At Mawgan-in-Pydar Primary School, we have a shared understanding of the important role reading plays in the lives of our pupils and how it can impact on all other areas of the curriculum. We believe that reading opens the world to pupils, allowing them to develop a sense of curiosity and imagination. It is, therefore, our aim that, by the end of their primary education, all pupils at Mawgan-in-Pydar Primary School read fluently and with confidence, in all subjects and develop a lifelong love for reading.

‘Young people who enjoy reading very much are nearly five times as likely to read above the expected level for their age compared with young people who do not enjoy reading at all.’

Children’s and Young People’s Reading Today, National Literacy Trust, 2012

At Mawgan-in-Pydar Primary School, we promote a high standard of reading:

  • We place reading and books at the centre of the curriculum
  • We recognise the importance of early reading and in EYFS reading is an important feature inside and outside the classroom
  • We use a systematic and consistent synthetic phonics programme (RWI) to teach the skill of reading from day one. See our Phonics page.
  • Books in early reading are matched to the child’s stage of the phonics programme and are fully decodable
  • We recognise that being able to read well is a key life skill for children, whatever their background
  • We believe that every child can learn to read with the right teaching and support.
  • We build time for all children to read independently, read aloud and be read to during the school day
  • We believe in promoting reading for pleasure.
  • We use ‘Reading Vipers’ to ensure that comprehension skills are taught and practised rigorously
  • We spend money and time to support reading, including buying books and developing the school environment to support reading
  • We devote time to training staff so they are equipped to support children’s development and enjoyment of reading
  • We are here to support parents to ensure the culture of reading that the school has developed extends into the home
  • We use Accelerated Reader as a scheme to motivate and promote independence in reading

Accelerated Reader:

Accelerated Reader (AR) is a reading management and monitoring programme that aims to foster the habit of independent reading among primary and early secondary age pupils. The internet-based software initially screens pupils according to their reading levels and suggests books that match their reading age and reading interest. Pupils take quizzes on the books they have read and earn AR points related to difficulty.

Children are encouraged to choose books around their suggested ZPD level that appeal to them.  They are encouraged to read for pleasure and to understand what they have read.  Their understanding of the text is evaluated by taking a short quiz at the end of each book they have read.  Children are motivated by reaching their targets and collecting points for different books read.  Progress is monitored by regular star reading assessments which evaluate aspects of the children’s reading ability such as reading age and oral fluency.

Children often like to read books from home which as a school we encourage.  Often their ‘home books’ also have quizzes that the children can take.  You can check this by clicking the link below:

At the heart of the curriculum…

A variety of reading opportunities using fiction as well as non-fiction texts are used as a vehicle for teaching reading in both key stage one and key stage two. In KS1, children who have completed the RWI phonics scheme study the RWI comprehension modules to deepen their understanding of texts. In both Key stages, shared reading in English lessons of texts in a variety of genres; targeted intervention sessions in small groups or one to one; individual reading using either books on the Accelerated Reader scheme or of the child’s ‘free choice’ book; cross-curricular reading in other lessons throughout the day, looking at various text types - either online or printed; reading of a whole class ‘quality text’ and using whole class reading sessions to explore these are all methods used for teaching reading.

Reading for pleasure is of the utmost importance and time is set aside in the school day to ensure this happens on a regular basis.  Pupils develop their fluency and understanding of texts during these sessions as well as providing them with a model for their own writing.  They are given opportunities to retrieve information and develop their skills of inference and deduction. 

Reading Comprehension skills are developed through the use of ‘Reading Vipers’.  This system is based on the 2016 reading content domains, found in the National Curriculum Test Framework documents. Using these reading prompts, children develop an understanding of the skills that they are using when studying a text.   Through the directed discussion of the text, children develop their understanding of vocabulary as well as of the different text types.

Teaching reading at Mawgan in Pydar School

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). 

VIPERS is an acronym to aid the recall of the 6 reading domains as part of the UK’s reading curriculum.  They are the key areas which we feel children need to know and understand in order to improve their comprehension of texts.

VIPERS stands for






Sequence or Summarise


The 6 domains focus on the comprehension aspect of reading and not the mechanics: decoding, fluency and prosody.  VIPERS is not a reading scheme but rather a method of ensuring that teachers ask, and children are familiar with, a range of questions.  They allow the teacher to track the type of questions asked and the children’s responses to these which allows for targeted questioning.


In KS1, the S links to sequencing the text and in KS2, to summarising the text.

In KS1, Although ‘Explain’; is not one of the content domains, children may be asked why they have come to a certain conclusion and 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.

Content Domains in KS1 and how they link to VIPERS:
1a draw on knowledge of vocabulary to understand texts: V
1b identify / explain key aspects of fiction and non-fiction texts, such as characters, events, titles and information: R
1c identify and explain the sequence of events in texts: S
1d make inferences from the text: I
1e predict what might happen on the basis of what has been read so far: P
Content Domains in KS2 and how they link to VIPERS:
2a give / explain the meaning of words in context: V
2b retrieve and record information / identify key details from fiction and non-fiction: R
2c summarise main ideas from more than one paragraph: S
2d make inferences from the text / explain and justify inferences with evidence from the text: I
2e predict what might happen from details stated and implied: P
2f identify / explain how information / narrative content is related and contributes to meaning as a whole: E
2g identify / explain how meaning is enhanced through choice of words and phrases: E
2h make comparisons within the text: E

What does as a reading lesson look like?

In KS1, children who have completed the RWI phonics scheme study the RWI comprehension modules followed by a wide range of texts often linked to other subject areas to deepen their understanding of texts using VIPERS. In KS2 we have 4 taught comprehension sessions per week.


We have mapped out a clear skills progression for each year group and our reading sessions ensure that these learning objectives are met and revisited on a regular basis.


During a typical session the teacher will share which of the content domain/s the children will be focusing on for that session.  To ensure that the children have access to a wide range of texts, different genres are used (for example, week one will be fiction; week two, non-fiction; week three, poetry; week four will cover other sources of comprehension such as films, songs, pictures, news reports).

Types of text given are appropriate to the age and key stage of the children.  For children who require phonological awareness catch up or interventions, they will be delivered during these sessions.


Children read during these sessions in a variety of different ways. They may hear the teacher model fluent reading and then have time to re-read the same extract themselves; they may read individually and feedback; work in groups; take turns in pairs or read aloud to their peers; or read around the class (for example reading to the punctuation). You may see a number of these different strategies during one session.


Teachers plan a minimum of 3 key 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. We use 3 questions each session to ensure children have time to provide quality answers. 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 the text being studied. Where appropriate children are encouraged to use evidence from a range of different places within the text.


Whilst we acknowledge that ‘talking through an answer’ is an essential skill for the children, there is also a focus on being able to record their thoughts in a coherent and clear written format.  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 these reading sessions teachers may focus on specific children.  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. 


Impact:  As a result of teaching the children in a regular focused session, that explores all the content domains and a variety of text genres, we ensure that children have the skills to read, understand and evaluate texts with confidence.  Teachers will have a clearer picture of the content domains in which individuals perform in relation to the NC domains and adjust their planning according to this evidence.  Our pupils’ understanding of vocabulary and text structure will impact their outcomes in written work across the curriculum and they will be more likely to develop a lifelong love of reading because of their increased understanding of texts and the written word. 


Additional opportunities:

Many exciting and rewarding activities are arranged in school to promote the pleasure and knowledge that can be gained from books. For example, during World Book Day children become an author for the day, creating their own tales upon a theme. We also have numerous book fairs throughout the year and promote events by the local libraries, such as summer reading challenges. Reading challenges and quizzes as well as a ‘Millionaires’ word club is also used across the school. A recent community sponsored reading event with Usborne books, 'Ready Steady Read', raised thousands of pounds towards new books for the school.

By undertaking this approach to reading, children become more confident and fluent readers: they are lifelong readers.  They become better at reading for meaning and are reading for pleasure.  Children use their proficient reading skills to enhance their understanding across the curriculum as well as in day-to-day life.

Mawgan-in-Pydar Primary School
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