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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


We teach our children the necessary skills to be able to engage effectively with the world around them and to help enable them to make a positive difference in the future. Part of this is being able to read confidently by developing skills such as blending, segmenting, decoding and recognising key words. It is vitally important that they have a secure understanding of the letter sounds and spelling system of the English language. At Silver Springs, children are fully immersed in daily phonics from Nursery through to the end of Year 2. Children develop their listening and attention skills as well as following an effective, daily synthetics phonics scheme called StoryTime Phonics. This scheme uses well known, high-quality children’s fiction books, written by renowned authors, to contextualise the daily letter sounds that children are learning. These letter sounds follow a structured order and include single phonemes e.g. ‘b’ as well as more complex digraphs/trigraphs, for example ‘oa’/’igh’. Children are immersed in an interactive, multi-sensory experience through the use of storytelling and props, encouraging the parallel development of comprehension and phonics skills. As a result, this ignites children’s curiosity in reading, creativity and imagination helping them to find out the how, why, who, when and where. Children are regularly assessed and re-grouped according to their next steps so that they always receive targeted teaching. Phonic sessions are always revisited and built upon to ensure over time, children know more, remember more and therefore, achieve more.

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