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Marlborough Primary School


Miss Croft (KS1 and KS2)



At Marlborough Primary School, we firmly believe that reading, writing, speaking and listening is extremely important in supporting the journey to becoming a well-rounded individual with a knowledge and awareness of the world around them – past, present and future.


We focus on the importance of English in the curriculum as well as in our daily lives. Effective communication is key to the development of all learners and the full range of English skills (Reading, Writing and Spoken Language) are crucial in the acquisition of knowledge, not just in the English curriculum but in all other areas of the curriculum.


Therefore, we are dedicated to encouraging all children to be passionate about Reading and Writing, just as we are. Our intent is that all children will become highly competent writers and fluent readers throughout their time at Marlborough Primary School. Through providing a curriculum rich in high-quality texts (both fiction and non-fiction), we hope to immerse pupils in worlds that will take their minds to new dimensions; places they have never visited before; make new friends (and maybe even some enemies) and meet people from different times that they may never have met today; smells they have never smelled before and eat foods they have never eaten before – all in the comfort of their classrooms! It is truly amazing what wonders a book can hold which is why we want to expose our pupils to as many captivating texts as possible throughout their time at Marlborough Primary School.


Our aim is to provide a curriculum that is broad, balanced and allows children to use and apply skills learnt in English across the entire curriculum. Reading plays a huge part in knowing more about the world we live in which is why we endeavour to create links between all the texts we read. Whilst we do teach comprehension skills through VIPERS Reading lessons, these are not stand alone lessons – they are opportunities to read more about what is being learnt in History, Geography, Science and other Foundation subjects. This will help pupils to read, write and speak fluently and with confidence in any subject so that they are able to communicate their ideas and emotions effectively whilst also listening to those of others.


“The more that you read, the more that you’ll know. The more that you know, the more places you’ll go!” Dr Seuss



The Teaching of Reading (Vipers/Whole Class Comprehension)

Reading text overview (See Year group English curriculum)

·         A whole school reading overview of texts has been created that show the progression of texts from Nursery up to Year 6.

·         This overview includes a structured list of texts recommended for each year group covering a range of authors, genres, classical texts, new texts, poems, songs, picture books and non-fiction texts.

·         This will allow children to have a wide variety of reading experiences throughout their school journey.

·         These texts can be used as part of VIPERS sessions as well as class readers.


VIPERS (teaching Reading comprehension)

Year 1

·         Year 1 focus on the teaching of phonics in autumn and spring term until decoding knowledge is secure. Comprehension skills are developed during guided reading sessions.

·         The aim is to teach one VIPERS session a week in the summer term in preparation for Year 2.

Year 2

·         Year 2 focus on the teaching of phonics in autumn term and spring term for pupils who need additional support.

·         Year 2 need to be delivering VIPERS lessons in spring term twice a week. These sessions will focus on vocabulary and the teaching of the VIPERS skills to allow pupils to develop an understanding of what these skills are and how to use them.

This can move to three sessions a week in the summer term where pupils can then begin to focus on developing these skills independently.


·         KS2 classes have two VIPERS sessions a week taught consistently to ensure that children are developing the key comprehension skills required to understand their learning in all other subjects.

·         VIPERS sessions follow the sequence of:

-Lesson 1: this involves the discrete teaching of new and ambitious vocabulary found in texts or found by children when reading at home.

-Lesson 2: this involves the discrete teaching of a specific VIPERS skill where teachers model and demonstrate how to use and apply it when reading a text. This can be made up of verbal practice, shared writing, group work etc.  The pupils are then given the opportunity to independently use and apply the skill.

The process of recap, revisit, model and recall is embedded throughout VIPERS sessions to ensure long-term retention of skills and information to aid pupils in later life and empower them for life beyond Marlborough Primary School.

Guided Reading in KS1

·         Guided Reading takes place with each group once a week.

·         Guided Reading groups are made up of approximately four pupils to allow the class teacher ample time to listen to all pupils read. This group size also allows for a discussion with a

·         Guided Reading groups are organised according to the book bands of the pupils.

·         These sessions involve opportunities for the pupils to read to the teacher and to develop comprehension skills.

·         Guided Reading folders with bug club reading objectives are used to support guided reading session. These folders include…

-all of the objectives for each book band

-record sheets for each objective being assessed

-teacher comments that are made during the Guided Reading session (these should be recorded on boom reader)


1:1 Reading


  • Class teachers listen to each child once a week on a 1:1 basis, in which, pupils read their banded book.
  • Class teachers make comments on boom reader to evidence these sessions and share comments with parents.
  • Lowest 20% pupils are listened to twice a week to facilitate maximum progress.
  • Class teachers benchmark their pupils termly or half-termly as a way of assessing their progress in reading and identifying what their book band is using Bug Club. This will also be an effective method in identifying the next steps for pupils to develop.


KS1 and KS2

  • Class teachers have a timetable where the teacher/TA listens to children read at least once a week. This is consistently followed each week so that pupils become used to the routine.
  • This is important because pupils enjoy being listened to and reading to others. This is also a great opportunity for book talk and having discussions about books, authors, opinions of books and what children like/dislike about reading (bottom row of Reading Target Sheets). This will be further developed this year during class novel and library sessions.
  • Children read their banded book so that teachers can use this time to assess whether they are reading books of the appropriate level.
  • Lowest 20% pupils are listened to twice a week to facilitate maximum progress.

Reading Target Sheets

·         Each year group has a Reading target sheet which shows the progression of targets throughout the year (almost there, getting better and marvellous).

·         Children working at WTS at the end of the year would only have targets in ‘Almost there’ highlighted.

·         Children working at EXS at the end of the year would have targets in ‘Almost there’ and ‘Getting better’ highlighted.

·         Children working at GDS at the end of the year would have most of the targets on the sheet highlighted – ‘Marvellous’ are very much GDS targets.

·          Class teachers highlight targets to show what pupils have achieved in each term. These can also be used to identify areas for development and what targets need to be taught in the following term.

·         Autumn term achieved objectives are highlighted orange.

·         Spring term achieved objectives are be highlighted green.

·         Summer term achieved objectives are be highlighted yellow.

·         Evidence for achieving these targets can come from VIPERS sessions, guided reading sessions (KS1), listening to children read, reading records, reading for pleasure…

Opportunities for Reading for Pleasure

·         It is imperative that children are provided with plenty of opportunities to read for pleasure every day, this is provided daily and for at least 15 minutes. This could include time for class teachers to listen to children read aloud as well.

·         Ensure the classroom is a relaxing, calm environment for children to ‘Read for Pleasure’ – turn the lights off, put on some relaxing music, let children sit in the book corners…   Ask your class what they would like to do during this time.

Class Novel/Story Time

·         Each class has a class novel, class teachers read the chosen book as often as possible. This is a great opportunity to open up discussions around the class book – recap what has previously happened, ask questions about what is happening, discuss interesting vocabulary, discuss predictions about what might happen next.

·         Being read to is an important part of developing the love for reading so if children aren’t enjoying the book, change the book!

·         ‘In my class we are reading…’ poster is displayed on the front of classroom doors to show what the class reader is.

Books/Reading Environments

·         Book corners are engaging environments that promote the love of reading and are used by children when they are reading.

·         There are a selection of books around the classroom linking to the topics being taught so that there are opportunities for cross-curricular reading.

·         These are updated half termly to support the new learning in new topics.

·         Book corners have a copy of the updated book band assessment chart so that pupils are able to see what book band they are on and where they are moving to next.

Banded Books

·         Banded books will be available in every class appropriate to the bands that year group should be on (if banded books are needed that are higher/lower than the year group, classes can borrow from other year groups where necessary).

·         Banded books have been organised following a banding system that will ensure consistency from EYFS up to Year 6 (book band assessment).

·         Banded books are to be taken home every week so that children are reading books appropriate to their reading age/ability – these can be changed whenever they have finished the book or express a desire to change.

·         Teachers assess children’s reading fluency at the end of every half term to assess their book band.  This will ensure that children are taking home the correct banded book.

Boom Reader

·         Pupils, parents and teachers should be using boom reader to track reading.

·         Reward gems given for children who are reading consistently at home.

·         Boom reader can be used to reference of the books the children have read.

·         When teachers have read with children this should also be recorded, along with a comment in to promote parental engagement.

·         These comments should focus on the year group reading targets and identify strengths and areas for development.

English Curriculum

·         Each year group has a bespoke English curriculum linking to current world events, the Dimensions curriculum and other texts that have been created specifically for Marlborough and the children who come to this school.

·         Grammarsaurus have written model texts for each unit for each year group bespoke to Marlborough’s curriculum so that teachers and children know what is expected by the end of the unit and what written/SPAG objectives look like within the end piece of writing.

·         Less units of writing have been added compared to previous years to allow year groups to spend more time on the unit they are teaching and in more depth. This will enable them to focus on objectives missed in the previous academic year (due to school closures) and address any gaps that have been identified in the children’s learning.

·         ‘Edit Time’ has been specifically included within the overview (once a term) so that teachers have time to readdress previous units of work with children, allowing them to edit and improve their hot tasks after some time away in order to make them even ‘hotter’, ready for their writing portfolios.

·         More recent texts have been added so that children continue to be exposed to newer fiction and non-fiction texts that are also more relevant to them.

·         Each year group has a specific poetry style focus rather than just ‘free verse’ which has often been the case in previous years. This will ensure children are exposed to many different types of poetry throughout their time in Primary School (Haiku, acrostic, rhyming, collaborative, sonnets, riddles, narrative).

·         All year groups have a Refugee Week unit focus, ensuring a variety in BAME books that children are exposed to.

·         Books of BAME authors or representing BAME characters have been included per year group to ensure there is variety in ethnicity, relevant to the children that attend Marlborough Primary School but also relevant with current events (Black Lives Matter).

·         Units of English have been refined as previously, some year groups repeated the same genre of writing in the same year whilst other year groups were missing genres. This will ensure children are exposed to writing many different genres, enabling them to apply their writing, grammar, speaking and listening skills across text types.

·         Specific narrative styles have been included in each year group so that children are exposed to a wide variety of narratives, enabling them to understand the difference between them (e.g.: adventure, mystery, science fiction, historical, thriller…).

·         Links have been made to foundation subjects, where possible, so that learning across the curriculum is promoted and children can use and apply knowledge and skills across topics as well as have opportunities to read around the subjects supporting their wider understanding.

·         There is progression of text types across the school so that all children are exposed to all text types in their different formats in their primary career. The journey of writing throughout the year is also progressive. Each year group includes all 7 text types (instructions, explanation, recounts, narrative, poetry, discussion, non-chronological report) in their different formats. E.g.: recounts – diaries, letter writing.

·         The journey of narrative writing in each year group focusses on character description in one term, setting description in another term and then using these skills together in the final term to write a narrative.

Spelling Curriculum

·         The spelling curriculum has been created specifically for Marlborough’s English curriculum to cohere with SPAG Fast 5 sessions, handwriting practice and the spelling rules showcased in the current focus model text in English lessons.

·         Each English unit has specific spelling rules that link to that text type. This provides opportunities for children to be exposed to a variety of spelling rules across the year and use them within their writing more confidently.

·         Spelling curriculum is linked to the year group’s spelling rules allowing for progression throughout the year and from KS1 to KS2.

SPAG Fast Five

·         SPAG is taught through SPAG Fast Five.

·         There is one session of SPAG Fast Five every week in KS1 where the SPAG focus is explored, the relevant spelling and grammar rules are taught and examples are generated before completing an independent task. This is taught twice a week in KS2, one modelled and heavily scaffolded session, followed by an independent session.

·         The idea is that over time, pupils will pick up on the different SPAG elements being taught and use this within their writing.

Grammasaurus Subscription

Grammarsaurus are a company that have worked collaboratively with Marlborough to update and develop our English curriculum. As part of the subscription we have access to;

·         Bespoke model texts personalised for our pupils

·         SPAG assessment and practice sheets

·         Guidance for how to teach spelling rules

·         Display and pupil desk resources

Knowledge Organisers

·         At the start of each new topic, knowledge organisers are placed in English books for all students.

·         English knowledge organisers provide:

- A summary of the key facts and essential knowledge that pupils need within their writing.

- key vocabulary to be included within their writing.

- An example of a piece of writing that includes all of the objectives



  • During summer term 2, Pyjamarama is a day dedicated to promoting the love of reading.
  • The focus will be on reading for pleasure.

National Poetry Day

Pupils will select, learn and recite a poem of their choice.

There will be an oracy focus to develop speaking and listening skills.

This will be recorded and showcased on Seesaw learning portfolios.

Reading and Writing moderation

  • Once a term, year groups will spend time looking at books of children in their classes working at EXS and GDS.
  • Using the Reading and Writing Target sheets, teachers to find evidence of targets and compare with children who are working at a similar standard in other classes.
  • Identify areas for development and ensure that children in all classes have similar levels of evidence.
  • This will be supported by the English Leaders and the Reading Team (made up of one teacher from each year group).
  • Each year group will attend a termly moderation workshop in conjunction with other schools across Harrow to ensure consistency.

Subject Leader

·         Support class teachers in developing reading areas in all classrooms so that they have a larger selection of books for children to read (fiction, non-fiction, newspapers, magazines, anime…) as well as banded books.

·         Provide staff with an outline of what is expected of the reading areas and support staff in ordering books and furniture to make them stimulating and inviting environments that will promote the love of reading.

·         Organise the English curriculum and ensure books are organised and ordered for each unit.

·         Liaise with Foundation Subject Leads to audit the books in the library relating to different topics and order more books where necessary.

·         Continue to support Year groups and Foundation Subject Leads to create topic boxes to heighten reading across genres and support learning in other subjects

·         English Lead to support all teachers in planning and delivering VIPERS sessions that are sequential and progressive.

·         English Lead to support all teachers and TAs involved in interventions in delivering phonics sessions in EYFS, KS1 and LKS2.

·         English Lead to monitor the delivery of phonics, ensuring a consistent approach and identifying any gaps through pupil progress meetings termly.

·         CPD sessions conducted to give teachers the continuity and progression of skills across key stages and phases.

·         Inset training given to equip teachers to share knowledge and skills acquired on subject leader CPD.

Moderation Events

·         Use Phase time to moderate reading and writing as a school so that all staff are exposed to reading and writing from different year groups.

·         This means that all staff will have a better understanding of the progression of reading and writing from EYFS – end of KS2.



  • All learners are exposed to an environment that is engaging and inspires the love of reading, particularly boys. All classrooms have high quality reading areas that support learning in other subject areas and promote a love of reading in children.


  • All learners will have opportunities to be exposed to a wider selection of books from a variety of topics, especially books that are more up to date and recent (some books in the library are particularly old). Topic boxes include a variety of texts linking to units which will be displayed during that unit so that children are able to read about the unit outside of the lessons during the week. Children will have a wider understanding of what they are learning in that unit and will be more engaged in lessons.


  • Children are more engaged in reading for pleasure and understand the importance of reading for the love of reading. Children are more able to make decisions about what books they read and understand that they can change the book if they are not enjoying it.


  • Staff will have a clear idea of what is expected of reading areas as well as how we encourage reading across the curriculum.


  • Staff are confident and have a better understanding of how to plan for and deliver Reading/VIPERS lessons so that all pupils are able to make good or better progress from their starting points. The curriculum PIRA/SATs tests will show that children are making progress.


  • Learning in other subject areas is enhanced through a range of new resources and reading materials. More frequent VIPERS sessions relating to other subjects will support children’s wider knowledge and understanding.


  • Teachers are able to make accurate judgements and can identify next steps using forms of assessment. All staff have a clear understanding of the outcomes of the reading curriculum for the year groups that they teach and are confident in the delivery


  • Teacher judgements are consistent across the school ensuring progress and attainment can be monitored effectively.


  • Children are aware of their next steps and can talk about what they need to do next
  • Children who are underperforming are identified early and additional provision can be planned for.