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  • Comprehension is the ability to understand something.
  • Comprehension is full knowledge and understanding of the meaning of something.
  • When pupils do comprehension, they do an exercise to find out how well they understand a piece of spoken or written language.




At Saint Patrick’s, comprehension of meaning both intellectually and emotionally is at the heart of all our teaching. Encouraging children to be curious and excited by reading and listening, and to use their critical thinking skills through the entire curriculum is our aim. We strive to teach a deep, rich understanding of language within the Catholic ethos of love and forgiveness.




  •  We plan an effective English curriculum which will meet the needs of all learners; making adjustments where necessary to ensure that children with Special Educational Needs and those who are categorised as Disadvantaged Learners are able to achieve their full potential. 


  • Comprehension is taught through English lessons of whole class shared reading of a quality book text, film or audio followed by discussion of the meaning. Whole class shared reading is reading together as a whole class followed by questioning and discussion to encourage comprehension and understanding. The text is then used as stimuli for spoken and/or written work. There is an emphasis on discussing our emotional response to text and language as well as authorial intent and the effect of the writing on the reader.
  • Comprehension of meaning is explored more deeply through debates, illustration/drawing and drama role play using the class core texts and stories read aloud.
  • Comprehension skills are taught formally in Key Stage 2 each week using the

‘Cracking Comprehension’ scheme which has audio and text followed by in-depth     questions on a variety of high quality modern and classic texts with a range of diverse cultural texts explored.



 Guided Reading

  • Comprehension is taught through Guided Reading. Teachers will listen to each child or discuss comprehension on a regular basis. Guided reading aims to develop not only the children’s decoding skills, but also comprehension. This is a time where both the teacher and children can ask and answer questions about the text which is being read.
  • Children engage in a group guided reading session each week in key Stage 1 and Year 3. Each class has access to a range of progressive quality Guided Reading books.
  • In Year 4, 5 and 6 Whole Class guided Reading sessions take place every week based on their class novel.
  • It is expected that a range of styles of writing (fiction, non-fiction and poetry) be explored through Guided Reading sessions
  • Guided reading in Key stage 2 will refer to the VIPERS (or Twinkl DOG prompts)








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.


  • Comprehension is taught across the curriculum and through a range of subjects using quality non-fiction text books as well as library books (from our own class, school and local libraries and bookshop).


  • Comprehension is a large part of the faith life and R.E in school. Follow up discussions take place after Gospel stories and in Masses during the Homily. Weekly assemblies and collective worship are also an opportunity where children are encouraged to use all their critical facilities to find the deeper truths within bible stories and world events.


Additional Support:


Children with English as an additional language will be encouraged to share their comprehension of their own language while being given extra support to learn to comprehend in English.


Children with additional needs or who fall behind will be given extra reading comprehension support in small groups or 1:1 in order to provide the support necessary to reach their potential. 


Reluctant readers in Years 4,5 and 6 will be identified and given the Barrington Stoke book resource to engage and motivate them to read. This is due to interest and motivation being key to comprehension. Children who achieve a greater depth of comprehension will be challenged through teacher questioning and encouraged to read widely to extend their learning, vocabulary and enjoyment of language.






With good understanding of language comes enjoyment of reading and listening; knowledge and learning about the world and an essential understanding and connection with others. In a world where we are faced with so much ‘information’ being communicated on line, it is essential that children learn to question, appraise and reason in order to comprehend fully and deeply.



We expect every child to achieve their full potential in comprehension across all subjects. This will be assessed every week in formative teacher assessments and termly in summative tests.

Long term pupils will:

  • Understand the full meaning of both written and spoken language at an age appropriate level.
  • Be able to read for meaning with fluency both for pleasure and to further their learning and research.
  • Develop their understanding of vocabulary across all subjects
  • Develop their critical awareness of information and be able to fact check and appraise the validity of information.
  • Develop and hone their information retrieval, questioning, inference, prediction, explanation and summarising skills.
  • Be confident in the art of speaking and listening and to be able to use discussion to communicate and further their learning



Assessment and Monitoring in English Comprehension:

The impact of our English comprehension curriculum is measured through the monitoring cycle in school:

• Lesson observations, book monitoring and learning walks

• Skills progression in comprehension is evident throughout the school and in children’s books.

• Gathering pupil voice – to check engagement and enjoyment, understanding of key skills, progression and confidence in discussing English comprehension

• Moderating pupils work in school and in cluster meetings with other schools to ensure accurate assessments are made

• Tracking pupils’ progress each half term in Reading comprehension

• Pupil progress meetings ensure different groups (including EAL, PP and SEND) and individual progress is monitored, and interventions organised to support good and better progress

• Parents and carers will understand how they can support comprehension and contribute regularly to home learning.

• Importantly, monitoring is also used to identify gaps in the curriculum that may need to be addressed across the school, or within individual year groups. Monitoring is an ongoing cycle, which is used productively to provide the best possible English comprehension curriculum for our children and to ensure it is inclusive to all.


Role of the co-ordinator:

• Monitor the standards in the subject to ensure that outcomes are at expected levels

• Provide ongoing support and training to colleagues to inspire a love of books and language through the staff.

• Collate appropriate evidence over time – this should show that pupils’ skills and understanding develop over time

• Highlight / Celebrate successes