Sunday 9 October 2016

Whole-Class Reading and RIC in KS1

In sharing ideas, resources and lesson plans about teaching reading in whole-class lessons, the question I am asked most often is about KS1 and how it can work there.  This post will hopefully answer that question and give you some information and resources to demonstrate how it works.  Also included at the end are the Year 1 and Year 2 Reading Objectives organised under RIC headings and a link to the folder which contains all Key Stage 1 resources for you to download.  Two colleagues, Laura and Sophie, have helped me put together this post so my thanks must go to them for their time, permission and expertise. 

In our school, children are taught to decode through daily whole class phonics across KS1.  This is important because it allows children from all phonics groups to access sounds  and words which they wouldn't necessarily be taught in a streamed sessions.   As it is taught as a class,  the children are placed in groups (on paper) for the knowledge of the teacher.  The children can then be questioned appropriately and moved along at their own pace.   They are assessed regularly (every half term) to gauge which sounds they have learnt and which they have missed allowing the teacher to pick up any gaps.  

In addition to daily phonic sessions, the children take part in a small-group reading session with an adult.  In this session the children are grouped according to their phonic ability, this allows the focus book to be at the correct level for each child.  This is similar to the group with the teacher in traditional carousel guided reading sessions.  Over the week the children are introduced to the story, adults pre-teach the vocabulary they need and groups discuss similar events in their life with predictions based on the title.  Follow up sessions include reading the book at least 2 times with a final session based on comprehension skills using the RIC objectives - depending on the level of the child this can be verbal, written multiple choice or traditional written questions. 

Year One - RIC
Two or three times a week, Year One children sit down together before home time to complete a Read with RIC session.  During this session they decode some real words, some alien words (you can thank the Phonics Screening for that) and read a book together.  They use the RIC logos to answer questions about these texts which require them to retrieve, interpret and predict.  In the autumn term, this session is completed verbally with a main focus on retrieve.  As the term progresses, the focus changes to interpreting and predicting with RIC. In the Summer term, the children move to producing written responses to these RIC questions.

Year One - Whole Class Reading
Whole class reading is carried out through texts we use in our Literacy lessons, using a rich and broad text to teach English reading and writing objectives.  The children become familiar with the text through drama and speaking and listening activities so that all children can then access the text and even read specific sections despite it being a challenging text for the children to read independently.  Activities always include an aspect of comprehension understanding at both word and sentence level with a writing outcome.  For example, We're going on a bear hunt.  We use this text to teach contractions, prepositions (word level work) jumbled sentences, sequencing (sentence level work) and the children write their own version after going on a bear hunt in their school environment.  

The slideshows below show a Year 1 Read with RIC session from the Autumn Term and then one from the Summer Term.  You can see the progression, not only in the sounds referred to in the decode section but in the expectations in the RIC questions.



Year Two
At the end of Year Two, the expectation from the government is that children should write responses to questions about texts.  Therefore, phonics sessions and verbal reading groups will not suffice to prepare them for this.  Children are introduced to RIC activities similar to those used in KS2.  Some of these use visual stimuli such as videos and images however the focus is mostly on text-based stimuli, as per the assessments children will take towards the end of the year.

In whole-class sessions, children complete RIC activities in a RIC book which are then marked and discussed in the session.  Some of these RICs have more than one question per objective so children practise answering such questions more frequently and, as the tests approach, general reading comprehension questions are mixed up so children get used to recognising question types without the logos.  RIC sessions also mean teachers can address the interim framework statement about linking the book they are reading to others they've read.  Year 2 teachers base RICs on videos and cartoons as well as texts which are familiar to children such as traditional tales.

The slideshow below shows some RIC activities which Year 2 have used.  Children write answers to these in a RIC book which, nearer to SATs, is used for comprehension test practice too.

As with KS2 classes, I've made the following objective sheets for KS1.  These can be downloaded  in PDF format from the link at the end of this post.  Please see this post for how these objective sheets have been used in KS2 and let me know in the comments below how you use them in your KS1 class.  As well as listening to children read and asking them questions verbally, tests form an important part of how we assess children's understanding of what they've read.
Year 1 Objectives
Year 2 Objectives
Year 2 Interim Framework Objectives

You can view and download everything mentioned in this post (including all the slideshows, assessment sheets, RIC examples and more) by clicking here (go to RIC Activities for the slides and Objective Sheets for the assessment pages).
To download items, click the down arrow in the top right-hand corner.  I will be adding to this folder over the coming weeks.


  1. Hello

    That is very useful. Thank you so much. A quick question - in year 1 when the teacher is listening to the group of children read, what are the other children in the class doing? This is where we have struggled in the past.

    Many thanks

    1. My class do fine motor activities as this is something they can access on their own.

  2. HI,
    So in year two you would have reading groups in a carousel AND a whole class reading session?

  3. Y1 and Y2 have some sessions which are similar to traditional carousel guided reading. These would have similar activities going on - indepedent reading, playing with sounds and words etc.

  4. Replies
    1. Yes - click on "Teaching Reading" and then "Assessing reading in the new curriculum".
      All resources (KS1 and KS2) are available in the Read with RIC folder.

  5. Thank you so much for sharing all of this - my school are just starting whole class guided reading this term after I have raved about you and your blog. Just in process of sorting out KS1 and setting up a planning format for them. I've used the format you have shared for KS2, but want to put the year 1 / 2 objectives at the top. I've downloaded them - thank you - but none of them are listed under 'CHOICE' and I know you said that year 2s should be commenting on writer's choice. What is the best thing to do? Thank x

    1. is there any way you can send an example of a weekly plan

  6. Thank you for all of this. I have just moved into Year 2 this year after teaching Year 5 and am struggling to see how I can apply the whole class teaching I did in Y5 to Y2.

    How long are the Y2 lessons and how many are there? Do you have any Y2 plans and/or timetables that you could share please so I could see how long the sessions are, how frequent they are and how they are structured? Thanks!

  7. Thank you so much for sharing. I am looking forward to trying this approach with my bee class of Year 1.
    When reading with a group, would the RWInc. Story books be ok to use?

  8. These are really great resources. Thank you for sharing.

  9. has anyone introduced whole class reading in f2?

  10. Are your google slides available for us to download?

  11. This blog was really useful thanks!
    I am trying to click the link provided to download resources but it is coming up with google error? Have they been removed or moved? Thank you

  12. The Google Drive resources have been moved to the owners bin. Please can they be restored?

  13. Thank you for the comments on this. I have updated the links. I had rearranged the folders so the link no longer worked. It should all be fine now.


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