Greenleys First School

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Ardwell Lane, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, MK12 6AT

01908 314698

Greenleys First School

Where Children Come First

  1. Curriculum
  2. Subject information & resources
  3. English


Click here to view our Progression of Knowledge & Skills documents for Spoken Language, Reading or Writing.


Guided Reading

Our teaching of reading at Greenleys First School focuses on the Reading VIPERS. VIPERS language is used across the school during all reading opportunities but is a specifically structured approach during taught Guided Reading sessions. These sessions start when children move off the Read Write Inc. Phonics programme and are ready to progress from ‘learning to read’ to ‘reading to learn’.


VIPERS is an acronym to help children remember the reading domains linked to the National Curriculum that will help them to improve their comprehension of a text.


VIPERS stands for:









Each Guided Reading unit focuses on one of the VIPERS and is structured to allow children to develop their understanding of a text whilst continuing to maintain reading fluency and accuracy. The children have the opportunity to read, share and discuss the text as well as answer questions linked directly to the focus VIPERS domain and complete independent and guided tasks.


Click here  to view our VIPERS progression document.

Click here for more information about the Reading VIPERS. 


Children are heard to read weekly by members of staff during our daily Read Write Inc. Phonics or Guided Reading sessions.

Daily Story

As part of our strategy to prioritise reading and contribute to the effectiveness of the curriculum we have a daily timetabled story in every class for teachers to read accessible but more complex texts out loud. During this time, we model high-quality story-telling that focuses on the 4 key aspects of prosody: expression and volume, phrasing, smoothness and pace. This helps children to become more familiar with sentence and text structure, eventually leading to them better understanding texts they read independently. This is also an opportunity to discuss new and unfamiliar language as well as use VIPERS



 At Greenleys First School we prioritise reading and teach early reading using the Read Write Inc. Phonics scheme. Children are taught in groups based on stage not age and are regularly assessed to check progress. We then adjust the groupings so that all children receive high quality, consistent teaching that is pitched exactly at their level.


In Reception we initially follow the ‘Making a Strong Start’ part of the RWInc. Phonics teaching scheme. This introduces children to Set 1 sounds. We teach children to orally blend and decode words as well as recognise the sounds in isolation. When appropriate to do so we then include our Reception children in the grouping by stage not age approach.


In Year 1 and Year 2 the children are grouped according to their phonics level. This takes into account known sounds, decoding and blending, nonsense words and eventually pace of reading to accurately place them in a group to consolidate their previous learning and facilitate new learning.


We also use ‘Fast Track Tutoring’ in the RWInc. Programme to support children who are finding specific elements of phonics difficult. Children are tracked based on small steps of progress towards the next RWInc. Phonics group and targeted during intervention sessions to provide them with bespoke support to make progress.


Please find extra information below relating to the Read Write Inc. Phonics Programme.


How to say the sounds

Sound blending

What is Read Write Inc. Phonics?

The Phonics Screening Check

Oxford Owl Free eBook library


You might find these documents useful as well:

RWI - FAQs by parents

RWI - How we teach phonics at GFS 


Writing at Greenleys First School is taught through a bespoke Talk for Writing based approach with some elements of Read Write Inc. writing. Our unit structure prioritises vocabulary and opportunities to practice transcription skills whilst working towards composition. We place high importance on closing the ‘word gap’ and children being able to convey their ideas orally whilst also securing accurate transcription through using elements of Read Write Inc. such as 'Hold a Sentence' built into our teaching.


Each unit is based on a genre or text type and has a high quality model text at the centre. These models expose our children to a wide variety of vocabulary and provide an aspirational example to scaffold their learning. Each unit is 2-3 weeks long and gives children the opportunity to immerse themselves in a text.


In Key Stage 1 we work through the following stages in each unit:

Hook- To engage children in our new learning.

Vocabulary and Exploration- To look at the text type/genre and explore linked vocabulary and new words.

Imitation- To practice re-creating a text in many different ways

Innovation- To adapt elements of a text.

Application and Invention- To write our own version

Editing- To edit our work


In Early Years we focus on the first 3 stages, using both discrete teaching and continuous provision, to immerse children in a text and create opportunities for writing.


Writing lessons at Greenleys First School use elements of the Read Write Inc. programme throughout as the children are consistently modelled by adults how to apply the transferable skills in their writing (such as Fred Fingers), but these are directly taught as part of the ‘vocabulary and exploration’ and ‘imitation’ phases.


Fred Fingers for Spelling



Handwriting is taught daily in Key Stage 1. As part of the ‘Making a Strong Start’ Read Write Inc. programme, in Reception letter formation is initially taught daily in small groups and then as part of guided writing opportunities. We follow the Read Write Inc. handwriting approach, using rhymes to help with formation and direction.