper reviews the research and evidence around teaching comprehension and presents some practical classroom solutions.

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Oxford Levels support all students to progress at every stage of their reading journey

To look inside books from every Oxford Level and learn how students' literacy skills develop with each level, download our Understanding Oxford Levels brochure.

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