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Reading VIPERS

Children are taught the skills of reading (outlined in the National Curriculum and the KS1 and KS2 test domains) through the use of VIPERS which were created by Rob Smith (The Literacy Shed).

The Reading Vipers can be used by both KS1 and KS2 with a little adaption. The main difference being in the S.

Sequence – KS1

Summarise – KS2

In KS1, ‘Explain’; is not one of the content domains, rather it asks children why they have come to a certain conclusion, to explain their preferences, thoughts and opinions about a text.

In KS2, the Explain section covers the additional content domains of 2F, 2G and 2H which are not present in KS1.

What are 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:

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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.

Key Stage 1

In Key Stage One children reading skills are taught and practised using the VIPERS during whole class reading sessions.

KS1 Content Domain Reference  [VIPER]

1a draw on knowledge of vocabulary to understand texts  [Vocabulary]

1b identify/explain key aspects of fiction and non-fiction, such as characters, events, titles and information  [Retrieve]

1c identify and explain the sequences of events in texts  [Sequence]

1d make inferences from the text  [Infer]

1e predict what might happen on the basis of what has been read so far  [Predict]

Key Stage 2

In Key Stage Two children reading skills are taught and practised using VIPERS during whole class reading sessions.

KS2 Content Domain Reference  [VIPER]

2a Give/explain the meaning of words in context  [Vocabulary]

2b retrieve and record information/ identify key details from fiction and non/fiction  [Retrieve]

2c summarise main ideas from more than one paragraph  [Summarise]

2d make inferences from the text/ explain and justify inferences with evidence from the text  [Infer]

2e predict what might happen from details stated or implied  [Predict]

2f identify/explain how information/ narrative content is related and contributes to meaning as a whole  [Explain]

2g identify/explain how meaning is enhanced through choice of words and phrases  [Explain]

2h make comparisons within a text  [Explain]

Reading VIPERS Summary

KS1 Question STEMS

KS2 Question STEMS

If you have any further questions about VIPERS in reading, please contact the school office and direct your question to:

Mrs C McKenzie - English Lead

Miss S A Potts - Phonics Lead