Introduction In 1995 Jim Rose, the Director of Inspections at OFSTED, reported on teaching problems found at Key Stage 2 in the following manner. The 'below the line lessons', lessons of unsatisfactory standard, demonstrated factors that stood in the way of pupils making better progress and reaching higher standards. Of these, three factors were more prevalent in these lessons than in others. First, the pupils in some lessons received little direct teaching because the teachers were preoccupied with controlling too many group activities at once. In others teachers pursued a programme of individual work that was self defeating because teaching time available to each pupil was insufficient. In these cases the high teacher work rate was in direct contrast to pupil work rate. Similar circumstances and results were found in the teaching of reading by Southgate-Booth et al. 1982; Southgate-Booth 1986. Pupils might expect to receive only about 30 seconds actual reading time per day and even then the teacher's attention might be shared out on controlling pupil behaviour. She advocated that teachers should work less hard and engage in individual, group and whole class reading teaching, strategies which have been incorporated into the literacy hour.