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Developing Reading at SSSJ

Why is reading so important?

At SSSJ reading is the gateway to the whole curriculum. We place a strong emphasis on children being able to read fluently with automaticity to ensure children are able to read independently and gain knowledge themselves. We also believe that reading can open doors to a range of opportunities, promoting lifelong learning and success.

The most successful and proven strategy to teach word reading is high-quality phonics teaching. It is high-quality phonics teaching that secures those crucial skills of word reading that once mastered enable children to decode automatically and accurately. Reading automatically frees up their working memory to be able to focus on the meaning of the text that they read. So until children are reading both accurately and automatically, their working memory is going to be taken up with the decoding process.  Because of this they’ll find it difficult to focus on the meaning of what they read, even if they understand all the words and that is why it’s so important that children quickly become fluent readers.

We can achieve this through school and home working together. Parent support is invaluable in promoting reading at home, regardless of the age of the child.

To achieve this vision, SSSJ has invested in the Read Write Inc Phonics Programme. We use this as our reading scheme alongside Oxford Reading Tree.

Phonics teaches children the link between letters and the sounds they represent.

  • First, your child will be taught the most straightforward letters and the sounds they make. For example, they will be taught that the letter ‘m’ represents an mmm sound and the letters ‘oa’ represent an oh sound.

In phonics we use the word grapheme to talk about the letters on the page and phoneme to talk about the sounds those letters represent.

  • Next, they will learn how sounds can be put together (blended) to make words. For example, they will learn that the sounds of the letters ‘m-a-t’ blend together to make the word ‘mat’. Your child will then learn more sounds and will start blending them too.

It can take until Year 2/Primary 3 before your child might have learned all 44 sounds in English and the many different spellings used for each sound.

  • Then the children will really start to read! They will learn to recognise the different letters or pairs of letters (graphemes) in a word, say the separate sounds (phonemes) slowly, then put (blend) them together. For example, they will be taught that the word ‘boat’ can be separated out (segmented) into ‘b-oa-t’ which represents the sounds bbb-ohttt. They can blend these sounds into the word ‘boat’.

In phonics we use the word decode to talk about reading a single word. We use the word segment to talk about breaking a word down into separate sounds and blend to talk about putting the sounds together to make a word.

The parent videos in the links below provide an overview of the Read Write Inc Programme.

What is Read Write Inc Phonics?


To further support parents in helping your child to read at home, school is hosting a range of face to face parent workshops as detailed below. Parents will receive additional letters linked to these workshops.

  • Introduction to Read Write Inc Phonics at SSSJ
  • Set 1 Sounds
  • Set 2 Sounds and Set 3 Sounds
  • Special Friends
  • Fred talk
  • Red words and green words
  • Listening to your child read

Additional information can also be found in your child’s student planner.

To ensure we reach the vast majority of parents, you will find a copy of the presentation in the links below