Teaching of Reading


At Edgar Sewter Primary School, we aim to foster a love of language and reading and, therefore, attach great importance to enabling our children to become fluent readers whilst promoting reading for enjoyment. We aim to develop independence and fluency in all readers to ensure a life-long love of reading and ensuring that they can all achieve their full potential across all areas of the curriculum.

We approach reading in three different ways; reading for pleasure, reading across the curriculum and teaching reading skills explicitly.

Children are explicitly taught the skills of reading (outlined in the National Curriculum and the KS1 and KS2 test domains) through the use of VIPERS which were created by Rob Smith (The Literacy Shed).

The Reading Vipers can be used by both KS1 and KS2 with a little adaption. The main difference being in the S.

Sequence- KS1


In KS1, ‘Explain’; is not one of the content domains, rather it asks children why they have come to a certain conclusion, to explain their preferences, thoughts and opinions about a text.

In KS2, the Explain section covers the additional content domains of 2F, 2G and 2H which are not present in KS1.


VIPER whole class teaching of reading sessions take place daily. These are separate to but may complement English sessions.

During a typical session the teacher will share what the content domain/s the children will be focusing on for that session.

Teachers carefully select key vocabulary words they want the children to learn that week. These will be taught, over learnt and embedded throughout the rest of the week during VIPER sessions and across the wider school day to allow for children to use these words in different contexts. Where appropriate they are applied during English sessions.

During these sessions teachers cover fiction during week one and non-fiction in week two. A variety of texts are used including, poetry, songs, picture books and short films. Types of text given are appropriate to the age and key stage of the children.

Children read during these sessions in a variety of different ways. They may hear the teacher model fluent reading and then have time to reread the same extract themselves, they may read individually and feedback, work in groups, take turns in pairs or read aloud to the their peers. You may see a number of these different strategies during one session.

Teachers plan questions each session based on the content domain being focused on.

Children are encouraged to orally speak the answer before writing anything down acknowledging their first answer may not always be their best. At times children are given sentence stems and vocabulary that is expected to be used within their answer.

Children are encouraged to provide evidence for their answer based on a text extract or a picture they have seen in the book. Where appropriate children are encouraged to use evidence from a range of different places within the text.

Recording and Assessment during VIPERS sessions

We encourage children to orally talk through their answers and ensure it is the best they can give before writing anything down. We also acknowledge it is good for children to also be able to formally record an answer. Children can do this in a variety of different ways such as discussing the answer first with peers and/or an adult and then writing their best answer, working individually and then editing their answer accordingly after discussion or orally discussing 1 or 2 of the questions and writing down the others working individually.

During this reading session teachers focus on specific children during the session, this may mean hearing them read individually whilst others are reading independently, in pairs or groups, discussing answers with those children and working one to one or within a group with them during a session whilst the others form an answer independently. Teachers can then assess these children based on NC expectations and how they are performing relating to the specific content domain.


We ensure a progression of skills in Phonics throughout Early Years and KS1 and expect that by the end of KS1 children can;

  • Independently use their phonic knowledge to read fluently, sounding out and blending unfamiliar words without support,

  • Read age appropriate books with increasing fluency and expression.

  • Read accurately words containing two or more syllables.

  • Read words containing common suffixes.

  • Make predictions and inferences based on what they have read themselves and what has been read to them by others.

By the end of KS2 children can;

  • Confidently read aloud with intonation and expression, drawing on subtle clues from the text.

  • Express individual interests, thoughts and opinions on texts.

  • Compare and contrast different texts on the same subject.

  • Explain and comment on structural devices used in a variety of texts.

  • Evaluate, comment and compare the different styles of writers – providing evidence and explanations.

  • Perform familiar poems using tone, pitch and other devices to engage the audiences.

Teaching of Writing


We aim to prepare and equip children with the writing skills they need to become confident, independent writers and bring enjoyment into writing to inspire them. Through a balanced and broad curriculum, we intend to provide regular opportunities for children to write from different perspectives, e.g. to write as a historian. We want to ensure that all children, regardless of background and experiences, are provided with the scaffolding support and tools that they need to succeed.


  • Grammar and punctuation is taught both explicitly and implicitly within English lessons. We ensure that grammar skills are effectively embedded into the children’s everyday work.

  • The Power of Reading is used from Nursery – Year 6 to support and engage children in stories.

  • Children are encouraged to use their knowledge of texts to write for a variety of purposes such as: explanations, instructions, reports, balanced arguments, stories and poems. They learn to plan, draft, revise, edit and present their work, before evaluating the success of their writing.

  • From Nursery, our children are introduced to letter formation. As they progress through school, the children are encouraged to write in a neat, legible style using a cursive script.

  • Drama and speaking and listening are an integral part of our curriculum in order to encourage self-confidence, imagination and empathy. It is used collaboratively alongside other subjects to engage pupils actively in a topic and develop a deeper understanding.


By the end of KS1 children can;

  • Apply their phonics knowledge by using strategies taught in Phonics lessons.

  • Write independently, using Power or Reading as a tool to guide and sequence sentences.

  • Write simple coherent narratives.

By the end of KS2 children can;

  • Write effectively for a range of audiences and purposes, selecting appropriate language and form.

  • Use a range of punctuation, tenses and dialogue in their writing effectively.

  • Use grammar and vocabulary efficiently to suit the needs of the writing.

  • Develop speed and fluency when writing in cursive script.