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St Thomas C.E (VA) Primary School

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Learning for life with Jesus

The Teaching of Reading - VIPERS


The teaching of reading

We use VIPERS to teach reading across the school.

VIPERS is an acronym to aid the recall of the 6 reading domains as part of the UK’s reading curriculum.  They are the key areas which we feel children need to know and understand in order to improve their comprehension of texts. VIPERS stands for:


Vocabulary –understanding the meaning of new words

Inference-reading between the lines

Prediction-using clues from the text to predict what may happen next

Explanation- explaining the features of different text types.

Retrieval- finding the answers directly from the text.

Sequence or Summarise- Retelling what has been read in the right order


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 students are familiar with, a range of questions.  They allow the teacher to track the type of questions asked and the children’s responses to these which allows for targeted questioning afterwards.


Reading across the curriculum

We encourage the use of VIPERS reading (vocabulary, inference, prediction, explanation, retrieval, and summarising) across the curriculum to allow for students to develop their reading skills with a range of fiction and non-fiction texts.  This also exposes students to a wide range of vocabulary and writing styles.


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