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Great Kimble Church of England School

An Academy of the Great Learners Trust




At Great Kimble, we believe that reading is an essential life skill and we are committed to enabling our children to become lifelong readers.

At the heart of our strategy is our drive to foster a love of reading, enriching children’s learning through carefully designed teaching activities that utilise imaginative stories and thought provoking texts.

Reading is a skill that enables children to develop their learning across the wider curriculum and lays the foundations for success in future lines of study and employment. We recognise the importance of taking a consistent whole school approach to the teaching of reading in order to close any gaps and to target the highest possible number of children attaining the expected standard or higher. We have high expectations of all children and we encourage children to challenge themselves, persevere and pursue success, always ‘reaching for the stars’.


Reading is a great source of joy and learning. It is our mission to provide the children who come through our doors with the technical and cognitive ability to access a whole world of stories, ideas and information and to foster a love of books which will continue throughout their lives. 


At Great Kimble we strive to address the different strands of learning which must take place to ensure effective reading. 

We follow the Systematic Synthetic Phonics (SSP) programme ‘Bug Club Phonics’. Decodable readers are introduced after just 10 days’ teaching at the end of Unit 2. This enables children to apply the taught strategies and enjoy contextualised reading early on. Our children then move onto using carefully matched colour banded books which provide a steady progression of challenge for the learner. We ensure the children are immersed in both imaginative fiction, non-fiction, plays and poetry.

Guided Reading and VIPERS

At Great Kimble, we endeavour to hear individual children read regularly and to provide parents with helpful comments which will assist in supporting their children. In addition to this we organise children according to need and hear them read in groups, moving into whole class guided reading in KS2.

Children are taught the skills of reading through the use of VIPERS which were created by Rob Smith (The Literacy Shed). 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 which we feel children need to know and understand in order to improve their comprehension of texts. The 6 domains focus on the comprehension aspect of reading and not the mechanics: decoding, fluency, prosody etc.  As such, VIPERS is not a reading scheme but rather a method of ensuring that teachers ask, and students are familiar with, a range of questions.  They allow us to track the type of questions asked and the children’s responses to these which allows for targeted questioning afterwards.

Progress is monitored carefully with the use of targeted learning objectives and the aim is to develop confidence, understanding and technical ability in reading aloud. With skilful questioning, the children are guided to develop reading ability, not just in decoding and expression, but also, particularly at the higher levels, in higher level reading skills such as inference and deduction. Children who are reading at higher levels are also challenged with comprehension tasks during their independent learning time.


Reading at Great Kimble