Cracking Comprehension

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By Kate Ruttle — Teaching Deputy Headteacher, Literacy Coordinator and SENCo in a Suffolk primary school.

Kate Ruttle explores how we can improve children’s understanding of the content of the texts they read.


Much attention is given to helping children to learn to read the words on a page but improving comprehension is the ultimate goal – Kate Ruttle explores how we can improve children’s understanding of the content of what they read.

Why do we need reading comprehension?

Reading comprehension is about understanding and engaging with text, not just at a recall level but at the more complex levels which involve using inference and deduction. Being literate does not, and should not, simply refer to the ability to decode words and read lines on a page; reading between and beyond the lines enables us to understand much more than literal decoding.

In the long term, the ability to understand text helps us in our day-to-day lives. It is nearly impossible to find a job nowadays which does not require some level of reading and analysing text, however short: contracts, emails from the boss, health and safety notices and so on, all require interpretation. This skill is also useful for the functional aspects of life outside work. For example, understanding word play and how to interpret words enables us to see through the jargon in advertising and become more discerning internet users and consumers in general.

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  1. Veronica Bridges
    on 29 July 2017



  2. Ruby
    on 20 November 2016


    I love school and comprehention

  3. Lilly
    on 14 September 2016


    I love cracking......