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A guide to VIPERS

Reading at Pollington – Balne CE Primary School

-Be the Best You Can Be


The Christian values of PERSEVERANCE, COURAGE and SERVICE underpin and further support all strands taught in Reading.

What is VIPERS?

At Pollington-Balne VIPERS is our whole school to approach to teaching Reading Comprehension of texts which has been developed by Rob Smith from the Literacy Shed. 


Why are we teaching VIPERS at Pollington-Balne?

The VIPERS approach allows teacher to teach the key comprehension skills in line with the 'new' content domains within the National Curriculum Programme of Study. Adopting this approach provides teacher with a clear structure and ensures that children have a holistic approach to their reading comprehension and vocabulary.  


  • Vocabulary
  • Inference
  • Prediction
  • Explanation (of authorial intent or impact on reader)
  • Retrieval
  • Summarising and Sequencing


What does VIPERS look like at Pollington-Balne?

Vipers sessions are taught in daily whole class sessions;

In Year 1 – 5 x 30minute afternoon sessions

In Years 2-6 – 5 x 30minute morning sessions 


These sessions are taught in a 3 week cycle (developed by Lesson Planned) ensuring a range of text types are covered.

Week 1: Fiction

Week 2: Non-ficiton

Week 3: Poetry 

Within these genres teachers are encouraged to use a wide range of material e.g. letters, biographies, film, images etc. 


Within the three week cycle teachers will cover the VIPERS skills on a two week rotation.

Week 1 focuses on; vocabualry, inference and prediciton skills 

Week 2 foucuses on ;vocabulary, inference, explanation and sequencing/summarising skills


This approach ensure's that children children are explicitly taught the range of comprehension skills more than once within a half term.

You can contact us at Pollington-Balne CE Primary School, Balne Moor Road, Pollington, Goole DN14 0EH / / Tel: 01405 861916. Please look at our 'News and Events' menu for our latest information.