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Catherine Wayte

Primary School


At Catherine Wayte Primary School we use Unlocking Letters and Sounds (ULS) as our validated phonics and reading scheme. This is followed with fidelity from the point at which children join our school in Foundation Stage 2.


Once children have successfully mastered phonics to the required standard, they start to engage with texts from a variety of different reading schemes to give breadth and choice to the children. 


As children's reading skills develop alongside their comprehension and maturity, a wider range of schemes and texts are provided for children. This moves on to 'real books' that are not part of a reading scheme but reflect traditional and modern literature for children from a variety of authors, genres and cultures.


Reading Vipers

Children are explicitly taught the skills of reading 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:

V - Vocabulary

I - Infer

P - Predict

E - Explain

R - Retrieve 

S - Sequence or Summarise


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 our teachers ask, and our children are familiar with, a range of questions. They allow our teachers to plan an appropriate reading curriculum, track the type of questions asked and the children’s responses to these which allows for targeted questioning afterwards.

Book competitions and events are used to celebrate the joy of reading and books!