Scroll to content
0191 5000015
New Silksworth Academy home page

Extol Trust

Contact Us
  • Alliance
  • Ambition
  • Achievement

Early Reading

Phonics (reading and spelling)
At New Silksworth Academy we believe that all our children can become fluent readers and writers. This is why we teach reading through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme. We start teaching phonics in Nursery with a focus on listening, environmental sounds, rhymes and alliteration and orally blending and segmenting.  We follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised progression, which ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school.
As a result, all our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words as they read. We also model the application of the alphabetic code through phonics in shared reading and writing, both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on language development for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects.

We value reading as a crucial life skill. By the time children leave us, they read confidently for meaning and regularly enjoy reading for pleasure. Our readers are equipped with the tools to tackle unfamiliar vocabulary. We encourage our children to see themselves as readers for both pleasure and purpose.
In nursery we provide a balance of child-led and adult-led experiences for all children that meet the curriculum expectations for ‘Communication and language’ and ‘Literacy’. These include: sharing high-quality stories and poems, learning a range of nursery rhymes and action rhymes, activities that develop focused listening and attention, including oral blending and attention to high-quality language.
We ensure Nursery children are well prepared to begin learning grapheme-phoneme correspondences (GPCs) and blending in Reception.
In Reception we teach phonics for 30 minutes a day. We build from 10-minute lessons, with additional daily oral blending games, to the full-length lesson as quickly as possible. Each Friday, we review the week’s teaching to help children become fluent readers. 
Children in Reception are taught to read and spell words using Phase 2 and 3 GPCs, and words with adjacent consonants (Phase 4) with fluency and accuracy.
Children in Year 1 review Phase 3 and 4 and are taught to read and spell words using Phase 5 GPCs with fluency and accuracy.


We teach children to read through reading practice sessions three times a week. These sessions are taught by a fully trained adult to small groups of approximately six children. We ensure the books used are matched to the children’s secure phonic knowledge. The sessions are monitored by the class teacher, who rotates and works with each group on a regular basis.
Each reading practice session has a clear focus, so that the demands of the session do not overload the children’s working memory. The reading practice sessions have been designed to focus on three key reading skills: decoding, prosody: teaching children to read with understanding and expression and comprehension: teaching children to understand the text. 

A decodable reading practice book, matched to their ability, is allocated to each child in addition to having access to matched Collins Ebooks to support reading at home and to ensure success is shared with the family. 
Reading for pleasure books, which the children choose from the library also go home for parents to share and read to children. 


‘Reading for pleasure is the single most important indicator of a child’s success.’ (OECD 2002)
‘The will influences the skill and vice versa.’ (OECD 2010)


We value reading for pleasure highly and enjoy sharing books with the children.  
We read to children every day. We choose these books carefully as we want children to experience a wide range of books, including books that reflect the children at New Silksworth Academy and our local community as well as books that open windows into other worlds and cultures.
Every classroom has an inviting book corner that encourages a love for reading. We curate these books and talk about them to entice children to read a wide range of books. 
In Nursery/Reception, children have access to the reading corner every day in their free flow time and the books are continually refreshed. 

How to say the sounds

Still image for this video
Phase 2 sounds taught in Reception Autumn term one.

Phase 2 sounds taught in Reception Autumn 2.mp4

Still image for this video
Phase 2 sounds taught in Reception Autumn term two.

Phase 3 sounds taught in Reception Spring 1.mp4

Still image for this video