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Reading Guide for Parents

Reading at Marsden Junior School

Our reading curriculum focuses on phonic acquisition , word recognition and language

At MJS, children will learn to read with confidence, fluency and understanding, providing them with the skills required to achieve a lifetime of enjoyment through reading. Children read in school independently, with peers and as a shared class session. They listen to adults and other children read and take part in discussions about a range of books and authors.

As children learn to read, they are given a picture book without words, with the intention that they will share the book and take part in a conversation generated by the pictures. Gradually, as the child’s knowledge of letters and sounds develop they will be able to decode words phonetically. Reading books will be linked to their phonic ability and their progression through stages 1-6. After stage 6, children’s reading books will be linked to their fluency and comprehension skills.

Through these books, children are taught key comprehension skills using the VIPERS and the ‘Book Talk’ approach.


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 the teacher to track the type of questions asked and the children’s responses to these which allows for targeted questioning afterwards.



Find and explain the meaning of words in context.


Make and justify interpretations about characters and events using evidence from the text.


Predict what might happen from the details given and implied in a text.


Explain preferences, thoughts and opinions about a text.

Identify/explain how information/narrative content is related and contributes to the meaning as a whole. Identify/explain how meaning is enhanced through choice of words and phrases. Make comparisons within the text.


Retrieve and record key information/details from fiction and non-fiction texts.


Summarise (KS2)


Summarise main ideas from more than one paragraph


Book Talk

We have aligned our teaching of reading with Jane Considine's 'Hooked on Books' approach.
During the week, children take part in 'Book Talk' a whole class reading session. In those 'Book Talk' sessions you will find our children reading by themselves, reading with a partner, reading as a whole class or listening to the class teacher model reading. Children use the 'Reading Rainbow' to read and respond to texts through different lenses within 3 different zones of reading: The Fantastics, The Stylistics and The Analytics. Book Talk is key to developing oracy skills. Children collaborate in groups using sentence stems and high utility words to develop a Book Talk response. Children also complete comprehension tasks when working independently. Our Book Talk groups are linked to children’s fluency and comprehension skills.


How you can help your child with reading at home

Daily reading practise will help develop children’s decoding and comprehension skills although it is not expected that they will read a whole book every night. Children may only read 3 or 4 pages of their book but will spend longer discussing their understanding of what they have read in order to progress in developing their comprehension skills.

We would encourage children to read a variety of texts on a regular basis, even taking the
opportunities to note and read texts in their environment such as road signs, leaflets, information
posters, newspapers etc. Please feel free to share these reading experiences in their home reading
record and encourage them to share their opinions about the texts they have read.


Set aside a quiet time with no distractions. 10 to 15 minutes is usually long enough.
Make reading an enjoyable experience. Sit with your child. Try not to pressurise if he or she is reluctant. If your child loses interest then do something else.
Until your child has built up his or her confidence, it is better to keep to easier books. Struggling with a book with many unknown words is pointless because the flow is lost, the text cannot be understood, and children can easily become reluctant readers.
Try to read with your child every day. Little and often is best.
Your child has a reading record book. Try to communicate regularly with positive comments and any concerns. Your child will then know that you are interested in their progress and that you value reading. We would love to hear the children’s opinions of the texts they read and their progress.
There is more to being a good reader than just being able to read the words accurately. Being able to understand what has been read is just as important. Always talk to your child about the book; about the pictures, the characters, how they think the story will end, their favourite part. You will then be able to see how well they have understood and you will help them to develop good comprehension skills.
Remember that children need to experience a variety of reading materials eg. picture books, hardbacks, comics, magazines, poems, recipes, instructions and information books.