Teaching of Reading

At South Street Primary School, we are passionate about ensuring that all children become confident and enthusiastic readers and writers. We believe that phonics provides the foundations of learning to make the development into fluent reading and writing easier. Phonics is the process that is used to help children break down words into sounds, as well as building letter and word recognition. This can then enable children to use unknown words in the future. Children learn to segment words to support their spelling ability and blend sounds to read the words.

The teaching of phonics and reading begins in our Early Years and continues throughout school.  At South Street Primary School we teach reading through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme. We start teaching phonics in Reception with whole class input and small group activities.

As children progress into Year 1 and 2, the teaching of phonics is organised into groups depending on children’s prior Phonic knowledge and looking at where individual’s need challenge or support. This is done using the ‘Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised’ six weekly assessments and online progress tracker tool. Additionally, these assessments also support us in identifying where groups or individuals may need ‘Keep Up ‘ Programme or extra intervention; this is provided for children throughout Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.

Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised is a complete systematic synthetic phonics programme (SSP) developed for schools by schools. Based on the original Letters and Sounds, but extensively revised to provide a complete teaching programme meeting all the expectations of the National Curriculum, the Ofsted Deep Dive into reading and preparing your children to go beyond the expectations of the Phonics Screening Check.

Little Wandle Parent Information

Opportunities for Reading

Pupils also read regularly in other areas of the curriculum and in other parts of the school day through:

In addition, and to enable children to become confident readers with a love of reading, we have a variety of initiatives in place across the school.

  • ‘Stop, drop and read’- to share a story with the children based on classic texts and our ‘Hook into books’ from Seven Stories.
  • Whole class reading comprehension- as the children develop their basic reading skills and become more fluent, whole class lessons with a reading comprehension focus across non-core subjects (Science, History, RE etc.).
  • Reading Interventions- to give those children who may need an extra boost with their reading, we have put in place Reading Fluency.
  • Accelerated Reader- to support children with their fluency and reading comprehension where we have a vast range of books to support the children’s love of reading from an early age and give the children access to a range of texts free of charge.
  • ‘Become a millionaire’- where the children can become a millionaire based on how many words they have read (they get a free book and get their photo on the trophy).
  • Snuggle up with a book suitcase- an opportunity for the children to share a book with their grown up at home.
  • Reading Outside- we have created an environment outside where the children can go and enjoy a book.
  • Regular visits to our local library- the children visit Gateshead Central library every half term, along with author visits in school and at the library.
  • Book Fairs- where we get the opportunity to find out about new, current books that are available to us.
  • World Book Day- we celebrate our love of reading as a whole school.

Home Reading

It is widely recognised that regular reading allows children to continue to develop their skills as well as develop their love for reading.  We encourage an adult to read with their child/ren as often as possible and make comments in the children’s reading journals.

 As such a high importance is placed on reading and in particular fostering a love of reading, the children at South Street Primary read real books for their home reader which allows them to read a rich and varied selection of texts.  In Early Years the children take home a phonics matched book and a free choice book from the Library. In KS1 the children take home a phonics matched book, an accelerated book and a free choice book from our Library. In KS2 the children take home their accelerated reading book and a free choice book from our Library. By following the Accelerated Reading programme, the children are given a reading range that they can read between allowing them to select books for pleasure and also books for challenge.  Once the children have completed a book, they are able to take a quiz to show their understanding of what they have read.  School staff track the children’s progress from the quizzes and support pupils’ where necessary.  The children take the STAR reading test on a termly basis which assesses the pupils’ progress and determines a new reading range for them so the variety of books available to them is continually changing.  To promote reading to the maximum, the children also have a 30-minute daily reading slot at school.

Where children are not ready to access the Accelerated Reading programme, the children are given phonics-matched scheme books to develop their phonological awareness and word reading skills.

School Library

We have a well-stocked school library.  As well as opportunities for borrowing books, children are able to access sessions aimed at promoting reading for pleasure and confidence to independently choose a book. In addition, we have a book vending machine where children can swap a token for a book of their choice. We have 6 librarians in our school who have a strong passion for reading and they want to share this with the rest of the school. They run a successful ‘Reading Club’ once a week within our school library.


Additional Support

Where necessary, the teacher will support children with additional needs through differentiated activities and adult support from either the class teacher, teaching assistant or additional teachers.

Individual programmes for teaching and support are drawn up as appropriate by teachers in conjunction with the Special Educational Needs co-ordinator.  Care is exercised to ensure that parents and carers are involved appropriately and kept fully informed.

Reading is regarded as a regular homework activity.  Parents and pupils are encouraged to respond to books pupils read by using the home/school reading diaries every night.  There are also times when reading-related activities are used for homework.  Through the Accelerated Reading programme, children are encouraged to change their books whenever their finish reading the book.  This means children can change their book on a more regular basis.

If you would like further information about the curriculum, please contact Mrs Wynn in the school office.


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