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Marlborough Primary School




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.



  • At Marlborough, we follow the Bug Club Phonics scheme, which is an accredited systematic synthetic programme included on the list of validated government schemes.
  • This scheme is used with fidelity from EYFS up to Year 2 in conjunction with Rapid Phonics being used across KS2. Rapid Phonics is coherent with Bug Club Phonics and is designed to support EAL and SEND pupils in KS2 as an intervention programme.
  • The focus is on decoding ability to provide a solid foundation before progressing to comprehension skills.



  • In Nursery, the emphasis is on heightening speaking, listening and communication as well as encouraging children to express their thoughts and ideas through continuous provision.
  • In reception, the children continue to build upon their Phase 1 knowledge by developing a familiarity of vocabulary through play using a turn taking structure as they begin to be exposed to more sounds through daily discrete whole class phonic sessions.
  • By the end of reception, pupils will have secured phase 1 skills and learned phase 2 and 3 sounds with the accompanying high frequency words.


Year 1

  • The phonics curriculum has been amended for the academic year of 2021-2022 to include a recap of previous learning, as these pupils have experienced disruption of phonics learning from COVID19 across their time in EYFS.
  • Streamed phonics takes place four times a week in Year 1 and is differentiated according to phonetic ability.
  • In Year 1, pupils will progress through phases 3, 4 and 5 before focussing on VIPERS in Summer 2 to enhance comprehension skills.


Year 2

  • The phonics curriculum has been amended for the academic year of 2021-2022 to include preparation time for the rescheduled phonics screening test in Autumn 2.
  • Streamed phonics takes place four times a week in Year 2 and is differentiated according to phonetic ability.
  • Discrete sessions recap sounds from phase 3, 4 and 5 in preparation for the Phonics screening check, before introducing Phase 6 skills in Spring term.
  • In Spring term, pupils will move onto Phase 6 and then VIPERS whole class reading comprehension sessions (see below).

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 and ensures there will be no cross-overs between year groups.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Year 2 need to be delivering VIPERS lessons in spring term twice a week. These sessions 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.



  • All KS2 classes must have three VIPERS sessions a week taught consistently by the class teacher so that children are developing the key comprehension skills required to understand their learning in all other subjects.
  • VIPERS sessions must follow the sequence of:

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

-Lesson 2: this must involve 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.

-Lesson 3: this must involve the pupils independently using and applying the same skill taught in lesson 2 with either the same text or a new text.

  • The process of recap, revisit 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 takes place with each group once a week.
  • Guided Reading groups are made up of approximately 4 pupils to allow the class teacher ample time to listen to all pupils read.
  • 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.
  • Guided Reading folders are completed by all teachers in KS1. 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

-Book band progression chart to provide context to progress.


  • Class teachers must listen to each child read once a week on a 1:1 basis, pupils must read their banded book. Class teachers must make comments in their reading records as a way of evidencing these sessions.
  • Lower attainers must be listened to twice a week to ensure they can make accelerated progress.
  • Class teachers must 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 Phonics programme. This will also be an effective method in identifying the next steps for pupils to develop.


KS1 and KS2

  • Class teachers must create a timetable where the teacher/TA listens to children read at least once a week. This needs to be 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).
  • Children must read their banded book so that teachers can use this time to assess whether they are reading books of the appropriate level.
  • Children who are lower than the standard expected (lowest 20% of class) must be listened to first and at least twice a week.


Reluctant boy readers

  • The Sports Coaches have opportunities to read with reluctant boys across KS1 and Year 3 as a way of encouraging boys to engage with reading.
  • As a way of creating links with our local community, a group of boys from Harrow Boys School will visit Marlborough once a week to read with reluctant boys across KS2.


  • 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 must 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 must be highlighted orange.
  • Spring term must be highlighted green.
  • Summer term must 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…



  • Writing target sheets are found in the back of English books and are used by class teachers at the end of every half term when assessing hot tasks.
  • These cover the range of SPAG and written objectives that pupils need to learn over the year.
  • It is imperative that children are provided with plenty of opportunities to read for pleasure every day. This must be daily and at least 15 minutes. This could include time for class teachers to listen to children read out loud 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.
  • Example: in 6 Dickens, we spend 1:30 – 2:00 after lunch Reading for Pleasure with the lights off, music on and a group of children sitting in the book corners. They have to remove shoes but can sit, lay down, lean on each other etc., as long as they are comfy and reading!
  • Each class must have a class book that they read as a class every day.
  • Class teachers must 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 must be on the front of classroom doors to show what the class reader is.
  • Book corners must be engaging environments that promote the love of reading and are used by children when they are reading.
  • There must be a selection of books around the classroom linking to the topics being taught so that there are opportunities for cross-curricular reading.
  • These must be updated half termly to support the new learning in new topics.
  • Book corners must have a copy of the book band assessment chart so that pupils are able to see what book band they are on and where they are moving to next.
  • Bookcases will be allocated throughout the corridors in the alcoves to make reading more prevalent throughout the school. This will provide more opportunities for pupils to foster their love of reading.
  • The new library that has been built will offer an engaging new environment for children to read once it is finished.
  • New furniture will ensure that the library is easily accessible and promotes reading for pleasure.
  • Each class will have an allocated time slot where they can visit the library and learn key library skills.
  • 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 more up to date 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 should assess children’s reading fluency at the end of every half term to assess their book band and what book band the children should be on.
  • This will ensure that children are taking home the correct banded book.
  • Should be sent home and monitored weekly using a class tracking sheet.
  • Rewards given for children who are reading consistently at home.
  • Reading records 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 the reading record to promote parental engagement.
  • These comments should focus on the year group reading targets and identify strengths and areas for development.
  • 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.
  • Model texts have been written 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 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).
  • Each year group has a ‘Black History Month’ unit with a focus on either key historical black figures, key historical events in black history or a book where the author/main character is BAME.
  • 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 (eg: 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.
  • A whole school writing moderation event will take place in September, similar to previous years, where every year group will use the same book as a stimulus for writing. The aim of this event is to provide children with plenty of opportunities to show their teachers what they can do – cold tasks of different genres – so that teachers can use this as a form of assessment and identify what the gaps are. These gaps will be individual and different between children and classes so it is important that these cold tasks are used to inform English planning so that these gaps in learning can be targeted.
  • Writing throughout the year is progressive to provide an enriched learning journey for pupils to develop writing skills.
  • Each year group includes all 7 text types (instructions, explanation, recounts, narrative, poetry, discussion, non-chronological report) in their different formats. Eg: 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.
  • 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 spelling curriculum has been created specifically for Marlborough’s English curriculum.
  • 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 compared to discrete spelling lessons and spelling tests.
  • Spelling curriculum is linked to the year group’s spelling rules allowing for progression throughout the year and from KS1 to KS2.
  • In KS2, SPAG is taught through SPAG Fast Five.
  • There are 3 sessions of SPAG Fast Five every week with five questions that cover a range of SPAG elements.
  • The idea is that over time, pupils will pick up on the different SPAG elements being taught and use this within their writing.
  • 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 for that unit.

- key vocabulary to be included within their writing.

-Specific year group spelling words that link to the genre of writing.

- An example of a piece of writing that the children will be learning that includes all of the objectives labelled so they know what they are aiming for.

Mystery books

  • At the beginning of each half term, mystery books (wrapped in brown paper with a ‘Top Secret’ label) will be delivered to each class.
  • Teachers must promote these books and encourage children to ask questions about them so that they are excited about the books, further promoting reading for pleasure.

World Book Week

  • During spring term 2, World Book Week is a week dedicated to promoting the love of reading.
  • The focus of this week will be on speaking and listening as a way of promoting and developing verbal articulacy.


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

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).
  • Members of the reading team have been chosen to represent different year groups.
  • The aim of the reading team is to ensure any new developments in English are cascaded more effectively across the school.
  • The Reading Team will meet every 3 weeks with the KS1 and KS2 English Leaders.
  • These meetings will be a way for the English Leaders to support the planning of VIPERS and ensure coverage of all types of skills and genres.
  • These meetings will also be used to moderate reading across the school and to monitor the provision of reading.
  • The Reading Team will be responsible for creating mini showcases of the different events that take place in their year group (World Book Week, Pyjamarama) to show the impact of the provision.
  • Members of the reading team will have input in any new developments and have opportunities to provide feedback on how effectively these have been implemented.
  • The reading team will work with the English Leaders to take part in monitoring across the school. This will support their understanding of what is expected and how standards can be heightened.
  • Members of the reading team can then feed back to their year groups how the monitoring went and be responsible for supporting any areas for development that have emerged from the monitoring.
  • 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. Create examples of model book corners to provide inspiration to the rest of the teaching staff so that reading is seen as a priority throughout the whole school.
  • Organise the English curriculum and ensure books are organised and ordered for each unit. These books will be kept in boxes in the English Lead’s classrooms to reduce duplication of books.
  • Continue to update to English curriculum so that it is more current and relevant to the pupils at Marlborough.
  • 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.
  • KS1 English Lead to support all teachers and TAs involved in interventions in delivering phonics sessions in EYFS, KS1 and LKS2.
  • KS1 English Lead to monitor the delivery of phonics, ensuring a consistent approach and identifying any gaps through pupil progress meetings termly.
  • KS1 English Subject Leader will make the Guided Reading folders for each class in preparation to complete weekly guided reading sessions with each group.
  • CPD sessions conducted to give teachers the continuity and progression of skills across key stages and phases.
  • Inset training given to equip teachers to achieve a deeper level of understanding and vocabulary.
  • CPD sessions with support staff and sports coaches so that all members of staff have the same level of understanding of how to read with children and how to listen to them read.
  • Work collaboratively with SLT and staff to create SPAG terminology and exemplar documents to support with planning so that all staff are secure in their subject knowledge.
  • Provide staff with the feedback document so that all staff
  • Provide parent workshops to support parents in their knowledge and understanding of how English is taught at Marlborough. This provides opportunities for English subject leads to provide resources, top tips and support for parents to use at home with their children.
  • Continue to develop our own subject knowledge and government expectations by attending termly subject leader meetings and other CPD sessions.
  • Feedback in English should predominantly consist of verbal feedback given during the lessons.
  • There should be evidence of green pen where pupils have read and responded to the verbal feedback.
  • Green pen should also be used as a way for children to self-assess their own writing against their writing targets and the success criteria of the lesson.
  • Examples of verbal feedback include: scaffolding, questioning, problem solving, variation, investigation, up levelling and vocabulary, spot the mistake, create the question and self/peer assessment.

Cold task

  • Pupils complete a cold task at the beginning of a new unit to show what they already know and what they are already able to achieve.
  • This is used by teachers to inform the content of the unit and what objectives need to be covered so that all pupils are able to make progress from the beginning of the unit to the end.


Hot task

  • Pupils complete a hot task at the end of each unit to show what they have learnt since completing the cold task.
  • Pupils have an opportunity to further up level their hot task by completing a ‘hotter’ task later in the year that is added to their writing portfolio.


Rubric (UKS2)

  • Pupils in UKS2 will have opportunities to read 2/3 levelled examples of the text that they will be writing as their hot task, each text getting better than the text before.
  • From this, they will work together to identify the written and SPAG objectives that need to be included within each levelled piece and add this to a rubric.
  • Pupils will then use this rubric to self-assess their cold task so that they are able to recognise their own areas of strength and their own areas for development.
  • As pupils move through the unit, they will use the rubric as a reference to see the progress they have made in their writing.
  • Creating this rubric gives purpose to their cold task and means that they
  • Pupils will write a range of hot tasks throughout the year.
  • Pupils will be given opportunities to up level their hot tasks so that they are ‘hotter’.
  • These ‘hotter’ tasks will then be published and put into their writing portfolios.
  • These writing portfolios will move up with children throughout their journey from Year 1 to Year 6.
  • This provides evidence of their progress from the beginning of their Primary journey to the end.
  • Use Inset 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 leaners 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.


  • Expectations of what children produce as their written hot task should be heightened due to exposure of high quality, bespoke model extracts written specifically for the children of Marlborough that encompass all of the SPAG and written objectives that they will be taught during this unit.


  • 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. ‘Peer reading’ enables children to peer-teach each other across year groups.


  • Phonics sessions engage children to improve speaking and listening skills across EYFS, to create a strong foundation for independent reading to take place in KS1.


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


  • Pupils in Year 4, 5 and 6 will have the opportunity to read with pupils from Harrow Boys School, which will promote an opportunity for reading for pleasure, as well as enhancing cultural capital.


  • 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 to encourage pupils to be reflective and take an active role in their learning.


  • Children who are underperforming are identified early and additional provision can be planned for to promote progress for all children.