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Phonics & Reading

"Reading is an exercise in empathy - in walking in someone else's shoes for a while."

Malorie Blackman



At All Hallows C of E Primary School, we are incredibly passionate about reading. 

We believe that reading is the pinnacle of all learning and that it can have a significant impact on pupils’ success, throughout their education and their life. We aim to ensure that reading is taught to the highest of standards, and taught consistently, in order to ensure that progression is made for all children. No matter their background, need or ability, we aim to inspire every child at All Hallows to become a life-long reader.


Monster Phonics

Who is it for?

Monster Phonics is a whole-class Systematic Synthetic Phonics Scheme with Decodable Books for children in Reception and Key Stage 1. It is also used as an intervention in Key Stages 1 and 2.



Monster Phonics teaches children to read by enabling them to identify the individual graphemes (letter combinations) and blend the sounds (phonemes) together to read the word. It is a fun way to teach phonics, since it is multi-sensory. Sounds are categorised into ten colour groups, and each colour has a corresponding monster character. Monster Phonics is a highly advanced multisensory scheme. This creates interest and engagement from the children.




Guided reading

Guided reading is taught across the school, either in small groups or as a whole class. Texts are selected to either support cross-curricular learning, building on children's prior knowledge, or to help broaden the children's understanding of the wider world (cultural capital). 

The guided reading sessions will either focus on supporting the children's decoding skills and reading fluency, or they will have a particular comprehension focus, known as VIPERS:







Sequence or summarise


VIPERS is an acronym to aid the recall of the 6 reading domains as part of the UK’s reading curriculum. The 6 domains focus on the comprehension aspect of reading and not the mechanics: decoding, fluency, prosody etc. As such, VIPERS is not a reading scheme but rather a method of ensuring that teachers ask, and pupils are familiar with, a range of questions.


In Foundation and KS1, we use Monster phonics to teach guided reading. For those children in Year 2, who have been assessed beyond stage ten decodable books, we use the VIPERS for Guided reading. 

Guided reading groups may be uneven in size and can be updated throughout the year to reflect assessment as children progress at different rates. Guided Reading helps children to practise their reading at an appropriate level in a structured situation with support if required. 


KS1 Content Domain Reference:

1a draw on knowledge of vocabulary to understand texts  [Vocabulary]

1b identify/explain key aspects of fiction and non-fiction, such as characters, events, titles and information  [Retrieve]

1c identify and explain the sequences of events in texts  [Sequence]

1d make inferences from the text  [Infer]

1e predict what might happen on the basis of what has been read so far  [Predict]

KS2 Content Domain Reference:

2a Give/explain the meaning of words in context  [Vocabulary]

2b retrieve and record information/ identify key details from fiction and non/fiction  [Retrieve]

2c summarise main ideas from more than one paragraph  [Summarise]

2d make inferences from the text/ explain and justify inferences with evidence from the text  [Infer]

2e predict what might happen from details stated or implied  [Predict]

2f identify/explain how information/ narrative content is related and contributes to meaning as a whole  [Explain]

2g identify/explain how meaning is enhanced through choice of words and phrases  [Explain]

2h make comparisons within a text  [Explain]


Core Texts

As part of our English curriculum, time is spent developing children's fluency and comprehension using a wide range of texts, across a range of genres and subjects.


Reading For Pleasure (Reading A LOT)


We believe that reading for pleasure is a core part of every child's entitlement, whatever their background or attainment. We take the view that extensive reading, sharing and discussing of a wide range of texts makes a vital contribution to a child's educational achievement, their understanding of the world and their cultural capital. The more children read, the more they are able to learn for themselves. We aim to develop a reading culture that ensures children can read for pleasure anywhere in the classroom or across the school. Enjoyment should come from the reading, not the room. This is promoted through:

Access to a wide range of texts and books

Regular, devoted time spent reading aloud to the class

Links with home and parents/carers

Links with the community libraries

Reading buddies

Regular reading events in school

Book clubs


Reading at home & library cards


To support their journey to becoming a life-long reader, we encourage all children to read at home and in their own time as much as possible.

All children at All Hallows are given a bronze library card at the beginning of the school year in September. Children who read at least 4 times a week at home will have their library card stamped. Once they have completed their bronze library card, they move on to silver, then gold. Completed library cards are displayed in the main corridor, just outside our school library. This contributes to our whole school reading culture.

Reading on a Page