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Subject Intent


At Shenley Primary, School we are passionate about Reading; the teaching of Reading takes a high priority within the curriculum. Our aim is to ensure children can read well, as this key factor can significantly impact on success in school and beyond. Reading transports children to an imagined world far beyond their own experiences. We want our children to develop a 'love' of reading and take full advantage of the pleasure it offers. We aim to develop a positive attitude towards reading so that each child sees themselves as a reader. We have developed our reading corners to draw children in, to want to read and experience this in a place of safety and inspiration.


We aim to improve pupils’ vocabulary and reading through the explicit teaching of skills to ALL pupils daily. This is done through whole class teaching, using the sequence of skills from the National Curriculum for each year group, and appropriate texts matched to pupils’ ability and interests, and to engage pupils and develop a depth of understanding. Phonics knowledge, decoding and oral comprehension is tracked half-termly against a series of checkpoints. Those children not meeting expectations are included in a variety of intervention groups to boost their skills. These interventions include Early Morning Readers, the Fluency Project and others tailored to meet the needs of individual children. 


At Shenley, we use VIPERS as a method of ensuring that teachers ask, and students are familiar with, a range of questions. VIPERS is an anagram to support the recall of the 6 reading domains as part of the UK’s reading curriculum.  They are the key areas, which children need to know and understand in order to improve their comprehension of texts. VIPERS stands for: Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval, Sequence or Summarise. The 6 domains focus on the comprehension aspect of reading and not the mechanics: decoding, fluency, prosody etc.  They allow the teacher to track the type of questions asked and the children’s responses to these, which allows for targeted questioning afterwards. VIPERS is taught as a whole class guided reading session daily.



All pupils are entitled to an English curriculum that equips them with the skills to become fluent and confident authors.  At Shenley, we want our children to be able to write with grammatical accuracy and be able to apply spelling patterns correctly. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly using a neat handwriting style and can adapt their vocabulary and technique within a range of contexts. 

During their time at Shenley, all pupils will have the opportunity to write within a variety of genres including fiction, poetry, plays and non – fiction. Our curriculum is based around high-quality texts that cater for the needs and interests of our pupils. Quality first teaching is supported by focussed resources and working walls within the learning environment. Children regularly compose longer written pieces that allow children to plan, evaluate, edit and redraft their work to achieve a higher standard. Teachers ensure writing opportunities are available across the wider curriculum to allow pupils to demonstrate their writing abilities in a variety of contexts. 

At Shenley, we ensure high quality literature is used throughout our English teaching. English is taught creatively where appropriate through themed whole school writing weeks and topic WOW that inspire the children to be imaginative as well as creating purposeful contexts for them to apply their knowledge.

National Curriculum Aims for English

The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. 

The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils: 

Read easily, fluently and with good understanding 

Develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information 

Acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language 

Appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage 

Write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences 

Use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas Are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.