St. Bernadette'sCatholic Primary SchoolWe Follow Jesus


Welcome toSt. Bernadette'sCatholic Primary SchoolWe Follow Jesus

Reading and Phonics





Phonics at St. Bernadette's


At St. Bernadette’s we follow the Supersonic Phonic Friends Scheme to teach phonics.  Phonics is taught in six phases known as ‘The Basics’.


Sessions are taught daily for 30 minutes and have a clear structure following the model: Revisit & Revise, Teach, Practise and Apply.


Revisit & Revise


During this part of the session, children recap on the sounds previously taught. This will either be ‘Flashcards’ (where children are shown the grapheme and have to say the phoneme) or ‘Quickwrite’ (where children are told the phoneme and have to record the grapheme/s). They will also read or spell ‘tricky’ or high frequency words during this part of the session.




This is the part of the session where any new learning takes place. This is normally a new ‘sound’ but also includes new ‘tricky’ or high frequency words.




Children are given the opportunity to practise their new learning during this part of the session, either through a blending to read activity or a segmenting to spell activity. Whilst children are rehearsing these skills, Teachers and TAs can assess and address any misconceptions.




During this part of the session, children independently apply their newly learnt skills. Again, this is either through a reading or a writing activity. This is usually a sentence or two with new ‘sounds’ and ‘tricky’ words incorporated.


Meet the Characters



Cheeky Sneaky Sid


Sid is funny, cute and sneaky… not to mention a little bit cheeky!


Jazzy Jack and Magic Mack


Jack and Mack help us to hear more than 3 sounds in a word, they bring the sound to life so it can be heard.


Listening Len and See it Sam


Listening Len helps us hear the sounds in the words that we speak and See it Sam helps us see and remember the spellings each and every week.


Seb, Bill and Ben


Meet the three musketeers, Segmenting Seb, Building Bill and Blending Ben, who help you pick up a book and a pen!


The Twins – Rex and Ron


Introducing our twins Reading Rex and Writing Ron who are so bright. They help us to read and write!


Suze and Mitch


Choose to use Suze and switch it to Mitch are so very cool, they help us switch the spell sound and the choose to use rule!


Tricky Tess and Nonsense Nan


Let us introduce you to Nan and Tess, they help us read those silly words which make no sense and make reading the tricky words fun and immense!


During the Reception year children are introduced to phonemes and their corresponding graphemes. We begin to look at single letter sounds and the representing spelling for this. Children then begin to read and write three letter words; matching the grapheme to the sound they can hear. 


As they become confident and fluent readers and writers of CVC words children are then introduced to digraphs; where two letters make one sound. Throughout the whole of the reception year our phonic teaching relies on the firm foundations of orally blending and segmenting and is deep rooted in rhythm and rhyme. By the end of EYFS children should be fluent with all 44 sounds; including one way to represent them.



In Year 1 children develop their ability to hear and remember more than three sounds in a row and explore adjacent consonants to read CVCC and CCVC words such as ‘think, coast. and blink’. They also become fluent at recognising and applying alternative sounds for the 44 graphemes they learnt in Reception and are introduced to alternative ways to make each of the digraphs they have previously learnt.  Through the use of the characters 'Switch it Mitch' and 'Choose to Use Suze' they recognise spelling patterns and rules to identify which spelling they need to represent the sound. By the end of Year 1 children will have had access to over 100 spellings to make the 44 sounds.



Children are also introduced to 'Nonsense Nan' who will guide them through how to read alien and real words in preparation for the Year 1 Phonic Screening Check at the end of their time in Year 1. Children are also introduced to more tricky and high frequency words. 


From Year 2, we continue to explore grapheme phoneme correspondence and learn spelling rules to support our reading and writing development. Supersonic Phonic Friends allows us access to a tailored programme of spelling rules for both children in Year 1 and Year 2. 


Assessment and Phonics Screening


Children are assessed every half term on their phonics knowledge.  Children are then grouped according to this.  Assessments are completed on a one to one basis with a Teacher or TA. 


In Year 1, children will take part in the Phonics Screening Check.  This is a National Curriculum Assessment which all children in the country take part in during June.  Children will be asked to read a total of 40 words, including real words and nonsense words.  Nonsense words will have a picture of an alien next to them.  Using their phonics skills, children will segment and blend the sounds to read the words.  This will be done on a one to one basis with a Teacher. 




It is our intent at St. Bernadette’s that EVERY child becomes a confident and fluent reader and that every child can speak accurately, confidently and with passion about books they have read.


We intend to ensure all children read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, to gain knowledge across the curriculum and to develop their comprehension skills.


It is our intention to ensure that, by the end of their primary education, that all of our children will be able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education.





At St. Bernadette’s children are taught the skills of Reading (outlined in the National Curriculum and the KS1 and KS2 test domains) through the use of VIPERS which were created by Rob Smith (The Literacy Shed).


​The Reading Vipers can be used by both KS1 and KS2 with a little adaption. The main difference being in the S.

Sequence – KS1
Summarise – KS2


​In KS1, ‘Explain’; is not one of the content domains, rather it asks children why they have come to a certain conclusion, to explain their preferences, thoughts and opinions about a text.


​In KS2, the Explain section covers the additional content domains of 2F, 2G and 2H which are not present in KS1.


What are Vipers?


VIPERS is an anagram 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:


The six 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 children 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.


Key Stage 1


In EYFS and Key Stage 1, reading skills are taught and practised.  This lesson follows on from their daily phonics lesson where children are in small groups.  When children have completed the phonics programme they will continue with VIPERS. 


  • 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]


Key Stage 2


In Key Stage 2, reading skills are taught and practised using VIPERS during whole class reading sessions.


  • 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]


More Information


At St. Bernadette’s we LOVE to read! Reading is at the centre of all that we do and we recognise how important reading is to support children in later life.


In every year group, we have a class text. This class text has been carefully chosen by your child’s class teacher to engage and challenge your child. These texts are read with your child as part of their reading lessons.


Here are just a few of the texts:


In Reception and Key Stage 1, children are given a fully decodable book that is matched to their reading ability and a book that they have chosen that they can share with an adult. Children are assessed half-termly to ensure they are on the correct reading band.


In Key Stage 2, children are able to visit the school’s library to choose a book from of their choice. They are able to take this home to read each night and they are given time in school to enjoy this book too.  Children are also given a book from their appropriate book band to bring home and read with an adult.


Library Photos



1:1 Reading and Reading Groups


Teachers in school regularly listen to children read and discuss the text with the children during 1:1 and small group reading sessions.  It is also important that children have the opportunity to share their home reading book at home too.  All children have a reading diary where parents can make comments about the their child’s progress. 


Community Bookshare


We have a bookcase in our School Foyer that is full of books for children and their families to take and read.  Please enjoy the books we have on offer and if you have any books that you would like to donate please pop them onto the bookcase!



Reading - Georgia Year 5


On 21st September Charlie and I along with Mrs Galloway [the Deputy Head] and Mrs Taylor [a Teaching Assistant] picked a variety of books adding up to £531.81.


I believe reading is important because I know that normally when people say reading is important they say things like you have to learn how to read because if you don’t you can’t do anything in life but you shouldn’t read because you have to, you should do it because it’s fun. The reason we ordered the new books is because you need to find a kind of book that suits you, if you don’t like a book don’t read it, that’s fine read something you like. You don’t have to like every book.


I know that reading is not for everyone, I used to hate reading but I found the Tom Gates series. I found out that the book series was definitely my type of book when I finished it, I read it again, I loved it so much.  I have seen 3 classmates choose a Tom Gates book I think many of you will like them it’s about a year five school boy who hates spellings, maths and is always late handing in homework, he also hates his sister Delia who’s a grumpy teenager. But he does like reading comics and doodling. I think many of you will relate to this and enjoy this funny series of books.


Then I found the treehouse series of books which are funny too and I figured out I love fun books but also serious adventure books. I love reading because I’ve always wanted to be an actor and I can add expression to my reading like an actor! At St. Bernadettes' we encourage reading.  When you read find what you love about it and although the new books are only for levels 15 and 16 the rest of the levels also have many amazing books. We also have a library with many fantastic books. There are 18 levels but the fun doesn’t stop there you get put on free reading or you can read any books that you get from the library which is accessible every Monday. We love reading and hope you can too.


St. Bernadettes