The aim of the Project READ website is to support collaboration between schools in our joint endeavour to improve reading outcomes for Derbyshire pupils. A huge 'Thank you!' to all who have contributed case studies. Use the case studies as a starting point to reflect on practice in your school with colleagues. Explore the 'Useful Links' tab for research, resources and continuous professional development (CPD) opportunities. The password to view the video clips is projectread

'Let's be Active Readers!' at Clifton Primary School and Marlpool Junior School

About our school

Teachers from Clifton Primary School and Marlpool Junior School contributed to this case study.


The training equipped leaders in EYFS-Year 6 to drive improvements in quality first teaching to improve pupils' reading comprehension skills. The CPD focused on practical strategies to implement the evidence-informed recommendations in the Education Endowment Foundation Literacy Guidance Reports for EYFS, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.


This CPD event consisted of 2 x 0.5 day sessions, with a two week gap between sessions. After the first session, teachers completed a gap task. In this case study, two teachers share learning from the gap task.


The training equipped teachers with:

- strategies to teach reading comprehension skills explicitly

- knowledge, skills and training materials to lead in-school CPD and drive improvements throughout school.


Anna Sharratt, Reception/ Year 1 teacher at Clifton Primary School, explored 'Press Here' by Herve Tullet with her class for her gap task. The task was: 'make the most of the reading experience to encourage pupils to use language comprehension skills'. Anna's class thoroughly enjoyed this book. Anna's tips demonstrate how we can make the most of enjoying reading books aloud together to develop reading comprehension skills.

Before reading

Activate the children's background knowledge: give each child a coloured circle of paper and ask, ‘What can you do with it?’ Give them time to experiment with it and invite responses: we can turn it, sit on it, fold it, for example. Make sure all children understand the word 'press' prior to reading as this is key vocabulary in this book. Then ask the children to use their imagination: ‘Press your button. What could happen?’

During the first read

Read the whole story aloud. One of the delights in this book is prediction: if you follow the instruction, you can guess what the next page will look like. So, after a few pages, the children will begin to anticipate: ‘What do you think will happen on the next page?’ 

After the first read

‘Do we all know these action words? Can we press/ tap/ rub/ turn our own paper ‘buttons’?’

During re-readings

My class loved this book and asked for re-readings. They asked repeatedly, ‘Can we have the magic button book?’ It quickly became a class favourite. They joined in as they became familiar with the language patterns and were able to predict what would happen on the next page. They even wanted to play with those predictions to explore what would happen if we didn’t follow the instructions!

As a stimulus for further learning

We are now planning to design our own books with instructions, using dot stickers. 

Helen Bishop, Year 3-4 teacher from Marlpool Junior School contributed several film clips.

1. 'What do good readers do?' That's the question Helen asked her class as one of the gap tasks. As Helen mentions, the whole school team had participated in a bespoke, in-school Inference Training package earlier in the year. In this clip, Helen shares the positive impact of teaching reading comprehension strategies more explicitly.  

2. Using comprehension strategies in mathematics Helen describes how she encouraged the children to apply comprehension strategies to make sense of a wordy problem-solving question.

3. Making the most of the front cover Helen describes how she used the front cover of one of her own favourite novels, 'Outcast of Redwall' by Brian Jacques, to encourage close reading of the front cover and prediction prior to reading an extract from the novel.

4. 'Let's be active listeners and active readers!' Helen shares the annotations one Year 4 boy made during a class discussion with a focus on comprehension, using a short extract from 'Outcast of Redwall'.

Next steps

To find out more about training opportunities in Inference Training and Reading comprehension: a whole school approach, contact 


Anna Sharratt, Reception/ Year 1 teacher at Clifton Primary School

Helen Bishop, Year 3/4 teacher at Marlpool Junior School

Additional information

Would you like to take part in a comprehension project in your school? Project Comprehension EYFS - Year 6 is a collaborative CPD opportunity available to primary school clusters in Derbyshire. It builds on the robust foundations of Project READ. It enables schools not involved in the original project to participate in similar, collaborative school improvement projects. Participating schools work in partnership with Derbyshire's Teaching, Learning and Assessment Consultants and with Specialist Leaders of Education from Derbyshire's Teaching Schools. Contact for more information.

1. 'What do good readers do?' Year 3/4 at Marlpool Junior School. Password for all clips: projectread
2. Using comprehension strategies in mathematics - Year 3/4 at Marlpool Junior School
3. Making the most of the front cover - Year 3/4 at Marlpool Junior School
4. 'Let's be active listeners and active readers!' Year 3/4 at Marlpool Junior School
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