The importance of Comprehension Skills in Primary School

Written by Dan

The most critical skill for primary school students to learn is reading. However, while reading is undoubtedly essential, it is not the only skill children need to succeed in school. One of the skills that are just as important, if not more so, is comprehension. Comprehension skills allow children to understand and make sense of what they read.

Unfortunately, far too many students reach secondary school without being properly taught how to comprehend what they read. As a result, they struggle in their classes and often feel like they need to catch up.

This can be not very encouraging and lead to them giving up on school altogether. That’s why it’s so important for teachers to focus on teaching comprehension skills in primary school; by doing so, we can set our students up for success in the years ahead.

Related: For more, check out our article on How To Make Reading Fun  here.

The Six Types Of Comprehension Questions

What Are Comprehension Skills

Comprehension skills are critical for primary school-aged children because they help them to make sense of complex texts and information. By actively engaging in comprehension tasks such as making inferences, summarizing, understanding story elements, or determining causes and effects, children build their ability to read with understanding.

This enhanced ability gives them better insight into the material they are reading, which helps them to excel academically.

Additionally, strong comprehension skills encourage students to learn and explore new ideas independently rather than simply following instructions or memorizing facts from a textbook. Ultimately, comprehensive education promotes higher academic achievement levels in all study areas.

The 6 Types Of Comprehension Questions

Comprehension questions are an essential tool in understanding literature. The 6 types of comprehension questions are Vocabulary, Inference, Predict, Explain, Retrieve and Summarise. We use the acronym VIPERS to help remember them.

The first is Vocabulary, which tests your knowledge of words used in the text. The second type is Inference which assesses how well one understands the text beyond what is explicitly stated.

The third is Predict, which requires readers to think about future outcomes from a given passage. Explain asks readers to provide reasons for their answers and delve deeper into the text. Retrieve requires readers to draw upon specific details from the passage of writing.

Finally, Summarising tests readers’ ability to summarise a given passage in their own words. Knowing these six comprehension questions can help immensely when studying literature and fiction.

Related: For more, check out our article on What Is Decoding here.

How To Improve Your Child’s Comprehension Skills

Reading comprehension is essential for all children to develop, as it is a cornerstone of academic success.

To improve your child’s comprehension skills, you should focus on teaching them metacognitive strategies such as summarizing, synthesizing, and making connections and comparisons between texts. Start by choosing a book your child is interested in, and discuss each chapter’s main ideas as you read.

During this discussion, asking questions that require deeper analysis may be beneficial, like “Why do you think the character reacted this way?” or “What would have happened if they had made a different decision?”

Regularly discussing the themes and components of literature can help your child become an active reader. Finally, ensure that the material your child is reading is age-appropriate by referring to reviews or other resources when picking books and activities.

Tips For Parents

As a parent, helping your child with comprehension skills is integral to their education. There are a few things that you can do to assist them in understanding materials better. Reading aloud to your children will help them become familiar with the material and encourage them to ask questions about words or concepts they may not understand.

You can also show your children how to break down complex ideas into smaller chunks or use graphic organizers such as Venn diagrams and other visuals to aid in their understanding.

Finally, reviewing and practice make perfect: Regularly quiz your child on what they read and require that they explain their answers to you so that you know they fully comprehended the material.

Resources For Children

Many parents may find themselves looking for an outside resource when it comes to helping their children gain needed comprehension skills. Fortunately, many options are available such as specialized reading programs, tutoring services and educational websites.

To obtain the most success from these resources, selecting one that focuses on building reading strategies that best fit the child’s needs while still being enjoyable is essential. Additionally, having age-appropriate conversations with children is another way of strengthening comprehension skills.

Asking questions about what has been read and discussing themes in stories or films will foster a better understanding of the material covered. With determination and perseverance, comprehension skills can be made more manageable.

Although only six types of questions test comprehension skills, it is essential to remember that each child learns differently. Some children may need more help than others in this area.

The most important thing you as a parent can do is to be involved in your child’s learning and to talk with their teachers regularly about their progress. Many resources are available to help you further develop your child’s comprehension skills.

With a bit of time and commitment, your child will make great strides in their reading ability!


What are comprehension skills for kids?

Comprehension skills for kids are the ability to interpret and understand what is being read. These skills include making inferences, drawing conclusions, understanding cause-and-effect relationships, and recognizing main ideas.

Why is reading so important for younger children?

Reading is essential for developing language skills, building Vocabulary, increasing imagination, and improving comprehension. Reading also helps children to develop critical thinking skills and encourages the love of learning. How can I help my child with comprehension skills?

Parents can help their child with comprehension skills by reading out loud together, breaking down complex ideas into smaller chunks, using visual representations such as Venn diagrams, and quizzing their child on what they read.

Additionally, parents can look into other available educational resources to further assist in comprehension skills development.

Are there any online tools I can use with my child to help them with their reading?

Yes! There are many online tools for helping children develop. One website that could help is cracking comprehension. It features reading activities, games and tests to help kids become better readers. Additionally, there are many other websites with tools parents can use, such as Reading Rockets and Common Sense Media.

What is the best way for a parent to stay involved in their child’s learning?

The best way for parents to stay involved in their child’s learning is to communicate with their child’s teachers regularly, ask questions about what has been read, discuss themes in stories or films, and have age-appropriate conversations.

Additionally, parents can use outside resources such as tutoring services or educational websites to help their children further develop reading strategies that best fit their needs. With a bit of time and commitment, parents can help to ensure their child’s success.

About The Author

I'm Dan Higgins, one of the faces behind The Teaching Couple. With 15 years in the education sector and a decade as a teacher, I've witnessed the highs and lows of school life. Over the years, my passion for supporting fellow teachers and making school more bearable has grown. The Teaching Couple is my platform to share strategies, tips, and insights from my journey. Together, we can shape a better school experience for all.






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