South Ossett Infants’ Academy Curriculum – Reading

Reading at South Ossett Infants’ Academy

‘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)

Reading is an integral part of daily life at South Ossett Infants’ Academy; we read to children daily from a range of carefully chosen texts. This develops their enjoyment of reading, their experience of wider vocabulary, their understanding that new information can be gained from reading, their understanding of different text types from poems to stories to non-fiction, their awareness of different authors…

Being a fluent reader underpins access to the full curriculum as children move through school. In addition to listening to and joining in with stories, poems and non-fiction reading the children are taught phonics using Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised.


Reading in Lower Foundation Stage (Nursery age children)

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, non-fiction, rhymes and poems
  • learning a range of nursery rhymes and action rhymes
  • activities that develop focused listening and attention, including oral blending
  • attention to high-quality language.

We ensure Lower Foundation Stage children are well prepared to begin learning grapheme-phoneme correspondences (GPCs) and blending in Upper Foundation Stage (Reception age children).


Daily phonics lessons in Upper Foundation Stage and Year 1

  • We teach phonics for 30 minutes a day. In Upper Foundation Stage, 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 make a strong start in Upper Foundation Stage: teaching begins in Week 2 of the Autumn term.
  • We follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised expectations of progress.
  • Children in Upper Foundation Stage 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.



Daily Keep-up lessons ensure every child learns to read

Any child who needs additional practice has daily ‘Keep-up’ support, taught by a fully trained adult. Keep-up lessons match the structure of class teaching, and use the same procedures, resources and mantras, but in smaller steps with more repetition, so that every child secures their learning.

We timetable daily phonics lessons for any child in Year 2 who is not fully fluent at reading or has not passed the Phonics Screening Check. These children urgently need to catch up, so the gap between themselves and their peers does not widen. We use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessments to identify the gaps in their phonic knowledge and teach to these using the Keep-up resources – at pace.


Teaching reading: Reading practice sessions three times a week

The children have three reading practice sessions a week. These:

  • are taught by a fully trained adult to small groups of approximately six children.
  • use books matched to the children’s secure phonic knowledge using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessments
  • 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
  • comprehension: teaching children to understand the text.

In Upper Foundation Stage these sessions start in Week 4. Children who are not yet decoding have daily additional blending practice in small groups, so that they quickly learn to blend and can begin to read books.

In Year 2, we continue to teach reading in this way for any children who still need to practise reading with decodable books.


Home reading

The decodable reading practice book that the children have read in school, is taken home to ensure success is shared with the family. In Upper Foundation and Year 1 these books go home on Friday and need to be returned on Monday for the next group to use in school.

Reading for pleasure books also go home for parents and carers to share and read to children.

We share the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised parents’ resources with parents and carers to engage our families and share information about phonics, the benefits of sharing books, how children learn to blend and other aspects of our provision, both online and through workshops.



Assessment is used to monitor progress and to identify any child needing additional support as soon as they need it.

Assessment for learning is used:

  • daily within class to identify children needing Keep-up support
  • weekly in the Review lesson to assess gaps, address these immediately and secure fluency of GPCs, words and spellings.

Summative assessment is used:

  • every six weeks to assess progress, to identify gaps in learning that need to be addressed, to identify any children needing additional support and to plan the Keep-up support that they need.
  • By the Senior Leadership Team and Reading Leader to track progress, identify attainment gaps between different groups of children, so that any additional support can be put into place.


Statutory assessment

Children in Year 1 sit the Phonics Screening Check. Any child not passing the check re-sits it in Year 2.

Working in Partnership with Parents

We know that children who read with their families grow in confidence much more quickly and develop a love of reading that can last a lifetime. In recognition of the important role parents and carers have we regularly share information with parents and carers.

We will hold a meeting for parents and carers early in the autumn term in order to explain our reading schemes, procedures and expectations. Throughout the year we will be offering sessions for parents of children in all year groups, to explain how they can support with reading development at home.

Hints for listening to your child read

  • When reading together at home try to make the time relaxed, enjoyable and positive.
  • Vary it. Read together, read to your child and take turns or have them read to you.
  • Before reading, talk about the cover, the title and the pictures, and discuss what the book may be about.
  • During reading, discuss what has been read up to that point and predict what might happen next.

Reading Volunteers

We actively encourage parents and carers to volunteer their time in school to support reading, please contact the school office if you are interested in supporting reading in school.




Resources to help support reading at home

Parents and carers may find the following resources useful:

  • Little Wandle Programme Overview:

Programme Overview Document

  • Tricky Words what they are and why they are tricky Reception:

Tricky-words-for-parents-Phase-4 Reception

  • Tricky Words what they are and why they are tricky Year 1:

Tricky-words-for-parents-Phase-5 Year 1

  • How to say the phase 2 sounds taught in Autumn 1 Reception

How to say the phase 2 sounds taught in Autumn 1 Reception

  • How to say the Phase 2 sounds taught in Autumn 2 Reception

How to say the phase 2 sounds taught in Autumn 2 Reception

  • How to say the Phase 3 sounds taught in the Spring term Reception

How to say the phase 3 sounds Reception Spring 1

  • How to say the Phase 5 sounds Year 1

How to say the phase 5 sounds Year 1

  • Capital letter formation information sheet

How to write Capital Letters

  • Videos to support parents and carers:

Phase 2 sounds taught in Reception Autumn Term 1:

Phase 2 sounds taught in Reception Autumn Term 2:

Phase 3 sounds taught in Reception Spring Term:

How to say Phase 5 sounds taught in Year 1:

A quick guide to Alien Words:

How we teach tricky words:

How we teach blending:

How we teach phase 5:



Books coming home from school video:

  • Little Wandle resources for parents:

  • Everybody Read section on the Little Wandle Website to further develop a love of reading:

  • 10 Top Tips to encourage children to read by the Department For Education