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St John's C of E Primary School

"Sharing joy and hope in the community."




Reading is the gateway skill that makes all other learning possible.

Barak Obama



We encourage children to flourish in reading by engaging children in reading for pleasure as well as reading to learn across the curriculum.  We focus on ensuring children can word read as well as comprehend what they are reading.

Children in reception have daily phonics lessons, which continues into year 1 where guided reading is taught alongside 1:1 reading to teach children the skills of decoding to enable word reading. 

Comprehension of texts in EYFS and KS1 are taught through whole class story sessions and writing lessons during the exploration of whole class texts.  As children become more proficient readers, more formal strategies of comprehension are taught using VIPERS. 

V – understanding vocabulary

I – inference

P – prediction

E - explanation

R – retrieval

S – sequencing / summarising

As children move to KS2, reading lessons follow the model of whole class reading to ensure the children can deepen their discussions and therefore their ability to comprehend texts with more competence. VIPERS are used to scaffold the sequence of teaching. 

Children in KS2 who require more regular practice of decoding and comprehension are supported with regular 1:1 reading and where necessary focused intervention.  Children continue banded books until their comprehension level and word reading level enables them to move beyond this stage.  However, children are actively encouraged to read books beyond the banded schoolbooks, reading for pleasure at home as well as for practise.


The children are encouraged to read at home and undertake our Reading Champions challenge.  Children reading at least 25 reads a half term receive their reading challenge badge, with the aim of collecting all 6 across the year.  Our classes achieving 1000 reads across the term receive a whole class reward.

Teachers read to children regularly a range of class novels and picture books to promote reading for pleasure and all classes have reading corners / class libraries.




PIRA tests are completed termly to measure independent comprehension.

NFER tests are completed twice yearly to gain a reading age for children in KS2.

Tracking of home reading enables teachers to monitor motivation to read and children area targeted to read for pleasure.