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Re-think Reading! is a collection of ideas for lessons that can be used and adapted for guided or whole class reading with each primary school year group. The plans have been written around the demands of the national curriculum programmes of study for reading and are available for each phase: Year 1, Year 2, Year 3 to 4 and Year 5 to 6. More information, and an example for each phase is available to download below.

Read about Re-think Reading!

Re-think Reading logoThis resource is a collection of reading plans based on high quality texts for teaching reading from Y1 to Y6. Although the texts are not included, many are well-known books that will be in school libraries and some are freely available online. Re-think Reading! is organised in phases of Y1, Y2, Y3/4 (lower key stage 2) and Y5/6 (upper key stage 2) with at least 12 sets of plans per phase.
Re-think Reading! covers many aspects of the primary national curriculum for reading but some elements will need to be taught through teaching sequences, other curriculum areas or story times. Each set of plans consists of up to three taught lessons, usually based around a single text, often with additional pre- and post-reading tasks to support children in further exploring what they read.

National curriculum objectives

Each set of session plans focuses on reading objectives from the National curriculum in England for the relevant year group or phase. The plans are independent of one another and there is no set pathway or progression through them as this should be determined based on the developing needs of the children.

We have ensured coverage of national curriculum objectives with each complete set of Re-think Reading! lesson plans. See which elements we’ve chosen to focus on with each text – download our coverage documents below:

Reading methodology

The sessions are written primarily for small group guided reading. However, most are easily adaptable to whole class reading contexts. Additionally, all the plans can be adjusted to meet the needs of children.

Organisation of session plans

Each plan includes the following elements:

  • The title and publisher’s details
  • A brief synopsis of the book
  • A list of other books by the same author and a list of other related texts
  • National Curriculum objectives that are a focus in the sessions and how these are contextualised in the plans
  • Up to three session plans with a structure of Book Introduction, Strategy Check, Independent Reading, Respond to Text
  • Pre-reading and post-reading tasks where relevant for the teaching sessions
  • Other independent activities (optional)
  • Resources for the teaching sessions

Purchase Re-think Reading!

Plans can be purchased individually for £3 (+VAT) each, by phase for £30 (+VAT) or for the whole school for just £100 (+VAT) – available here from our digital store, or follow the link to the right of this page.
Visit our The Book of Hopes page for 3 free Re-think Reading! plans using Katherine Rundell’s fabulous anthology from the National Literacy Trust and Bloomsbury Publishing.

Re-think Reading book lists

Re-think Reading! –  View the book list (title and focus) – updated March 2023

Supporting curriculum progression in reading

The Primary English team supports schools and English subject leaders with planning for reading progression across the primary years, and has produced a number of resources to help.

Our Re-think Reading! book list now presents titles ordered to roughly indicate increasing challenge over each phase (Year 1, Year 2, Year 3/4, Year 5/6):

We’ve also mapped our Re-think Reading! books against features of text complexity to help guide schools in sequencing their choices to ensure curriculum progression:

One possible model of reading progression was introduced to subject leaders back our autumn 2019 briefings. Many schools have now very successfully adapted this to clarify their curriculum intent for reading:

Sample three more free Re-think Reading! plans

Year 2 reading plan: Finn MacCool

This is the traditional story of Finn MacCool, told using great vocabulary and with images that really support the understanding of the story.

Year 3 to 4 reading plan: The Penguin in Lost Property

A collection by these two poets Jan Dean and Roger Stevens featuring poems about all sorts of animals. Humour runs through the collection from the obvious to the more subtle, allowing children to enjoy poems that are easily accessible as well as those that are more challenging.

Year 5 to 6 reading plan: The Snow Queen (Year 6)

This is the Hans Christian Andersen version of the story which has archaic language and sentence constructions. It is freely available online at to use in the classroom.