At Great Dunham, we see reading as a fundamental life skill; therefore, reading is a key part of the school’s curriculum. We aim to create confident, fluent readers, who find enjoyment and creativity through their reading (both in school and at home). We believe that the foundations of early phonics are an integral part of the reading curriculum and is something that supports every pupil with their reading as they move through their education, because segmenting and breaking words into syllables is an important part of reading at any age.

Our aim is to provide all pupils with the tools to decode words and comprehend what they have read. We aspire for all pupils to be reading confidently and fluently by the time they leave year six, with the ability to define new vocabulary independently and use texts they have read to inspire their creativity in all areas of learning.


In EYFS and KS1, we use Read Write Inc. (RWI) to build the early foundations for systematic synthetic phonics. This allows children to keep up, and learn to blend sounds to read words from early on in their education. They are provided with a colour coded text, which is appropriate for their level to ensure that they can understand what their story is about and then answer comprehension questions. They are taught how to read common exception words prior to starting a text to gain fluency. They are also taught how to read with expression through adult modelling.

Across the entire school, we support pupils to read fluently and understand the text by teaching them how to acknowledge punctuation in order to maintain the meaning of the text (commas as a short pause and end punctuation as a longer pause).

In KS2, we use reading VIPERS to ensure all skills are covered and teach these through a range of class texts. Where possible, we use texts that can link to other areas of the curriculum to ensure learning is broad and balanced.

Vocabulary– Vocabulary is taught in a range of ways: either through dictionary work or providing pupils with a range of tools to clarify the definition of new vocabulary by using what they already know.

Infer– Pupils are taught to take what they have read and what they already know to make inferences about how the characters are feeling or thinking. They will also explore authorial intent to understand what authors are showing us about a plot or character without telling us explicitly.

Predict– When teach pupils to use their inference skills to predict what may happen in a text. We teach pupils to read the blurb of a book, before choosing to read it, so they can predict if they will enjoy the text.

Explain– Pupils will be taught how to use evidence and quotes from the text to explain their answers.

Retrieve– Pupils will practise retrieving information from a text by carrying out comprehension activities.

Sequence or Summarise– After pupils have finished a class text they will practise ordering events and/or write a summary of what they have learnt to ensure they have understood the events and can express which events are key to the text’s plot.

Pupils are provided with a reading record, which can be used at school and at home, to record and communicate their progress. They are encouraged to read every morning in school and in their own time through the use of a reading ribbon scheme, where the pupils can earn up to 12 ribbons. This is designed to encourage children to not only read, but gain enjoyment out of reading a range of texts.


By the end of Year 6, we hope that all pupils will be fluent readers, who can confidently understand a text and clarify new vocabulary. We hope to inspire pupils into finding a love of reading, that they can apply to all areas of the curriculum. We hope they will be able to find links between a range of texts and their previous learning. Pupils should be able to take these reading skills through to secondary school and beyond.

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