The Thistle - An E-Newsletter of Scotch College, Perth, Western Australia

Academic Support

Effective Reading Practices

Does it Sound right? Does it look right? Does it make sense?


In the Junior School, a great emphasis is placed on Literacy. We want the boys to be proficient readers. We want the boys to love reading.  We want the boys to read independently. Fluency, phonics, vocabulary and comprehension are essential tools for proficient readers. All day, every day, the boys are surrounded by language; our transdisciplinary approach allows us to expose boys to literacy in subject areas. Through direct teaching practices and inquiry-based learning, we enable the boys to access information effectively and efficiently across a broad spectrum.


Enthusiastic readers: Year 1 boys – Neo Pentony, Aiden Gibson and James Lewis

Our homework policy requires the boys to read at least four times per week. You can support your son by encouraging the following strategies:

  • For early readers, use the three prompts to identify unknown words
  1. Does it sound right?
  2. Does it look right?
  3. Does it make sense?

Be sure your son is using these strategies independently. Do not tell the word, if needed work together to figure out what the word actually says.

  • For early, fluent and independent readers enhance reading comprehension by talking about the books. Ask questions that will help your son think about key understandings found within the text, beyond the text and about the text. Questions like:
  1. Visualise the setting. Why do you imagine it that way?
  2. How is the book organized?
  3. Is the main character also the narrator? How do you know?
  4. Summarise the main events.

Use the comprehension bookmarks to guide your questioning. Read books together and have a discussion about them.

  • To develop fluency and accuracy, have your son:
  1. Engage in repeated reading whereby the same book is read multiple times.
  2. Film the reading, then watch the video and talk about how the reading sounds.
  3. Partner read; when it's your turn to read a page, model how the text should sound.
  4. Talk about how the author would want the reading to sound and why.

In order for boys to be successful readers, it is important they are reading books at their level or slightly below. This allows them to understand the higher order levels of comprehension and the intricacies of author's purpose and inferential understandings.  Whether boys are learning to read or reading to learn, reading is a lifelong skill that can always be improved; reading provides opportunities for the acquisition of knowledge, relaxation and enjoyment.


Engaging with books: Year 2 boys - Andrew Reed, Lucas Paino and Yannik Sullivan

Mrs Janet Lopez
Head of Academic Support