Bug Club Shared Reading

Bug Club Shared is a fantastic new range of high-quality picture books, designed to be read out loud to children, to engage and enthuse them about reading. Covering Reception and Key Stage 1, the books introduce children to the sort of rich stories and challenging vocabulary that they won’t encounter in their independent reading. Bug Club Shared harnesses the power of storytelling to introduce and embed a progression of curriculum-linked Tier 2 and 3 vocabulary.


Each book is supported by a comprehensive set of online teaching notes to facilitate daily reading-aloud sessions through a structured but flexible two-week teaching cycle. There are a wealth of materials to support reciprocal discussions for the teaching of key vocabulary and text comprehension, all supported by informal daily assessments. Bug Club Shared has beautiful printed books, eBook versions for use on an interactive whiteboard and video recordings of warm and enthusiastic readings of the books.


Bug Club Shared has been developed in collaboration with curriculum expert Mary Myatt and leading knowledge-rich curriculum MAT, the Knowledge Schools Trust, to ensure that it follows a rigorous and clear pedagogy.


Using Bug Club Shared, we aim to:

  • Get children interested in reading for pleasure – read aloud the beautifully illustrated, engaging texts and follow-up with classroom interaction to create an enjoyable and purposeful shared reading experience.

  • Close the word gap – use the proven methods of reciprocal discussion, repetition and formative assessment to ensure that all children have the vocabulary they need to succeed across the curriculum.

  • Boost children’s text comprehension – get children discussing the vocabulary, characters and events of the rich, diverse narratives, as well as making inferences and predictions.


Principles and Pedagogy:

Bug Club Shared has a rigorous and clear pedagogy that addresses the key reading needs of children in Reception and Key Stage 1. It is designed to be used alongside phonics programmes and throughout the whole of Key Stage 1. This ensures that while children are learning the vital principles of decoding, they are also being exposed to rich texts and vocabulary that will help them to enjoy the shared experience of reading. Bug Club Shared addresses the explicit teaching of vocabulary, text comprehension and developing a love for reading at the same time as developing and improving their spoken language vocabularies. The introduction of curriculum-based vocabulary prepares children with vocabulary knowledge to access the broader curriculum.


The major principles underlying Bug Club Shared are:

  • Daily reading aloud

  • The proactive teaching of curriculum-linked vocabulary

  • Reading for pleasure

  • Whole-class teaching and discussion

  • Repetition and spaced learning

  • Informal, same day assessment

The Teaching Cycle:

Bug Club Shared is delivered through a flexible two-week teaching cycle for each book. The two teaching weeks are set up as separate units, designed on the principle of spaced learning – leaving a period between the two teaching weeks so that children can return to the story and the vocabulary previously learned. Each week is then broken down into a structured series of five days, giving 20–30 minute sessions to facilitate daily reading aloud. This includes sessions for the pure enjoyment of the story, for vocabulary teaching and for comprehension. Each session is similarly structured to build familiarity and create discussion around the stories and the vocabulary.


Shared Reading at Home: 

To ensure children develop a love of reading, they need to be consistently exposed to a rich reading environment. It is, therefore, vital that shared reading continues at home, so that children are continually exposed to rich, complex texts alongside the decodable and more basic texts they are reading independently. When children see all the adults around them (teachers and family) taking pleasure in reading, they are more likely to want to read themselves. Shared reading conducted in a warm, relaxed and loving environment with a parent or guardian will create positive associations with reading that children may carry with them for life, making them more likely to find reading a comforting and positive pastime. Hearing the texts read again at home will also repeatedly expose children to the rich, curriculum-linked vocabulary, reinforcing what they have learned in school. Discussing the texts with a parent or guardian will build on this as well as adding to children’s comprehension of the more complex characters and narratives. In this way, children will return to the shared reading sessions in school with a greater understanding and will be more likely to make meaningful connections to their broader knowledge.


Bug Club Shared supports shared reading at home in a number of ways:

  • The eBook versions are allocated to children. These will appear in the Bug Club Pupil World alongside any other Bug Club books they have been allocated. This allows children to continue to engage with the texts in whatever format and on a range of devices. Children gain rewards in the Pupil World for the books that have been read to them at home. Some of the most positive associations can be created when children are curled up with a parent or guardian, listening to a story that they enjoy, and interacting with the illustrations and the book itself. Each eBook includes basic guidance on the inside front cover to support parents and guardians with reading aloud and discussing the book with their child.

  • Video versions of the books being read aloud are allocated to children. Every book is supported by a Storytime video of a warm, expressive and fluent reading by a professional actor, also showing the illustrated pages. Children can watch them independently or with a parent or guardian. This supports consistent exposure to rich reading experiences, even when a parent or guardian isn’t able to read with their child.