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Reading & Phonics

At Shalford, we believe that all our children can become fluent readers and writers. This is why we teach children to read and write through a rigorous and consistent systematic synthetic phonics (SSP) programme. Research has proven that teaching phonics is the best way to teach children to read, and reading is fundamental to a child's ability to be successful across all areas of school life and beyond. 

At Shalford, we have introduced the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme, which draws on the latest research into how children learn best. We start teaching phonics in Nursery and 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, our children are able to tackle unfamiliar words as they read. At Shalford, 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.

Children are taught phonics lessons as a class every day, following the clear progression (which can be viewed on the link above). Through careful daily and summative assessment, children are identified for additional phonics support if necessary to ensure progress, with the aim of no child falling behind and every child becoming a successful reader. Teaching phonics with fidelity to our chosen programme ensures learning stays in children’s long-term memory and enables children to apply their learning to become competent readers and writers. 

At Shalford, 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.

Because we believe teaching every child to read is so important, we have a Reading Leader who drives the early reading programme in our school. This person is highly skilled at teaching phonics and reading, and they monitor and support our reading team, so everyone teaches with fidelity to the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme.


At Shalford Infant School and Nursery we want our children to become confident writers who enjoy the process of putting pencil to paper. We believe that literacy and communication are key skills in life and they underpin all that we do. Our English curriculum will help children develop the skills and knowledge to enable them to communicate effectively and creatively through written language. Our children become equipped with the  skills they need to become lifelong learners.

We aim to ensure that all our children develop a love of language and the written word through our use of the Talk For Writing approach. Children are engaged by internalising a text that will give them the vocabulary, grammar, punctuation and structure to hang their own writing on.  We ensure that children develop an understanding of how widely writing is used in everyday life and how important and useful the skills are that they are learning.

Our intentions in writing are for children to:

  • Write for a purpose
  • See themselves as real writers
  • Take ownership of their writing
  • See writing as an interesting and enjoyable process
  • Acquire the ability to organise and plan their written work