The aim of the phonics curriculum at Sandbach Primary Academy is to create inquisitive and enthusiastic learners who will become fluent readers and writers. We believe it is essential that our approach to teaching phonics and reading is accessible to all learners, regardless of background. We want children to be confident when reading and spelling across the curriculum with high expectations of progress for all children. Teachers will follow Little Wandle Letters and Sounds, which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme. This begins in Nursery and ensures that children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through the school. Pupils are taught a cumulative progression of GPCs that they immediately practise through oral blending, reading and spelling words and sentences, and, later on, reading fully decodable books. Lessons follow the structure of: introduction, practise, application. To ensure that children move this knowledge into their long-term memory, children will also review and revise GPCs and words daily, weekly and across terms and years. The Little Wandle phonics programme supports a mastery approach to learning, with all children in the class learning the same content at the same time. Little Wandle will be completed by the end of Year 1 when the children will move onto learning strategies for spelling and following the whole school Rising Stars spelling curriculum. Teachers will have a consistent approach to the teaching of phonics to achieve secure, systematic progression in phonics learning. At Sandbach Primary Academy, we also model the application of the alphabetic code through phonics in shared reading and writing, 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.


Our curriculum is designed to:

  • Create confident and competent readers with knowledge of strategies to support decoding and blending so that they are confident to tackle any unfamiliar words they read.
  • Encourage children to use key vocabulary such as phoneme, grapheme and diagraph when learning, sorting and reading new words.
  • Develop a large bank of sight words which they recognise without decoding or blending to aid the fluency of their reading.
  • Include skilful questioning to promote conceptual understanding.
  • Identify and rapidly act upon misconceptions through same day intervention.
  • Enrich and deepen the learning of those children who grasp the concept quickly before accelerating through new GPCs.
  • Review understanding: within the lesson, weekly and at regular review periods during which teacher assessment will be used to support and extend children.
  • Cover all the essentials for progression: all the phonemes of English words; correct pronunciation of the phonemes; all commonly occurring grapheme-phoneme correspondences; the correct formation of all graphemes; blending for reading; segmenting for writing; and the sequenced learning of appropriate tricky words.
  • Encourage children’s engagement through: teacher energy and enthusiasm; extensive interaction between teachers and children in lessons; generous praise and encouragement; and building on and celebrating success.

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Crewe Road, Sandbach, CW11 4NS
01270 918922