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The Whiteoak Academies of
Hannah More Infants and Grove Juniors.
Planting dreams. Nurturing hearts. Growing minds.
Home Page The Whiteoak Academies of
Hannah More Infants and Grove Juniors.
Planting dreams. Nurturing hearts. Growing minds.

Talk through stories (Reception to Year 2)

Reception and Key Stage 1


In Reception and Key Stage 1, sessions designed to develop comprehension take place every day. These begin with a greater focus on listening comprehension, moving towards developing an understanding of written (language) comprehension.


These whole class sessions are based on the texts selected for Story time with the following balance of fiction, non-fiction and poetry covered in a six-week term:


Talk through stories x 3 weeks

Talk through non-fiction x 2 weeks

Talk through poetry x 1 week


Each day, 20 minutes is spent on Story time and a further 10 minutes is spent on Vocabulary time.


In Story time, we help children to get to know the text really well. In a narrative week for example, we spend time exploring the plot, the characters, their actions and motives. These sessions would follow the structure outlined below. If the children are already very familiar with the story, the content of these sessions may be covered in fewer sessions.



Day 1

Listening comprehension focus


Introduce the book

Read the story

What’s the problem?

Day 4

Listening comprehension focus

Kind or unkind?

Quiz the character

Day 2

Listening comprehension focus

Re-read the story

Favourite phrases

Freeze-frame feelings

Which is the right sentence?


Day 5

Language comprehension focus

Opportunities are developed for children to gain meaning from a written section of the text

Day 3

Listening comprehension focus

Join in the story

How is the problem solved?





In a non-fiction or poetry week, the focus for each session is adapted accordingly to ensure a growing understanding of the text under study.


Vocabulary time, we explore eight words from the story.

These words have been specifically selected as they are what Isabel Beck, calls ‘Tier 2’ words. These are words that the children are unlikely to hear in everyday conversation but are likely to come across in stories. These words are not only explored in the context of the story but also in the context of the children’s everyday lives.


Days 1-4:

Two words a day

Review from the story:

When might you?

When might someone say…?

Agree or not?

Words to use through the day

Day 5:

Revision of all words

What’s the word?



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