Early Reading and Phonics

Early Reading and Phonics

Our pupils learn to read and write effectively and quickly using the SfA English programme. This programme is for ALL pupils. Children are assessed on their reading fluency. They are then grouped according to their reading ability and how they have performed in the reading assessment. Children are taught in ability groups across the school and their SFA session takes place every day for 90 minutes.

Kinder Corner (EYFS) and Roots involves shared, paired and guided reading, daily phonics work, grammar and writing sessions. Wings lessons follow a programme which ensures children are taught to read, analyse and respond to texts, learn the grammar and spelling requirements of the National Curriculum and create, redraft and edit their own pieces of writing.

High quality texts are used across the entire programme, exposing children to the work of important authors


We teach pupils to:

  • decode letter-sound correspondences quickly and effortlessly, using their phonic knowledge and skills
  • read ‘tricky’ words on sight
  • understand what they read
  • read aloud with fluency and expression


Co-operative learning is a very important aspect of the programme – children work in teams and have a partner within that team. At the beginning of a new cycle, the children are put into teams of four and they decide on a team name. During the lesson children are given team points and then at the end of the week the team with the most points is given a prize. Points are given for five different areas:

  • Active listening
  • Helping and encouraging others
  • Completing tasks
  • Everyone participating
  • Explaining ideas and telling why


Success For All was first implemented in our school in January 2019.  All staff have received high-quality training since October 2018 and are thoroughly enjoying this new approach to delivering the English curriculum.

We make sure that pupils read books that are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics. This is so that, early on, they experience success and gain confidence that they are readers. Re-reading and discussing these books with the teacher supports their increasingly fluent decoding.


Alongside this, the teachers read a wide range of stories, poetry and non-fiction to pupils; they are soon able to read these texts for themselves. In addition, children are given a phonics based book from our ‘Phonics Bug’ scheme, a book from our extensive colour banded scheme, which might not be purely phonics based and a book from our Library each week, any or all of which can be read at home.


Assessment is a critical element of our programme. The teachers assess:

  • pupils’ phonic knowledge
  • the speed at which pupils are able to read the text
  • their understanding of the stories they read.


This data allows us to intervene in different ways. For instance, we quickly move pupils to another group if they are progressing faster than their peers. Those who continue to struggle are placed in intervention groups so that they keep up.