“Reading for pleasure is the single biggest factor in success later in life, outside of an education.  Study after study has shown that those children who read for pleasure are the ones who are most likely to fulfil their ambitions.  If your child reads, they will succeed – it’s that simple.”  Bali Rai


At Cusgarne Primary School, we love to read and aim to inspire every child to find a love of reading and books.  By equipping the children with the skills to read, understand and decipher a variety of texts, they will be empowered to explore the wider curriculum and sustain their enjoyment of reading.  We celebrate the world of books in various ways including participating in World Book Day and promoting the active involvement in the summer reading challenge via our local library service.  The children write book reviews and make posters and are encouraged to talk about the books they have read. 

Our displays reflect their growing confidence in reading and writing and our school is a rich environment providing superb access to quality books and texts.  Each class has an attractive and well resourced class library with books for pleasure, reference  and our reading schemes.  We subscribe to the Cornwall County library service and our stock of books is changed termly since we aim to provide an ever changing and varied selection of reading materials that both challenge and inspire the children and feed their imagination. The children read daily and the teaching staff will plan for each child’s progress in reading based on assessments and provide appropriate intervention programmes for children whose progress may be slower or needs embedding.

We use a variety of resources to embed skills through our phonics teaching, word recognition techniques, our reading scheme of books and on-line resources such as SpellZoo.  The development of clear speech and comprehension of vocabulary and sentence structure is vital to support reading skills.

Since reading is a life-long skill, it applies across the curriculum and opportunities are found for additional reading so that skills learnt in literacy can be applied in different contexts.

Reading at home is actively encouraged and parents are supported with this by suggested prompts and questions to ask their child whilst enjoying a book together.  A dialogue between parents and school is on-going via the reading diaries for each child. Our reading scheme, the Oxford Reading Tree, provides a variety of genres and authors and it is important that the children experience this variety so they develop their skills and learn how to articulate their ideas and opinions.


Foundation Stage:  An interest and a love of books is paramount to foster from the beginning of a child’s time at school.  An adult shares a story daily with the children, discussing the story with them and listening to their ideas and comments about books read.  Alongside the enjoyment of the texts, the sharing of books helps the children to learn the direction of the text, start to understand the contextual clues within pictures; and starts to introduce exciting vocabulary and reinforces recognition of first words and patterns.

The children join in with daily phonics lessons using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised scheme and throughout the day we start to embed this learning through activities, games, rhymes, songs and actions.  The children take home reading books with a phonics focus and these can sometimes be pictorial for discussion.  When they are ready, the children will begin to read from our reading scheme books both at school and to share at home.  We provide a daily reading record throughout a child’s time with us.  The reading record gives guidance on strategies to look out for and encourage.  It also allows parents to record positive comments to encourage their child, and to make a note of words children had difficulty reading or understanding.  When children read to adults in school, these comments and notes will be referred to and will provide useful information to teachers in planning the child’s next steps in reading.


Key Stage 1:  The children continue to read from the reading scheme and the children have daily lessons in phonics and literacy, combining the different elements of speaking and listening, reading and writing.  Age and stage appropriate spelling patterns are introduced alongside weekly spellings and weekly reading comprehension.  

The children are heard reading regularly on a one to one basis and shared group reading experiences occur daily.  Each week, the teacher plans for targeted guided reading using high quality texts to expand the children's understanding of words and sentence structures.  The teacher may also pre-teach vocabulary and grammar when new words and themes are introduced.

The teacher regularly screens and assesses the children and small group support and/or one to one intervention is provided where needed. 

The children are expected to read at home every day with an adult and alongside the reading scheme books, the children are encouraged to choose a non-scheme, age appropriate ‘pick and mix’ book to develop their own interest in reading.

Throughout the curriculum, the children have opportunities to learn songs, read poetry and take part in performances and read aloud to their peers or whole school depending in the situation allowing the children to develop new skills and build confidence.


Key Stage 2:  Following on from KS1, literacy skills continue to be embedded through daily phonics, weekly spellings and daily reading from the reading scheme.  The teacher and teaching assistants provide opportunities for discussion and reviewing progress in the books read; and group reading of key texts develops vocabulary and comprehension skills across a broad range of genres including non-fiction, biography, poetry, plays and narratives.  Some of these texts will be linked to topic work or may reflect the school calendar with opportunities for the pupils to read to peers in assemblies including Harvest, Remembrance and celebrations such as Christmas.

Assessment and intervention is provided to all children to support class lessons, including one to one interventions in reading where necessary.

As the children progress through the reading scheme they are exposed to a broader use of vocabulary, grammar and sentence structure and are encouraged to discuss the books they have read.  They are expected to read at home but will mostly read independently and with an adult at least twice a week.   Adults play an important role in inspiring reading choices and in engaging children in conversations about their books.  


Children with Special Education Needs (SEND): The class teacher works together with the SENDCO to make an Individual Education Plan (IEP) with targets for improving reading, and detailing support and next steps needed.  These plans are regularly reviewed and updated.


Assessment: Cusgarne is a small school and the staff have a good knowledge of each pupil’s ability and regularly hear them read.  Teachers and teaching assistants use the following to make formative and summative assessments:

  •          VIPERS * ongoing assessment  (see below for an explanation)
  •          Phonic phases through testing and participation
  •          Reading band levels, including fluency and understanding
  •          Observation of pupils reading during shared reading sessions, guided reading or performances
  •          Termly assessments using PIRA papers
  •          Formal assessments such as phonics screening/SATs
  •          Key performance indicators for reading against age expectations using a sample cohort against which they are considered


Approximate guide for daily reading:

Reception, Year 1 and Year 2: 10 minutes with an adult

Year 3 and 4: 15 minutes, usually with an adult.  More fluent readers may read independently but this should be overseen by an adult.

Year 5 and 6: 20 minutes, mostly independently and with an adult at least twice a week.  

(An adult should sign the child’s reading diary each time the child reads and make a note of words children had difficulty reading or understanding.  When children read to adults in school, these comments and notes will be referred to and will provide useful information to teachers in planning children’s next steps in reading.)  



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 that children need to know and understand in order to improve their comprehension of texts.

VIPERS stands for:






Sequence or Summarise


These 6 domains focus on the comprehension aspect of reading and as such, VIPERS is not a reading scheme but a method of ensuring that teachers ask, and pupils 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 afterwards.

Please refer to the VIPERS guides which are appropriate to the different key stages.



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