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Primary Academy

How we teach Reading

At Mansfield Primary Academy we want our children not simply to learnt to read but to develop a life long love for reading.

We approach reading in 3 strands:

  • Quality first teaching
  • An inclusive reading environment
  • Developing a love of reading

Quality First Teaching

Early Reading is built on phonics using a mix of letters and sounds and rapid phonics. In main school, year 1-6, we choose high quality texts for each class to study and use a shared reading approach. We share a text as a class, discussing the vocabulary, the effect, the underlying subtext and really dissect the text. Children get lots of exposure to high quality language and a really in-depth discussions.

Our weeks are split into 5 distinct teaching areas. Each week begins with a therapy that explicitly teaches one of these skill areas. Classes will have this focus as their main target and two other targets that will thread through the weeks reading activities. Children will also have a specific session giving the opportunity to apply this new skill during an activity tailored to build on this learning. Classes will also experience a lesson focusing on text analysis discussing the vocabulary, the effect, the underlying subtext and really dissect the text. With lots of exposure to high quality language and a really in-depth discussions.

Reading VIPERS

Children are explicitly taught the skills of reading through the use of VIPERS which were created by Rob Smith (The Literacy Shed). The Reading Vipers can be used by both KS1 and KS2 with a little adaption. VIPERS is a mnemonic to aid adults facilitating the reading process as well as acting as an aid for the pupils.       

VIPERS is based on 6 key reading/comprehension skills:     

            1. Vocabulary

            2. Inference

            3. Prediction

            4. Explanation

            5. Retrieval

            6. Sequence/Summarise


Love of Reading

Teaching reading is important but loving reading is more important. Children need to want to read and we do lots of things to encourage our children to love their reading.

Teachers read to children every day – even in KS2 it’s so important that children hear adults read with passion and enthusiasm as a great model.

Every half term each class has a text which is celebrated and shared.

Reading areas in ALL classrooms.

Community book swap for staff and parents to exchange and share books.


No-one Left Behind! – Interventions

Whilst undertaking our reading lessons, we assess the children carefully and react swiftly to give children extra support and interventions to help them make progress in line with their peers and be able to move forward. We have a range of reading interventions including immediate in class support from a teacher or teaching assistant, along with regular phonics groups in Key Stage 1, paired reading, PIXL reading therapies, speed reading practice and 1:1 reading with adults. As reading is the key to all areas we make it our mission to do all we can to ensure children make progress in reading.


Accelerated Reader (AR)

Upon Graduating from the 'Little Wandle' phonics scheme and successfully passing the phonics screening test. Children move onto the Accelerated Reader (AR) program. It is a website-based program designed to support students become independent readers and make progress with their reading. This ensures books are matched to the child ability, not only in decoding but also comprehension.

We assess students’ reading ability at least three times a year through the Star Reading test. Students are given a ZPD (Zone of Proximal development) which guides students to appropriately levelled books. Once they have read a book, they can take a short computer-based quiz to check their understanding. Each book is worth a number of points and we run various competitions individually and in form groups.

We support students to read widely and encourage them to read challenging books. Accelerated Reader is a fun and interactive way to encourage reading whilst tracking progress. We want students to share their reading at home and read regularly as part of their daily routine.

We use the program in conjunction with our other reading initiatives to support students read independently and inspire them to enjoy the world of books

 More information can be found in the attachments below