Holy Rosary Catholic Voluntary Academy

Loving Heart – Strong Mind


Here at Holy Rosary CVA, we fully recognise and appreciate that language acquisition is key to our children accessing the curriculum successfully. We prioritise reading and phonics to ensure that all of our children make at least the expected progress.


We are passionate about reading for pleasure and strive to instil a genuine love of reading in all of our pupils. Our community library is stocked with donations of the highest-quality texts; Reading Ambassadors in Y6 are trained to run the library, supporting children across all phases to access age-appropriate texts that they will love.


Early Reading and Phonics

Phonics is taught daily in EYFS, Year 1 and 2.  Children across EYFS and KS1 are streamed. We use the Phonics Pathway to ensure our children receive a targeted and structured approach to phonics.  After teaching focused on phoneme-grapheme correspondence and reading the word, the children apply their knowledge to their writing, through sentence work. 

Our children are provided with the necessary skills to be able to read real and ‘nonsense’ words, which is a requirement for the Phonics Screening Check (PSC). The PSC is normally carried out in June, in Year One and children who did not pass the check get the opportunity to retake the test the following year.

Phonics is assessed termly and tracked in EYFS and KS1 using Phonics Tracker, which identifies children who are on target, and those who require further support through targeted interventions with highly-trained support staff. Phonics teaching also occurs in LKS2 to support children who did not pass their Phonics Screening Check in KS1. Children in Y2 also access our VIPERS reading process:

  • Vocabulary
  • Infer
  • Predict
  • Explain
  • Retrieve
  • Sequence

This approach allows them to access high-quality texts that develop their fluency and reading comprehension, deepening their understanding of a wide range of texts, as well as broadening their vocabulary.

The children in EYFS and KS1 are read to and heard reading daily and are provided with decodable texts aligned to their phonic knowledge to read at home, as well as having access to a wide range of reading for pleasure texts in school.


KS2 Reading

The curriculum is broad and balanced and has been carefully designed to ensure the children are exposed to high-quality texts that are inclusive and diverse, reflecting our school and wider community. Reading in KS2 is taught daily using our VIPERS approach. 


Vocabulary is a high priority at Holy Rosary CVA and teachers use a wide range of strategies and resources to ensure that pupils learn subject-specific (tier 3) vocabulary across the curriculum.



VIPERS skills are taught in every Monday RE session and focus around scripture, religious images and other religious sources, which allows children to deepen their understanding of the Bible and their faith. Pupils are given opportunities to extend their understanding through carefully selected ‘Explain’ questions.


Tuesday - Friday

VIPERS sessions are taught during the Reading and GPS session, prior to writing. The curriculum is mapped out to ensure that the texts are closely linked to the driver topic for that half term, wherever possible. Teachers model high standards of reading: reading fluently to the pupils and demonstrating accuracy, automaticity and prosody (expression).

Insight Tracker is used to assess the children’s progress against the National Curriculum objectives for reading and is updated weekly to ensure all children are fully supported to access the curriculum and deepen their knowledge and understanding.


Reading for Pleasure

All pupils at Holy Rosary CVA are actively encouraged to embrace reading for pleasure and are able to access our Community Library both remotely and in school thanks to our Libresoft Library System. Children can browse and reserve texts online and these are delivered to them by the Reading Ambassadors. Children are provided with daily opportunities to read their choice of text in class, purely for their own enjoyment.

At home, pupils from the early years to Y6 are expected to read daily for at least and they can record their reading journey in their Holy Rosary Reading Records.