Teaching and Learning


Phonics is learning about the names and sounds that letters and groups of letters make to facilitate reading and writing.

At Southmere Primary Academy we use the Letterland programme alongside Letters and Sounds to promote achievement in Phonics in Key Stage 1. Please click on the link below to find out more about Letterland. The Letters abd Sounds Progression document at the foot of the page details Age Related Expectations in Phonics, there is also an example of a Year 1 Phonics Teaching Sequence.

Letterland - Parent Guide 

High Frequency Words

As well as Phonics it is important that children learn a sight vocabulary of words that appear frequently in reading, we call these high frequency words. The children will learn these daily in Phonics and Guided Reading. Children will also have a Rainbow Word Book that they will bring home everyday, this will give them the opportunity to practise the words at home for 5 minutes everyday. Our aim is that children will learn High Frequency Word recognition a year ahead of Age Related Expectations; eg at the end of Year 1 children will know all the words expected for Year 2. As children learn the words they will be rewarded with certificates and prizes in class to encourage them. Please click on the document below to see High Frequency Word Progression which details the words children will learn in each year group. 


Children should bring their book bags into the classroom everyday for younger children the teacher will select a book that is well matched to their phonic ability for them to practise throughout the week.

For older children they will select books for a selection that is matched to their assessed ability using the colour book bnads. These books are colour coded according to the level that your child is reading. Children can change their book as often as they like and they can also select as many books as they wish. The books are an opportunity for children to practise their reading at home with you and enjoy sharing a book with their family.

Please use the reading record to communicate with school about your child's reading. Older children are able to mark their own reading record. Reading at school consists of small group Guided Reading sessions and whole class Reading Comprehension sessions. Children identified as needing intervention are targetted for Daily Reading. Children are assessed regularly to encouarge them to move up through the colour bands using PM Benchmark and Bug Club and rewarded with certificates and prizes. Click on the link below to find out more about Bug Club.

Bug Club

Here is an example of how whole class Reading Comprehension is taught at Southmere Primary Academy

The Literacy Shed 


At Southmere Primary Academy there a number of approaches we use to make writing fun and give children the skills they need to write to entertain, persuade, inform and discuss; in short, children are learning to write for a purpose.

It's Only Words

Each day the children are taught a new word. This word should be challenging and chosen to improve children's vocabulary.

Talk for Writing

Children learn how to retell and create texts orally using well structured sentences with a high level vocabulary. Children also have fun using actions to remind them of certain aspects of the text language. 

Alan Peat Sentence Types

Alan Peat has designed a range of sentence types that children learn to include in their writing. These sentence types give children a scaffold for structuring their writing.

For more information about recent developments in the teaching of English and how you can support your child at home please visit the National Literacy Trust

Literacy Trust


The current National curriculum document says: ‘The expectation is that the majority of pupils will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace. However, decisions about when to progress should always be based on the security of pupils’ understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly should be challenged through being offered rich and sophisticated problems before any acceleration through new content. Those who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material should consolidate their understanding, including through additional practice, before moving on.’ (National curriculum page 3) 

What do we mean by mastery?

Integral to mastery of the curriculum is the development of deep rather than superficial conceptual understanding. ‘The research for the review of the National Curriculum showed that it should focus on “fewer things in greater depth”, in secure learning which persists, rather than relentless, over-rapid progression.’ It is inevitable that some pupils will grasp concepts more rapidly than others and will need to be stimulated and challenged to ensure continued progression. However, research indicates that these pupils benefit more from enrichment and deepening of content, rather than acceleration into new content. Acceleration is likely to promote superficial understanding, rather than the true depth and rigour of knowledge that is a foundation for higher mathematics.


At Southmere Primary Academy we have developed homework with key skills in mind. Children will recieve a homework menu with a range of activities that they can select from to complete independently or with a family member.

Reading is a priority our aim is to inspire children to read and love books. Talking about stories that they have read or you have read to them is as important as reading the words. As well as  reading book, children have the opportunity to bring home a library book from a selection in the classroom.