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Whole Class Reading

Whole Class Reading:

From the start of Autumn term 2020, we at St Philip’s have moved away from a guided reading small focus group approach and instead now deliver the teaching of reading in a whole class environment. From KS1, children learn the reading domains inline with the KS1 curriculum. Children transition between Years 1 and 2 from a guided group focus to a whole class setting.


 At St. Philip’s CE Primary, Reading Dogs are used to support the teaching of reading across EYFS and KS1. Reading VIPERS are used to support children with their reading comprehension skills form Years 3-6. VIPERS are a range of reading prompts based on the 2016 reading Content Domain Areas (CDAs) found in the National Curriculum Test Framework. Children are explicitly 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). In EYFS and KS1, each class display the reading dogs in each classroom and in KS2 each classroom display the Reading VIPERS in their classroom and the class teacher makes explicit links to the skill the children will be learning about. This gives all children across the school a common language to discuss their reading knowledge and understanding.

All children will be working on the domains of the Reading Dogs/ VIPERS during class reading, whether it is reading as a class, in a small group, or one-to-one with an adult.

Below is a link to the Literacy Shed website where there is a set of example comprehension questions that can be used when reading with your child at home.

Below is the link for sentence stems linked to Reading Dogs used in KS1.

Whole Class Reading Lesson Structure


Our whole class reading lessons take place once a week focus reading lesson that teaches and models the reading skills covered in Reading Dogs (early years and KS1) and VIPERS (KS2). This is evidenced in our English books.

As well as this, children need a comprehension lesson once every two weeks linked to their English unit/foundation topics where children have the opportunities to access a full text that allows them to answer a mixture of comprehension questions as well as developing their reading stamina.

These are separate to but may complement literacy sessions.

Sessions may vary session to session/ class to class depending on the needs of the children but has a general rule time spent on each domain is based upon the English Reading Test Framework (2016) number of marks available for each content domain.


During a typical session the teacher will share what the content domain/s the children will be focusing on for that session. Teachers carefully select their reading objectives linked to the LAPS targets in each year group’s class reading folder. Where appropriate they are linked to and applied not just during English sessions but also cross linked to topic contexts.

During these sessions, teachers cover a variety of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, songs, picture books, even short films to ensure children get access to a wide range of texts. Types of text given are appropriate to the age and key stage of the children.


Children read during these sessions in a variety of different ways. They may hear the teacher model fluent reading and then have time to reread the same extract themselves, they may read individually and feedback, work in groups, take turns in pairs or read aloud to the their peers. You may see a number of these different strategies during one session.


Teachers plan  key questions each session based on the content domain being focused on.

Children are encouraged to orally speak the answer before writing anything down acknowledging their first answer may not always be their best. At times children are given sentence stems and vocabulary that is expected to be used within their answer. TA/ teacher support is also provided to support SEN pupils where necessary.


Children are encouraged to provide evidence for their answer based on a text extract or a picture they have seen in the book. Where appropriate children are encouraged to use evidence from a range of different places within the text as modelled to them in the lesson.


KS1 and KS2 English Reading Test Framework (2016)

KS2 English Reading test Framework (2016)