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Northmead Junior School

Northmead Junior School

Reading lessons

The teaching of reading is one of the most important aspects in our provision for the children at Northmead. We understand that being able to read supports children in their ability to learn and develop in all other areas of the curriculum and is a fundamental skill for life.  

Children are involved in a dedicated reading lesson every day.  We take a whole class reading approach for three of these lessons during which teachers focus on a high-quality core text and use this to teach specific comprehension strategies.

Across a three-week unit of work, children will be exposed to non-fiction, poetry or plays and fiction. The texts chosen will be of a reading level beyond that which the child could independently read, so they are being introduced to vocabulary, sentence and text construction which will stretch and challenge them as readers whilst being supported by the teacher.


Teaching focus

Lesson 1

Developing background knowledge about the text (setting/time/author) Explicitly teaching vocabulary contained within the text.

Read and discuss the text to ensure understanding

Lesson 2

Teach a VIPERS skill using the text as a model

Lesson 3

Independent comprehension activity involving questions from all of the VIPERS about the key text.

Vipers is a range of reading prompts based on the reading content domains found in the National Curriculum. These domains were initially formulated for test developers, so they could ensure that their materials, such as KS2 SATS papers, cover the range of the curriculum programmes of study. They are useful for teachers to help structure teaching and learning.

Teachers create interactive flip charts to help structure their lessons. For example these flip charts we made to support a lesson focused on a non-fiction text about elephants;














For the other two lessons in a week the children will read a book of their own reading level in differentiated groups. Children will read independently and discuss their reading with a partner, having been given a question to ponder whilst engaged in their book. The teacher will work with a different group of children each lesson and will focus on developing skills which aid decoding and fluency. Initially this will take the form of phonic and word attack skills to ensure children have age appropriate word-reading skills – both phonic decoding skills and the quick recognition of ‘common exception words’.  As children develop as readers the focus will change to developing fluency ensuring children read with appropriate pausing, phrasing, stress, intonation, rate and volume.










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