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To ensure children are exposed to a wide range of comprehension skills, we use VIPERS during our whole class guided reading sessions. Children get to read a text as a class and then have a specific focus of one or more of the VIPERS to enable them to comprehend the text using a variety of skills.

VIPERS stands for Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explain, Retrieve and Summarise (or Sequence).


During the Vocabulary focus, children will explore the words used within the text, clarify their meaning and justify the word choice by the author.


During the Infer focus, children will 'read between the lines'. The author may not explicitly state how a character is feeling or what they are thinking but may give clues to allow the reader to infer more.


During the Prediction focus, children use a variety of clues from the text to predict what will happen next or throughout the story. In KS1 this may be through pictoral cues or deliberate word choice. In KS2 children will have to draw on information they have inferred to predict the outcomes for the characters.


During the Explain focus, children will explain their answer to a question, using a wide range of evidence. This goes beyond simply retrieving facts but drawing them together to create a conclusion.


During the Retrieve focus, children will retrieve simple facts and information from the text. For example, what was her name? What was the date that the Titanic sank? etc.


During the Summarise/Sequence focus, children will either take the text that they have read and sequence the order of the events or alternatively give a brief summary of the paragraph/page/chapter they have read.

VIPERS question stems for parents