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Reading at Valentine Primary School 

At Valentine Primary School we encourage and promote the love of reading. Wherever possible we link our reading lesson activities to our projects so we can immerse the children in their learning. At Valentine, we believe every lesson is a reading lesson.



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.

Currently, teachers are uploading daily reading logs onto Seesaw for children to complete each week.

 If you are unable to access Seesaw, either:

- your child will be given a paper-based reading log which can be completed at home and brought in to show the teacher on drop off (Foundation and KS1 children may need to use this option)

- your child will be given a paper-based reading log which can be completed in school when they arrive (KS2 children will be encouraged to use this method).


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 life long love of reading.




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.



Teaching of Reading in Year R

When children start school they come with a wide variety of experiences of books and reading. In Year R we start teaching reading as soon as the children walk through the door by helping children to listen to sounds around them and tune into different types of sounds. This is called ‘Phase 1’ from a programme called ‘Letters and Sounds’. Alongside this, we also initially teach children how to use pictures to tell a story by looking in detail at what is going on in the picture. These are the stepping-stones to becoming a good reader.


After October half term, the children are introduced to letter sounds which are called phonemes. We use cued articulation for this to ensure the children are saying the pure phonic sound. This supports their reading but also their speech development in class. We introduce sounds through a picture clue and action. Children practice their new sounds through word building or blending of sounds to make words. They are also introduced to tricky words (words we cannot sound out) and a variety of high frequency words. By the end of Year R, children will have been introduced to all 44 phonemes in the English language and be able to use them in their reading.


Children take part in individual reading every week to apply their skills learnt in phonics. They have reading activities in their child-initiated time as well. Once sounds have been introduced, teachers spend time embedding the sounds in different contexts. In addition to this, they are taught to understand what they are reading through analysing characters and settings and making simple predictions based on what they have already read. Understanding is reinforced by completing role-play activities and drama, where children have to act like a character and understand how the character relates to others.



Reading in Years 1 and 2

Following on from Year R, phonics in KS1 is continued to be taught through 'Letters and Sounds'. Throughout KS1, the children learn phase 3-6, building upon their knowledge of phases 1 and 2. During phase 3-6 the children learn phonemes, graphemes, split digraphs, prefixes and suffixes and tenses. They are also taught a range of words by sight; these are called tricky words and cannot be sounded out phonetically. Children complete a 20-minute phonics session daily.


To ensure children are using their growing vocabulary in a context, each child reads bi-weekly with an adult. Within this 1 to 1 reading session and within class reading sessions, children are taught new strategies and reminded of a range of previously learnt strategies when reading. The children also continue to develop their comprehension skills through partaking in VIPERS lessons and completing role play and drama activities to deepen their understanding of texts.



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’. In 2020, all year 2 children will complete the test in December as they were unable to complete it in Year 1 due to the school closure. 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.

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


Reading in KS2

In KS2, we continue to use the VIPERS skills 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.



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