At Neville’s Cross Primary School and Nursery, we believe that reading is a fundamental skill for life and teaching our children to become articulate readers is absolutely integral to what we do, ensuring that they possess the essential skills and enthusiasm to learn for the rest of their lives.
Please refer to our Reading Policy for more information regarding our reading aims, intent and implementation.
Our approach to reading
Whole class reading skills lessons – Reading VIPERS
Our reading skills lessons take place every day in every year group across the school for 20 to 30 minutes. Within these sessions our teachers model reading strategies during shared whole class reading sessions. These involve high quality, age-appropriate texts which are carefully selected by our staff. These are read to or with the children and provide an opportunity to teach children specific reading skills to widen their vocabulary and develop their levels of comprehension, as outlined in the National Curriculum. Questions are planned by teachers in advance to help children access a range of skills to help them to develop a greater understanding of a range of reading materials including fiction, non-fiction and poetry materials.
In our reading lessons, we use reading VIPERS (based on materials from ‘The Literacy Shed’) to help support our pupils to understand what a good reader looks like and how to approach answering reading questions.
VIPERS is an acronym which stands for:
Sequence (KS1) or Summarise (KS2).
All children work on VIPERS during class reading whether this is reading as a class, in a small group or one to one with an adult. We encourage children to orally talk through their answers before formally recording their answers. Children do this in a variety of ways such as discussing the answer first with their peers and/or an adult and then writing their best answer.
VIPERS question stems
It would be excellent if, as parents, you could also refer to these VIPERS regularly when you are listening to your child read at home. VIPERS questions can be applied to any text that a child is reading as well as with pictures, picture books and films! When any adult is listening to a child read, all they have to do is think of questions about the book, picture or film that cover some of the VIPERS and there are some great examples below of how you can create your own questions using the following question openers. If you have any questions or are struggling with this, please contact your child’s class teacher and they will provide some additional support materials to use at home.
KS1 question stems
KS2 question stems
Additionally, you could follow the link below to the Literacy Shed website where there is a set of example comprehension questions that can be used when reading with your child at home.
Individual reading in school
At Neville’s Cross Primary School and Nursery, all children will read with an adult at least once a week in school to develop their fluency. They will read a book from the school’s reading scheme or a banded ‘Bug Club’ book, appropriate to their ability, with either a physical copy or on a school iPad. This takes place in KS1 and KS2 assembly times and in normal lesson time in Reception. Nursery children will be encouraged to access Lilac and Pink books when their class teacher feels that they are ready.
Some of our children may receive more support in reading, some reading every day and some reading at least two times a week if they are working below age-related expectations. Our class teachers monitor each child’s progress carefully and children will move up book bands following a combination of evidence from reading skills lessons, reading assessments and your child’s improving fluency.
Our staff will stamp your child’s planner to inform you of when your child has read in class. We also provide more specific information about your child’s reading at regular parents’ meetings across the year. If you have any concerns about your child’s reading please don’t hesitate to make an appointment with your child’s teacher using the school office or by emailing your child’s class email address.
Reading at home
Reading at home is an essential part of learning to read. Our children are encouraged to read daily at home for at least 10 minutes with an adult for fluency and encouraged to discuss their texts using the VIPERS question stems (see above for examples). We carefully monitor each child’s reading at home using their individual school planners. We encourage our parents to be fully active and engaged with us in this in order to support their child’s ongoing development.
Children have access to our online reading platform Bug Club. This is a fantastic resource that allows children to read a wide range of eye-catching and entertaining books that challenge them to practice their reading skills. These books are for children to read to an adult and it particularly supports children with their comprehension because each book has ‘bugs’ that ask the children questions about the book they have read. Your child can also collect coins to spend on exciting rewards!
Please use this website to login to your child’s individual ‘Bug Club’ account:
To find out more about Bug Club and its benefits visit our Home Learning page.
Reading for pleasure
At Neville’s Cross Primary School and Nursery, we encourage a reading for pleasure ethos through daily reading sessions, class story time, outdoor reading, reading challenges, author visits and reading events, such as World Book Day. Children also have independent access to a wide variety of high-quality texts in their classroom reading areas. It is these tools and opportunities that we believe give our children the necessary skills to become thoughtful and confident readers for life.
Our staff nurture a love of books by introducing books with enthusiasm and enjoyment, promoting a sense of wonder and expectation as the book is explored. Our staff use high quality texts in all aspects of their teaching across the curriculum and provide opportunities that extend and enrich the children’s learning in their class. When we read for pleasure, our children can choose the books they wish to read and enjoy. They can choose to share a book with a peer, choose to read topic books related to our wider curriculum or listen to an adult reading aloud to them.
Additionally every day our children end their school day by sharing a story in their classrooms; class teachers read a class novel aloud to the children to further promote a love for reading into every school day.
Suggested reading lists
If your child is finding it difficult to know what they would like to read, please refer to the links below for some suggestions of high-quality age-appropriate texts for your child’s year group.