Our reading curriculum intent

‘The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.’

— Dr. Seuss —

At Pennoweth, we place great emphasis on reading and believe it to be at the heart of everything we do. Our current library, placed at the heart of the school, ensures that reading is rightly seen as the key to all learning. Fostering an understanding in all children that words are powerful underpins everything that we do.

Our curriculum provides opportunities for children to experience and engage with a range of well-considered, fiction and non-fiction texts, poetry and picture books. These texts are carefully selected and further promote child engagement, ensuring appropriate depth and breadth to their learning.


Pennoweth’s DNA permeates everything that we do, and this extends to our teaching of Reading.

Our youngest children, and those who require extra support in phonics, are used to the structure of their Read, Write Inc sessions, and through the familiarity of repetition, sounding out and blending, children feel safe. This continues as children become more confident as readers and progress to VIPERS, which again maintains a consistent structure across the school, ensuring that children feel they can offer opinions and share ideas on the texts they read. Every child receives support to develop as a competent and confident reader, regardless of ability, and the support they receive from adults in the class and their peers ensures they feel loved and enabled to develop their own love of reading. Children are encouraged to be responsible for their own learning by working independently, including being encouraged to ask for help where necessary to allow themselves to move forward. Children are determined in their learning, and continue to develop as readers throughout their time in primary school, where they are ready to tackle each reading domain with confidence and enthusiasm, across all genres, leading to successful outcomes and children who are ready for the next stage of their education.

What will my child experience through reading at Pennoweth?

Phonics: Read, Write, Inc.
Nursery – Year 2

From the very beginning of their school life at Pennoweth, in our nursery through to year two, children are taught to read systematically through Read, Write Inc. This approach integrates phonics with comprehension, writing, grammar, spelling and handwriting to prepare children as confident and competent readers.
Children undertake the National Phonics Screening Check in Year 1. Any child not reaching the required standard in this check will be given targeted support throughout Year 2 and will re-sit the Screening Check at the end of Year 2.

Reading Comprehension: VIPERS
Years 2 – 6

We have adopted VIPERS to best teach the key reading domains that children need to know and understand in order to improve their comprehension of texts.
The six domains (Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval, and Sequence or Summarise) focus on the comprehension aspect of reading, rather than the mechanics of decoding, fluency, rhythm and intonation. VIPERS is an approach that engages children to respond to a range of questions asked of them and allows us to track how well the children respond. Using ongoing assessment, we use targeted questioning to enhance these necessary skills.

Click the links below to find out how children can be supported with VIPERS:
Vipers KS1
Vipers KS2

What reading skills and knowledge will my child learn at Pennoweth?

We have carefully considered the skills needed for children to become competent and confident readers and have mapped reading across the school. Children will experience a wide variety of texts, from a range of diverse authors. These texts support the projects each term as well as provide opportunity to build their cultural capital and love of reading.

Click the links below to discover how the reading journey and skills will be developed across the school:
The Reading Journey
Reading Skills Progression

Fluency in Reading

During their phonics and reading lessons, children will develop their reading fluency skills using a range of strategies. They will experience a wide range of teaching strategies and techniques to develop a deeper understanding of the texts read and further promote a love of reading. They will read individually with members of staff, in small groups and share books together as a whole class. Children will have the opportunity to select books from our library and use online resources to support reading.

Click the link below to see some examples of how we develop the children’s reading fluency across the school:
Reading fluency ideas

Picture books 

Alongside our high-quality fiction and non-fiction books, we have added a carefully chosen selection of picture books to our curriculum (please see attached overview).  Picture books are wonderful for all ages and help children fall in love with reading. Picture books are perfect for sparking imaginations and bringing worlds, adventures and characters to life.  Picture books also offer opportunities for discussions about important issues, for boosting empathy and for developing critical thinking and vocabulary.  Sometimes they simply provide a fun reading and visual experience.

Picture Book Mapping 2023-24