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Our intent

At Burnley Road Academy, we believe that reading is an essential life skill, and do our best to ensure pupils are given the greatest opportunities to develop this, in the that hope they will become life-long readers, who read for pleasure as well as information, with the skill set necessary to tackle everyday situations that rely on reading. We encourage pupils to have the courage and perseverance to have a go, challenge themselves and keep trying, even when it is difficult, and they make mistakes. Our pupils show compassion and teamwork when working with partners and buddies or reading aloud in class. Compassion is further developed through carefully chosen texts.

From the start of school life, Burnley Road Academy aims to broaden pupils' experience of books, both fiction and non-fiction. This continues as our children progress through the school. As their reading skills develop, we teach pupils to consider the language and meaning of text. This change in reading from a surface approach (gathering information) to a deeper approach (understanding and interpreting) is essential to gain the most out of texts. 

Reading becomes not simply a way to see what is written, but to recognise and interpret what is said, considering subtleties such as bias, assumptions, and the perspectives of the author.

Burnley Road Academy:

  • Understands how a strong grounding in reading will impact the future learning and development of a pupil in all subjects and prepare them for life in modern society.
  • Provides a broad and balanced curriculum, which includes fluency in the use of phonics, reading practice, widening vocabulary, reading for different purposes, reading a variety of genres, as well as focussing on standard and non-standard pronunciation.
  • Ensures that all teachers are aware of teaching, learning and assessment requirements for the development of reading.
  • Develops children’s reading stamina, so that children can read for longer periods of time, appropriate to their age, and across a range of genres.

Our reading progress spine

Each child is given a book to read from our reading scheme library. Children in EYFS and KS1, or those working at Phonic phase 5 or below, read phonically decodable books. These contain sounds they have been taught and words they can decode. These books are not colour banded or levelled, they are organised by the Phonic phase and order of sounds taught.

Children then begin the colour banded reading books, starting with green. Because of the variety of books in this reading library, including Oxford Reading Tree, Tree Tops, Project X and Reading Planet, we follow a colour coded banding system adapted from other well-known schemes. The bandings enable the children to understand which level they are on it and gives them the knowledge of where to aspire to as their reading improves...silver band!


reading  vipers

VIPERS question stems

It would be excellent if, as parents, you could also refer to these VIPERS regularly when you are listening to your child read at home. VIPERS questions can be applied to any text that a child is reading as well as with 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 or film that cover some of the VIPERS and there are some great examples of how you can create your own questions using the following question openers. If you have any questions or are struggling with this, please contact your child’s class teacher and they will provide some additional support materials to use at home.

Suggested reading lists coming soon...

reading spine

What are Vipers?
(Based on materials from The Literacy Shed)
VIPERS is an acronym 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. At Burnley Road Academy we use VIPERS to help support our pupils to understand what a good reader looks like and how to approach answering reading questions. All children work on VIPERS during class reading whether this is reading as a class, in a small group or one to one with an adult.

VIPERS stands for:
Sequence (KS1) or Summarise (KS2)

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 teachers ask, and students 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.

QUESTIONS STEMS 1questions stems 2

Book Assemblies

Regulary in asssembly, we introduce a new book or text type to all our children. These books vary in age groups and genres, fiction and non-fiction. We try to pick an appropriate book for the theme of the assemblies for the week and have found all the children enjoy listening to the stories told.

Below are some examples of books read. Ask your child which book was read this week.


Author visits

There is nothing more inspiring than having an actual published author visit school and work with pupils. That is why we are dedicated to regularly inviting authors to come into school and encourage, entertain and enthuse our pupils through assemblies and workshops.

We try to book a range of authors and  have found these visits have led to pupils reading more and, for some, it has been a inspiration to become an author.

Teachers also try to conect with authors who are doing live talks over the internet.

Visiting authors have included poet Paul Cookson, Dr Who writer Mark Wright, sports writer Tom Palmer, poet Craig Bradley and live broadcasts from Cressida Cowell, author of 'How To Train Your Dragon.'

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