Acorn Road, Hemel Hempstead, Herts, HP3 8DW | Tel: 01442 264 835 | Email:
St Albert The Great Catholic Primary School
October 15 2016


Governors At St Albert The Great


At St Albert the Great Catholic Primary School, we believe that a quality English curriculum should develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion. We aim to inspire an appreciation of our rich and varied literary heritage and a habit of reading widely and often. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts. We want to inspire children to use discussion to communicate and further their learning and be confident in the art of speaking and listening. We aim for children to develop a secure knowledge-base in English, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum. We believe that a secure basis in English skills is crucial to a high quality education and will give our children the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society.


Through the systematic daily teaching of phonics in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 we aim for children to be equipped with the necessary skills to become a fluent reader. Children in KS2 engage with daily guided reading lessons which help them to focus on developing fluency and comprehension.  

Children are taught writing skills through studying a range of fiction texts, non-fiction texts and poetry. We follow the Herts for Learning scheme.

Children learn spellings at home each week and these are tested in school.  Additionally, spelling is taught daily in Key Stage 1, in Phonics lessons, and weekly in key Stage 2.  Children who need additional support with spelling receive a variety of interventions that are tailored to address their gaps.

We strive to promote reading for pleasure. There are many initiatives in our school that aim to instil a love of reading within our children such as,  book fairs, weekly library slots and celebrations of reading such as World Book Day.  


As a result of the teaching and learning of English, the children at St Albert’s will make good progress from their own personal starting point. The children will be able to write clearly and accurately and be able to adapt their writing for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. Children will be fluent readers with strong comprehension skills. They will acquire a wide vocabulary and have a strong command of the written word. Most importantly, they will develop a love of reading and writing and be well equipped for the rest of their education.


At St Albert the Great, we follow the Herts for Learning scheme of work. You can find an overview of what is taught in each year group in the below long term plan.


Children are taught to read through the use of the Essential Letters and Sounds phonics programme. An overview of the scheme can be found below.

Guided Reading

We use a whole-class guided reading approach. This is delivered through the use of VIPERS.

VIPERS is an acronym to aid the recall of the 6 reading domains as part of the 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






Sequence or Summarise

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.

Helping Your Child at Home

We recently held a parent workshop with the aim of giving parents a greater understanding of how reading is taught in school. Below you will find the information shared at the workshop.