English sits at the heart of the primary curriculum and at Portreath Primary School we value our children’s right to be literate and to enjoy literature. All at Portreath Primary School recognise the central importance of English. Gaining and using skills in language not only affects the child’s progress in school, but also has a profound influence upon the course of his or her whole life. We aim to develop pupils’ abilities in speaking, listening, reading and writing. Pupils will be given opportunities to develop their use, knowledge and understanding of spoken and written English within a broad and balanced curriculum.

For details about how we teach English at Portreath, please click on the link below for our English policy and our Reading and Writing Journey documents.

English Policy 2023

The Reading Journey at Portreath Primary School

The writing Journey at Portreath Primary School

We have created our own reading spine.  These are the books that are used to teach reading to the class. Please see below:

Class Readers Cycle A

Class Readers Cycle B 

 We have created ‘Portreath School Progression in Writing’ document for Year 1 to 6.  This sets out which genre is taught in which year group and how each genre is taught to ensure progression.  As a school we feel it is important for the children to be exposed to a range of genres during their time at school.  The document breaks each genre down into ‘composition and effect’, ‘text structure and organisation’ and the related punctuation and grammar for each relevant year group.  It also gives information about the genre for example the purpose, outcomes, generic features, language features and top tips for the writers.  Please find a copy below:

Portreath School Progression in Writing

In Key Stage One and Key Stage Two each class has a class fictional text/novel each half term and a class non-fiction book that are key texts.  These are used to support the teaching of reading and often written work is also linked to these. Please find below our class novel overviews.


Pupils at Portreath Primary School will leave Year 6:

  • Being able to spell, punctuate, edit to a suitable standard
  • Being able to compose pieces of text for a variety purposes and audiences
  • Reading and writing with confidence, fluency and understanding, using a range of independent strategies to take responsibility for their own learning including self-monitoring and correcting their own errors
  • With a love of reading and a desire to read for enjoyment
  • With an interest in words and their meanings; developing a growing vocabulary in relation to grammatical terminology
  • Understanding a range of text types, media types and genres
  • Able to write in a variety of styles and forms appropriate to the situation
  • Using their developing creativity, imagination, inventiveness and critical awareness
  • Having a suitable technical vocabulary to respectfully articulate their responses in a discussion

Further Information about Reading

Portreath School places great emphasis on ‘every child a reader’. We understand that educational success is more easily achieved by those children who read readily and fluently. We are determined to teach every one of our children to read and the emphasis in our KS1 classes is on providing our children with rich opportunities to talk, listen and build as wide a vocabulary as possible to form a solid foundation for reading, writing and spelling.

Our Reception and Year 1 children are taught Phonics systematically and rigorously using the ‘Read Write Inc’ scheme. The ‘Read Write Inc Spelling Programme’ is then used in Year 2-6.

When using RWI to read the children will:
  • learn that sounds are represented by written letters
  • learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple picture prompts
  • learn how to blend sounds
  • learn to read words using Fred Talk
  • read lively stories featuring words they have learned to sound out
  • show that they comprehend the stories by answering questions.

When using RWI to write the children will:

  • learn to write the letters/letter groups which represent 44 sounds.
  • learn to write words by saying the sounds in Fred Talk
  • write simple sentences

For more information, please click on the following guide for parents:

Read Write Inc. – A guide for parents

Oxford Owl for Home


If difficulties or barriers to progress are identified additional resources are put in e.g additional adult help, targeted group or 1: 1 work and close monitoring of the effectiveness of this additional support takes place.

Reading for pleasure is emphasised across the academic year and across the school. Book Week, ‘Snuggledown’ (an evening on which children return to school to listen to stories at bedtime read by staff and governors),  the school Library and a mobile book shelf utilised at lunchtimes, book corners and displays all contribute to a whole school emphasis on the importance of reading.  Each class has a ’20 reads’ which are books that every child in the class is encouraged to borrow and read during the year.

Children select Home- School reading books from coloured banded boxes, linked to RWI.  Once children are fluently reading and completed the RWI programme, they are directed to select appropriate paperbacks using the Accelerated Reader levelling system from the library or class book shelf.

Children are encouraged to read at least four times per week, as part of their homework, and there are various reward systems in place to encourage children to read regularly.

Recommended reads link for each year group

Reception: www.booksfortopics.com/reception

Year 1: www.booksfortopics.com/year-1

Year 2: www.booksfortopics.com/year-2

Year 3: www.booksfortopics.com/year-3

Year 4: www.booksfortopics.com/year-4

Year 5: www.booksfortopics.com/year-5

Year 6: www.booksfortopics.com/year-6

Recommended reads for child wellbeing:



At our school, children are taught the skills of reading comprehension through the use of VIPERS. All children will be working on VIPERS during class reading, whether it is reading as a class, in a small group, or one-to-one with an adult. It would be fantastic if parents could also be referring to VIPERS when they listen to their child read at home.

This poster is displayed in all classrooms. Up to the end of Year 2, the ‘S’ stands for ‘Sequence’. Once children move into Year 3, the ‘S’ stands for ‘Summarise’.

If we ensure that children are competent in all of these reading skills, we are covering all of the National Curriculum requirements and enabling them to be strong, confident readers. This acronym is just a great way of helping children and parents to remember what these vital skills are.

Question Openers

VIPERS can be used on any text that a child is reading, as well as on pictures, picture books and films! When any adult is listening to a child read, all they have to do is think of questions about the book/picture/film that cover all of the VIPERS, and there are great examples below of how you can create your own questions using the following question openers.

EYFS – Y2 Y3 – Y6
Vocabulary What does the word ….. mean in this sentence?

What does this word or phrase tell you about …..?

What do the words ….. and ….. suggest about the character, setting and mood?

Find one word in the text which means …..

Which word tells you that …..?

Infer Why was …..? feeling …..?

What do you think the author intended when they said …..?

How can you tell that …..?

What impression of …..? do you get from

these paragraphs?

Predict What do you think will happen next? What makes you think this?

What is happening? What do you think happened before?

Do you think ….. will happen? Yes, no or maybe?

Explain your answer using evidence from the text.

What does this paragraph suggest will happen next? What makes you think this?

Explain Who is your favourite character? Why?

Is there anything you would change about this story?

Do you like this text? What do you like about it?

The mood of the character changes throughout the text.

Find and copy the phrases which show this.

How does the author engage the reader here?

Why is the text arranged in this way?

Retrieve How many …..?

What happened to …..?

How would you describe this story/text? What genre is it? How do you know?


What happened after …..?

What was the first thing that happened in the story?

Can you summarise in a sentence the opening/middle/end of the story?

In what order do these chapter headings come in the story?