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Reading at Valentine Primary School 


At Valentine Primary School, we encourage and promote the love of reading by helping children to discover different authors and text types to broaden their literacy horizons - ASPIRE. We believe every lesson is a reading lesson and thus help children to practise and hone in their reading fluency skills throughout each day - CONFIDENCE. Wherever possible, we link our reading lesson activities to our projects so we can immerse the children in their learning whilst understanding the contexts of different characters, places or events - EMPATHY.


End of Key Stage Expectations:


By the end of YR & Y1 (Early Reading): To fluently read up to phase 5 Bug Club decodable books independently


By the end of Y2: To fluently read age appropriate books and texts independently.


By the end of KS2: To fluently read a range of age appropriate books and texts independently and to confidently respond to a variety of comprehension questions regarding this literature.


Teaching of Reading in Year R & 1

The main focus in Year R and 1 is the teaching and learning of phonics so that children become fluent readers by the end of Year 1 (see the early reading tab under curriculum). In addition to this, they have focused texts and authors which they use to learn vocabulary and understand the skills of reading.

Within Year R, all children access a 1:2:1 read with an adult per week using a decodable book which matches their current phonic sound acquisition.

Within Year 1, children will experience regular 1:2:1 reads with an adult (again, using a decodable book aligned with their phonics learning).


Phonics Screening

In June the children in Year 1 (and any children from Year 2 who did not pass when they were in Year 1) complete a government statutory test called ‘Phonics Screening’. During this test, the children will read 40 words, 20 real and 20 pseudo (made up ‘alien’ words). This is an opportunity for them to apply their knowledge of phonic sounds taught throughout Year R and 1 using Bug Club.

Previously the pass mark has been 32/40. Parents will be informed at the end of June by the class teacher as to whether your child has passed (or is required to retake the test in Year 2). If you require any additional information regarding the screening, then please do not hesitate to contact class teachers.  


*Due to the pandemic, in 2021 Year 1 did not sit this screening test therefore current Year 2 completed this in December 2021.


Reading in Year 2

Because fluency is a high priority in Year 2, all reading sessions are dedicated to teaching, modelling and rehearsing skills such as pace, accuracy and prosody. This is facilitated through guided reading groups where children will spend quality time with an adult in a small group sharing a text together.


To ensure children are using their growing vocabulary in a context, each child reads bi-weekly with an adult. Within this 1:2:1 reading session (and within class guided reading sessions) children are taught new strategies and reminded of a range of previously learnt strategies when reading.


Following on from Year R and Year 1, phonics is continued to be taught using Phase 6 of Letters and Sounds (not Bug Club as this is completed by the end of Year 1).  Throughout Year 2, the children build on their understanding and application of Phase 6 and use Support for Spelling to continue to apply and learn spelling rules.



Throughout our school, you will see VIPERS reading skill displays. VIPERS stands for Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explain, Retrieve, Sequence (KS1) or Summarise (KS2). Vipers is a range of reading prompts which we use as a consistent approach to teaching children the reading skills which are necessary to understand a range of texts.

Each week within reading lessons, one VIPERS skill is selected as a focus and the children are exposed to rich and varied learning around that focus skill. In addition to this, children analysed the picture for each skill and have learned actions which act as a further mnemonic to support their understanding of each skill.


Reading in KS2

In KS2, VIPERS skills are used as a teaching tool, using a range of age appropriate, engaging texts which relate to our projects wherever possible. We begin to focus on developing children's understanding of the aspects of being a successful reader and how writers use a range of features for effect. Understanding how great writers can control how a reader feels, or what they picture in their mind, is really important for us, as writers ourselves. Language acquisition is also at the forefront when teaching reading. Each class will identify a couple of words of interest each week and then analyse these words the following week in reading lessons with a view to them using these in their own writing. Throughout KS2, we prepare the children for the robust nature of the KS2 SAT’s which they sit in Year 6.



Accelerated Reader & MyOn

Throughout the KS2 journey, children who are identified as needing some support with reading fluency become members of the Accelerated Reading Program. These children partake in focused daily comprehension of books specifically at their reading age level. Over time, this precise approach to reading practise enables children to make rapid progress towards achieving a reading age which is in line with their actual age.


Reading Logs & Home Reading

We believe that working with parents and supporting home reading is important to ensure that children make good progress with their reading. Year R & 1 will use online Bug Club books to support their phonics learning in school. Where appropriate, children in Year  2 and across KS2 will also access Bug Club decodable books in order to support their tailored phonics journey. Most children in KS2 will bring home a book from the class book corner or the school library. This reading book should be pleasurable for the child so the book may be a one which they need support reading or it may be one they are able to access independently.


Your child will be given a VPS Reading Log at the beginning of the year (and reissued every time one is completed throughout the year). We encourage children to read once a day at home, log it and bring it into school the following day. The log will then be signed off and the child will be recognised. On occasions, children will be asked to share their home reading with the class. As the children become more independent (usually Year 4/5/6) children are able to write in their own reading logs during the morning and share their home reading with their class teacher.


The celebration of reading will continue throughout the year with World Book Day and author visits. All classes also have a teaching text and/or class novel that they read together daily to encourage reading for pleasure and a lifelong love of reading.



If you have any questions regarding the curriculum we teach please contact the school directly