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Reading is an essential element in the broad and balanced curriculum we aim to provide at Colerne Church of England Primary School. Our Reading curriculum values:

  • familiarising children – with characters, setting, key themes, dilemmas, resolutions
  • encouragement of children to make links with other books and areas of the curriculum
  • embedding learning and deepening reading skills
  • building up children’s reading stamina


The aims of the Reading curriculum are:

  • To develop an understanding of the world
  • To deepen empathy for others
  • To broaden communication skills
  • To embed a love of reading
  • To enhance writing skills



KS1 Children have daily Letters and Sounds phonics sessions. Once secure, children move onto ‘No Nonsense’ spelling and progress through the spelling patterns towards the end of KS1 and throughout KS2.

All children will experience core and linked texts. In KS1, the majority of children’s writing outcomes are based on their core texts and link texts are used for short burst writing or to enhance VIPERS skills. In KS2, the core text is the whole class reader and where children explore VIPERS skills and the link texts provide writing outcomes. In addition, children have weekly opportunities to develop comprehension skills.




KS1 children learn through synthetic phonics, the teaching of reading in which phonemes (sounds) associated with particular graphemes (letters) are pronounced in isolation and blended together (synthesised). This promotes word recognition and builds on children’s reading fluency. Children have daily sessions progressing through the phases within the Letters and Sound handbook. In Foundation Stage children cover Phase 2-4, Year 1 covers Phase 3-5a and Year 2 covers Phase 5a-6. Recapping the final phase from the previous year group embeds children’s knowledge of learnt phonemes-grapheme correspondences.


VIPERS (based on our chosen texts) are used to explore a variety of genres in class shared reading lessons. This allows for in-depth study of texts, supporting children to expand their vocabulary and experience a broad range of texts that they may be unable to fully access independently.

  • Vocabulary: This offers children the opportunity to explore the language used to ensure that their vocabulary and cultural capital is extended, enabling them to explain the meaning of words within the text.
  • Infer:  This stage is only attempted after the class have shared the text and explored the vocabulary to ensure that they have sufficient understanding to analyse the text in greater depth and then use the information to justify their answers.
  • Predict: Through discussion as a class or in smaller groups, children explore their ideas to predict what may happen using information stated or implied in the text.
  • Explain: Children will practice the skills of identifying and explaining how information/narrative content is related and contributes to the meaning as a whole, identifying/explaining how meaning is enhanced through choice of words and phrases as well as making comparisons within the text.
  • Retrieve: Children are taught to retrieve and record key information/details from a variety of texts.
  • Sequence/Summarise: As the final part of the process, KS1 children will sequence the events of a text and KS2 children will learn the skills required to summarise main ideas from one or more paragraphs.


This process allows a structured approach to ensure that children gain confidence and familiarity with a text to enable them to examine a wide variety of texts in detail. Texts are thematically linked to work being completed across many different areas of the curriculum, showing that the importance of reading extends far beyond the English curriculum. In addition, comprehensions are used to allow pupils to explore texts with more emphasis on honing children’s skills in a particular aspect such as retrieval or inference. Every child in KS1 has a weekly opportunity to read in a small group with the teacher. In upper KS2, children practise reading skills in reciprocal reading groups. As a school with high mobility, children are assessed on entry regardless of what point in the year they arrive. 



In KS1 Phonics assessments are carried out at the beginning of every large term (Terms 1,3,5) and data is analysed and used to tailor provision. Every KS1 child receives daily phonics sessions personalised to their phase either with a teacher or TA. By January children across KS1 are ‘set’ according to their Term 3 assessments. This ensures that all children are receiving the appropriate level and coverage for their developmental stage and prepares Year 1 children for the Phonics Screener check. Data is analysed and closely monitored to ensure that all children make progress through the Letters and Sounds handbook.


PIRA assessments are carried out three times a year from Year 1 - Year 6. Data is used to inform teachers and subject leaders of strengths and areas for development across the reading strands. Subject leaders can then analyse cohorts and provide constructive feedback to teachers about skills that may need greater emphasis during VIPERS and comprehension sessions.


Summer 2021 Subject Leaders Learning Walk clearly demonstrated the progression of VIPERS skills across the school. Children were enthusiastic and confident to discuss text genres, make links between books, themes and authors and passionately discuss the selected texts and their broadened reading diet.


Despite a disjointed implementation of this new approach to our Reading Curriculum, children and staff have embraced and developed the direction alongside subject leaders.