Federation of Earlswood Schools

A Place to Learn Together

We offer Nursery Provision to Year 6


At Earlswood, we are extremely passionate about providing an enabling environment that encourages a love of reading. A strong ethos of reading is built throughout the early years through systematic teaching of phonics.


The Foundations for Phonics in our Nursery School


In our Nursery School the children follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised ‘Foundations for Phonics’ guidance. The focus is on daily listening and attention skills alongside oral blending and phonemic awareness. Following Foundations for phonics ensures the provision is in place to ensure children are well prepared to begin grapheme-phoneme correspondence and blending at the start of Reception.


One of the most important aspects of Foundations for Phonics is developing an awareness of sound, through activities that develop focused listening and attention. The children will learn how to listen carefully to sounds and describe them, recognise and make rhymes, identify syllables within words, identify initial sounds, understand alliteration, orally blend and segment and join in and recite nursery rhymes.


Little Wandle Letters and Sounds


At Earlswood, we believe that all our children can become fluent readers. This is why we teach reading through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme. In Reception and beyond we 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, all our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words as they read. At Earlswood, we also model the application of phonics 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.


Daily phonics lessons in Reception and Year 1

  • We start each day with our daily phonics session. Each Friday, we review the week’s teaching to help children become fluent readers.
  • Children in Reception 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.

Reading Practise Sessions

  • In addition to the child’s daily phonics session the children will be taught to read through reading practice sessions - three times a week. All sessions are taught by a fully trained adult to small groups using a book matched to the children’s secure phonic knowledge. 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 Reception 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 and 3, we continue to teach reading in this way for any children who still need to practise reading with decodable books.


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 or 3 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.
  • If any child in Year 3 to 6 has gaps in their phonic knowledge when reading or writing, we plan phonics ‘catch-up’ lessons to address specific reading/writing gaps.

In addition to our phonics teaching, role play opportunities and independent learning stations are often linked to books and encourage children to build a bank of familiar stories to recall and use in their literacy. 


Whole Class Reading Sessions.

Reading lessons in year 2 and beyond are centred around a carefully selected text which aims to challenge all pupils. Within the reading lessons the children are taught to retrieve, infer, predict, sequence and analyse key vocabulary in the text. These skills equip the children with the comprehension skills they need to enjoy stories and become lifelong readers. 

Throughout the Federation, we ensure that all children are exposed to a wealth of high-quality literature. Each year group has a reading spine which consists of key stories, picture books, poems and non-fiction which will be read and drawn upon and referred to when teaching writing. 


Reading for Pleasure

At The Federation of Earlswood Schools we believe that reading should be a fundamental part of childhood and a skill which should be developed to support lifelong learning. Our aim is to develop and embed a strong, sustainable reading culture within the school community.


Confident and competent readers will foster a love of reading through a rich and varied experience of texts, in which they are empowered to exercise freedoms of choice and independence. Inspiring children to read is a moral imperative and their fundamental right. It underpins all learning and secures a good trajectory for personal development, understanding the world in which they live. We believe that a reading child is a successful child and that:

  • children deserve a rich curriculum which encourages extensive reading of books and other kinds of texts;
  • planning enables links across learning, which create a wide range of opportunities in which children can read for pleasure;
  • children will have the opportunity to experience whole books to support them in their understanding of literary structures and allow them to become absorbed in the story itself;
  • the active encouragement of reading for pleasure should be a core part of every child’s educational entitlement, whatever their background or attainment. Extensive reading and exposure to a wide range of texts make a huge contribution to students’ educational achievement;
  • all children should have access to a wide range of texts in different formats and genres and support in enjoying them where necessary;
  • the school will engage and support parents in enabling access to a full range of reading experiences. Where this is not possible, action will be taken to provide compensatory measures which allow equality of access to all children;
  • home-school relationships will promote the importance of all adults in fostering a love of reading
  • professional development and support for teachers will be provided to allow them to explore the huge range of printed and electronic reading materials available and to enable them to support children in their reading choices.


The school has a commitment to evaluate the outcomes of this Reading for Pleasure statement and continually review practice to ensure all children become lifelong readers.


We follow Little Wandle, which is a validated SPP programme. 

The overview for this programme is below: