Reading beyond Read Write Inc



Reading at Corpus Christi

At Corpus Christi, our Mission Statement and the teaching of Jesus is at the centre of all we do.

We intend to show this through our Reading Curriculum:

Through the chance to DISCOVER new world, facts and ideas, exploring topics and using our imagination to further develop our understanding and comprehension of the texts we read.

By showing RESPECT for the books and materials we read and hold, for the author’s work and for the opinions of those we discuss our work with.

Being ENTHUSIASTIC about reading, making their own choices about what they read, covering a wide range of text types and genres, developing our vocabulary.

To ASPIRE to be like the authors we read, using what we have read to become better writers and build our knowledge and understanding to create a better world.

Using our knowledge to MAKE A DIFFERENCE in our lives and the lives of others, learning about social and global injustice and learning about new ways to help our One World family, using our inference skills to develop a better understanding of the world and its people.



Teachers and support staff nurture a love of books by introducing new texts with enthusiasm and high aspirations, promoting a sense of wonder and expectation as the text is explored. The children at Corpus Christi have independent access to a wide variety of high quality texts in dedicated class book corners.

All teachers use quality texts in all aspects of their teaching across the curriculum and beyond, in their English lessons, dissecting high quality exemplar texts, and to build knowledge and understanding of facts in foundation subjects and Catholic Religious Education.

We know that reading at home is an essential part of children becoming excellent readers and because of this, children have a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books to choose from for home reading. It is this choice that ensures children continue to be enthusiastic and independent readers. Children are encouraged to read regularly at home, at least three times a week, from Foundation Stage to Year 6. Rewards are given to all our regular readers including house points and Book Factor rewards.

Once our children have completed the Read Write Inc Phonics Programme and are skilled in decoding and blending, we use Literacy Shed+ VIPERS texts, to continue to build on these skills with comprehension and understanding. These 30 minute, whole class guided reading sessions occur three times a week, following a set structure.

  • In the first session, the children explore the text and its vocabulary. New language is identified and discussed and children access dictionaries and thesaurus to help them learn new meanings and understand the text in full.
  • The second session focuses on one particular VIPERS question type, allowing the teacher to fully explore the skill with the children, across the piece of writing.
  • The third session of the week allows the children to apply their understanding of both the text and the question types, by exploring and answering a range of VIPERS question types.

The texts are chosen for the year group based on set criteria, including average sentence length, average word length and word difficulty level, taking into account any technical vocabulary included. 

In some texts, particularly in Stages 5 and 6, some of the texts may appear simpler, due to some of the content being written for effect.  For example, short sentences to add dramatic effect or tension - but are important technical aspects to be experienced by readers. 

Comprehension is also dependent on background knowledge so pupils who have a knowledge deficit in a particular area may find comprehension difficult in that area. For this reason, we ensure a wide variety of topics, covering a all areas of the Curriculum are covered, and children access fiction and non-fiction during these Guided Reading Sessions.


What are Reading VIPERS?

These are the key reading skills for children to be able to read and comprehend a wide range of literary texts.


Vocabulary: Looking at the choice of words that an author uses in a text.

To help at home, you could:

Pick out two or three words from the text they have read and use the passage to dicuss their meaning.

Talk about other words that have the same meaning.



Inference: What is suggested but not said in the text? Read between the lins and find the 'hidden' meaning.

To help at home, you could:

Discuss a character's personality or feelings - ask your child 'how do you know this?' 

See if they can spot something that is suggested but not said, e.g. "the boy's hands were trembling" - we can infer that he might be nervous. 


Prediction: What might happen next based on what has happened in the text?

To help at home, you could:

At the end of the chapter, encourage your chil to make a prediction about what might happen next, based on what they know. 



Explain: Explain an aspect of the text. This may include why the author includes it.

To help at home, you could:

Pick an event from the chapter and encourage your child to explain and say why they think it might be included. 

Find a phrase or word and discuss why the author used it - what effect does it have on the reader?



Retrieve: Retrieve information from the text to answer questions

To help at home, you could:

See if your child can retrieve key information from the chapter you have read with them (names, details, events)


Summarise: Sum up key points in a text or sequence events as a summary.

To help at home, you could:

At the end of the chapter/pages, see if your child can sum up the key points of what they have just read. 

You can find some question stems for each skill, to help you discuss books and texts at home, at the bottom of this page. 

Book Study

Weekly Book Study sessions in every class allow children to apply their skills to books, chosen to provide high quality reading opportunities and a wide variety of fiction genres and author styles, whilst practising both decoding and blending skills and their VIPERS comprehension skills. Reading opportunities are in place in all classes across all subject areas, supporting children to empathise with characters, share opinions and debate topics.

Home Reading

Children who have completed the Read Write Inc Phonics Programme will then be assessed against the Oxford Reading Tree Book Bands. Once the correct book band has been identified, the children are provided with a range of books within their assessed band to choose from. At the front of each book is a set of questions for children and parents to discuss at home, before the book, during the text and after reading. As a general rule, books should be changed once a week, to allow time for the children to read it three times at home and discuss the questions. The first read gives the children time to identify and decode new words, the second an opportunity to blend and search context and the final read should be fluent. For more fluent readers, in higher bands, the children only need to read each book once. Some of the more advanced texts have a large number of pages and parents and teachers should use their judgement about how long a book will be needed at home. 

As well as a home reader, each child has a class reader, either from their RWI group, or from the the Oxford Range. This is to be read in class, including with their class teacher on a regular basis. 

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Corpus Christi Catholic Primary School
Old Lane,
Merseyside, WA11 8JF