Welcome to

Cockton Hill Junior School

  1. Curriculum
  2. Curriculum Content
  3. Reading


“I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book!” J.K. Rowling – author of the Harry Potter series.


At Cockton Hill Junior School, we follow the Sounds~Write programme for phonics, enabling smooth progression from the work at Cockton Hill Infants’ School. Phonics is a way of teaching children how to read and write. It helps children hear, identify and use different sounds that distinguish one word from another in the English language. The Sounds~Write programme works by beginning with the sound and then moving to the written code (beginning with the initial code and moving to the extended code) that represent sounds.

The Sounds~Write programme teaches the conceptual knowledge needed for reading and writing:

  • Letters are symbols
  • A sound may be spelled by 1, 2, 3 or 4 letters
  • The same sound can be spelled in more than one way
  • Many spellings can represent more than one sound.

It also teaches the skills needed for reading and writing:

  • Blending: the ability to push sounds together to build words
  • Segmenting: the ability to pull apart the individual sounds in words
  • Phoneme manipulation: the ability to insert sounds into and delete sounds out of words 

Reading and Comprehension

            ‘Pupils should be taught to read fluently, understand extended prose (both fiction and non-fiction) and be encouraged to read for pleasure. Schools should do everything to promote wider reading. They should provide library facilities and set ambitious expectations for reading at home.

(2014 National Curriculum Programme of Study)

Reading is a very important life skill as well as being a source of pleasure, enjoyment and enrichment. At Cockton Hill Junior School we aim to equip children with skills that will enable them to access the curriculum and foster a love of reading.

We encourage a love of reading from the minute our pupils start our school. Across school, children enjoy adult-led reading at the end of every day and they experience a range of texts across reading lessons and through class novels. We hold regular visits to our local library and host ‘Book Tasting Reading Cafés’ for parents/carers. Our aim is to immerse our pupils in reading and to develop that real excitement about books.  We have created some fabulous spaces within school to look at books both indoors and outdoors.

Once the crucial skills of word recognition are secured through phonics teaching children are encouraged to read fluently and automatically allowing them to concentrate on the meaning of the text. This balance between word recognition and language comprehension shifts as children acquire secure and automatic decoding skills and progress from ‘learning to read’ to ‘reading to learn’ for purpose and pleasure. We actively encourage our children to become enthusiastic and independent readers by providing them initially with a range of decodable books, matched to their phonic ability and then they progress onto a wide variety of quality graded ‘read reads’.


Good comprehension draws from linguistic knowledge and an understanding of the world. Comprehension skills develop through children’s experience of high quality discussion with the teacher, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction texts. All children must be encouraged to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and love of reading and to gain knowledge across the curriculum.

Through our reading lessons, children use a range of quality texts and extracts to develop their reading comprehension skills. The skills of reading are taught through the use of 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:

Class texts are also used as an opportunity to further develop comprehension skills as they focus on reading text aloud, questioning, discussion and the identification and extension of vocabulary.

Home Reading Books

We ask parents to read with their child at least 3 times a week, spending quality time and enjoying books together. Children each have an individual reading record and school reading book. We expect parents to support children in their individual reading programmes and complete the home school reading record weekly.