St. Bernadette'sCatholic Primary SchoolWe Follow Jesus


Welcome toSt. Bernadette'sCatholic Primary SchoolWe Follow Jesus

Reading and Phonics








At St. Bernadette’s School, we begin teaching reading with a focus on phonics and we use ‘Super Sonic Phonic Friends’ programme.

This teaches children to read fluently and accurately as well as develop their comprehension skills. From Reception, they learn to form each letter, spell correctly and compose their ideas for writing. Reading books used in their phonics lesson are fully decodable and closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics – children are assessed every half term to ensure they are receiving the most tailored teaching and learning opportunities.


As a result, our young children soon learn to share our love for reading. Parents are invited to Parent Workshops throughout the year to help you to support your child.




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