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Reading and Phonics

At Silver Springs Primary Academy all reading opportunities across the curriculum are valued. The ability to read well is a vital skill. We want children to learn to read independently and with enthusiasm, both for learning and for pleasure. 

Reading skills are explicitly taught through daily Shared, Guided and Individual Reading sessions. We use a progressive colour banded reading scheme and read a balance of fiction and non-fiction.

  • In Foundation Stage, children begin by taking home wordless books, to allow them to spend time talking to a parent about the book, without being constrained by the necessity to read words. Once children have a good understanding of how books work and have gained some phonics knowledge they begin to read books containing simple words and sentences.
  • In Key Stages 1 and 2 as children become more confident and able readers, they will take home books from different colour bands. The books they bring home will be at a level which they can read mostly accurately. This means that they can focus on discussing and understanding the story, reading with fluency and expression and reading for enjoyment.

Children needing additional support may be targeted for Reading Recovery, a programme designed to rapidly accelerate children’s progress in reading or take part in the Boosting Reading Programme which also supports children needing further support with their reading.

Phonics at Silver Springs


At Silver Springs Primary Academy children in KS1 receive daily phonics session through supportive, differentiated group work. Teachers use progressive planning based on the ‘Letters and Sounds’ scheme of work. Phonics are revised, modelled and rehearsed alongside an adult. Focused activities allow children to revisit, learn, practise and apply their knowledge and understanding in fun and engaging games and activities. Pupils are systematically taught the phonemes (sounds), how to blend the sounds all through the word for reading, and how to segment the sounds in order to write words. They are taught to use their phonic skills and knowledge to read, but are also taught high frequency words which do not completely follow the phonic rules.

  • Phonic knowledge is assessed during Year 1 through the statutory phonics screening check. It can also be repeated during Year 2 to monitor progress and identify those children in need of intervention.
  • Children needing support with their phonic knowledge in KS2 receive additional support by continuing their learning journey through ‘Letters and Sounds’ and relevant intervention programmes designed to ‘boost’ children’s learning and support them in developing and applying the skills they need for reading and writing.
  • In addition to the daily teaching of phonics at Silver Springs, all children in KS1 and 2 are registered to use the Lexia Lab which is a personalised web based learning tool, designed to enhance and support the children’s learning of phonics and spellings.

Phonics at Silver Springs

And lastly – remember:


'Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.'

Emilie Buchwald


'There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island!'

Walt Disney


'Teaching reading IS rocket science.'

Louisa Moats