We are now part of the ONE trust! Our facilities are outstanding and purpose built to ensure we can provide the very best educational opportunities! We have some spare places in some year groups if you would like to join our new journey!


Phonics and Early Reading

At Simonside Primary School, we want our children to have a love for reading that remains with them all of their life. The teaching of early reading and phonics is key to forming that love of reading.

 Why learning to read is so important

  •          Reading is essential for all subject areas and improves life chances.
  •          Positive attitudes to reading and choosing to read have academic, social and emotional benefits for children.

 How children learn to read

  •          Phonics is the only route to decoding.
  •          Learning to say the phonic sounds.
  •          By blending phonic sounds to read words.
  •          Increasing the child’s fluency in reading sounds, words and books.

 To teach Early Reading we use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds systematic synthetic phonics programme (SSP). This is a fully comprehensive programme where children start learning single letter sounds in the autumn term of their Reception year and it builds in progression throughout Reception and Year One, preparing children for the statutory phonics screening that takes place at the end of Year 1. Phonics continues to be taught in Year 2 until children become fluent readers.


Phonics is taught every day and children learn to apply their phonics skills in reading practise sessions 2 times a week, developing their fluency and comprehension skills along the way.

 Reading fully decodable books

  •          Children must read books consistent with their phonic knowledge.
  •          It is essential not to use other strategies to work out words (including guessing words, deducing meaning from pictures, grammar, context clues or whole word recognition).  
  •          Books must be fully decodable and follow the Little Wandle scheme
  •          Children need to read books in a progressive sequence until they can decode unfamiliar words confidently.

 The role of Parents’ and Carers’ 

  •          Have a positive impact on their child’s reading.
  •          Should model the importance of reading practice to develop fluency.
  •          Children take home books they have read at school to re-read at home to build fluency.
  •          There are two different types of books that pupils bring home: reading practice and books to share for pleasure.
  •          Reading at home encourages a love of books, along with developing vocabulary and discussion.
  •          Parents should use voices, expression, discuss unfamiliar vocabulary, talk about the pictures, and predict what might happen next.
  •          Give positive yet informative feedback in the home reading diary at least 3 times a week

Supporting your child with reading

Although your child will be taught to read at school, you can have a huge impact on their reading journey by continuing their practice at home.


There are two types of reading book that your child may bring home:

Reading practice book

This book has been carefully matched to your child’s current reading level. If your child is reading it with little help, please don’t worry that it’s too easy – your child needs to develop fluency and confidence in reading.


Listen to them read the book. Remember to give them lots of praise – celebrate their success! If they can’t read a word, read it to them. After they have finished, talk about the book together.


Sharing book

In order to encourage your child to become a lifelong reader, it is important that they learn to read for pleasure. The sharing book is a book they have chosen for you to enjoy together.

Please remember that you shouldn’t expect your child to read this alone. Read it to or with them. Discuss the pictures, enjoy the story, predict what might happen next, use different voices for the characters, explore the facts in a non-fiction book. The main thing is that you have fun!

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