Reading and Phonics

How phonics is taught at Grovelands.

Phonics is the name given to the process of learning the sounds, names and shapes of the letters that make up the English language. There are 44 different sounds, made up of singular or groups of letters. Some of these sounds then have a variety of ways of writing them down. Phonics is taught using the Systematic Synthetic Phonics Programme (SSP), Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised.  The SSP draws on the latest research into how children learn best; how to ensure learning stays in children’s long-term memory and how best to enable children to apply their learning to become highly competent readers.

We use this SSP because it provides:

  •          A daily 30-minute phonics lesson in Reception and Year 1
  •          Clear progression with signposting of expected progress
  •          Planning and supporting resources 
  •          On demand CPD, accessible for all staff
  •          Half termly assessments and online tracker tool
  •          Keep up programme for Reception and Y1, SEND programme and KS2 Catch Up
  •          Parent resources for home learning
  •          120+ fully decodable books matched exactly to the progression

At Grovelands Community Primary School children in Reception and Year 1 are taught phonics daily following Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised progression.  We use decodable texts to embed the learning of phonics into reading development.

There is some key vocabulary that both children and adults use:  

Phoneme – the smallest unit of sound a letter, or group of letters makes. 

Grapheme – the written shape of a phoneme 

Digraphs and Trigraphs – two or three letters making one sound 

Blend – two or more sounds said closely together e.g. spl, fl, xt, ump


Children in Reception are taught handwriting and letter formation alongside their phonic learning. Children are taught the Little Wandle Rhymes to support the correct letter formation

 The resources on the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised page will help you support your child with saying their sounds and writing their letters. There are also some useful videos so you can see how they are taught at school and feel confident about supporting their reading at home.


Useful Videos

How we teach Blending

How we teach tricky words

To learn more about how you can support your child, please click here 


Helping children to read

Guide to helping children read

Reading Strategies.

“If you are going to get anywhere in life you have to read a lot of books.”

Roald Dahl (Roald Dahl was a British novelist, short-story writer, poet, screenwriter, and wartime fighter pilot.)

Early Reading

Reading is an essential life skill, therefore at Grovelands Community Primary School we aim to ensure that every child is confident with reading fluency and comprehension in order to successfully access their next year group/ key stage and beyond. We develop a passion for reading to ensure a lifelong habit. Reading is at the very heart of our curriculum.

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:

A reading practice book. This will be at the correct phonic stage for your child. They should be able to read this fluently and independently. Beyond Year 3, this will be chosen by the child with some guidance from adults in school. 

A sharing book.  Your child will not be able to read this on their own. This book is for you both to read and enjoy together. This may include one of our Essential Reads.


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.


Reading should not be presented to children as a chore, a duty. It should be offered as a gift.

Kate DiCamillo Katrina Elizabeth DiCamillo is an American children's fiction author. She has published over 25 novels, including, The Tale of Despereaux, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, The Magician's Elephant and the Mercy Watson series.


Fluency is the ability to read a text accurately, quickly, and with expression. Fluent reading builds stamina for reading lengthy or complex texts. Reading fluency serves as a bridge between word recognition and comprehension.

Book Choice


Your child will come home with a decodable book (following Little Wandle Letters and Sounds) and a choosing book. The choosing book 

Unsure what your child could read?

Visit Books for Topics for some great recommendations.

Resources:  book reviews and recommendations Lots of wonderful texts to share with your child. Parental sign in to access texts to share with your child 

Kids poems and stories with Michael Rosen


Connect with us

Grovelands School, Dunbar Drive,
Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 3UW.

Staff Contacts

  • Executive Headteacher: Mr Jon Goulding
  • Head of School: Miss Kathleen Swaine
  • School Business Manager: Mrs Helen Fingerneissl
  • School Secretary: Mrs Carol Welfare
  • Chair of Governors: Mr Paul Gietzen
  • Designated Safeguarding Lead: Mr Jon Goulding
  • Safeguarding Strategic Lead / Senior Mental Health Lead: Miss N Squires
  • Deputy DSLs: Miss K Swaine,  Miss S Coates, Mr R Williams
  • Inclusion Leader: Mrs Naomi Jn. Charles