We aim to provide a range of opportunities for learning in English lessons, and across the curriculum, that develop the children's ability to become effective communicators through skills such as listening, speaking, oracy, reading and writing and phonics.

At Simpson’s Lane Academy we aim to immerse children in a rich reading environment and to give them the opportunity to explore a wide range of quality texts. This provision supports phonics, word recognition, comprehension and vocabulary development.


At Simpson’s Lane Academy we use the Phonics Bug phonics programme as the structure for our phonics teaching. Phonics Bug is a synthetic phonics programme for Foundation and Key Stage 1 that makes teaching phonics fun and easy. It is fast-paced so children start to read after learning just eight phonemes (letter sounds). Phonics Bug also includes 100% decodable fiction and non-fiction readers as well as e-books which children can access both in school and home.

Click on the link below to see a short video which gives an overview of Phonics Bug:

Phonics Bug in the Classroom - Pearson Primary UK

Phonics Bug follows the structure as suggested in Letters and Sounds, which ensure it builds on the early Phase 1 phonics work which begins in Nursery.

We also use Letterland as an additional resource, to target individuals or group of pupils who may require additional support with their phonics and early reading skills.Where appropriate we also use Rapid Phonics, which is a phonics catch up programme designed for struggling readers, EAL readers, and readers with SEN or dyslexia from Year 1 and up. 


We use the Bug Club guided reading scheme which works seamlessly with Phonics Bug, providing the opportunity to practise and apply phonic and tricky word knowledge within reading. All books are matched to the Letters and Sounds phases and Book Bands and all books are also available as ebooks. Bug Club is a whole school scheme ensuring continuity and progressions for all readers throughout school.

Alongside the teaching of phonics, there is also an important focus on comprehension and reading for enjoyment in our school. To encourage this, a variety of books are available to pupils of all ages, which are updated regularly. We use the Book Band system to ensure children have access to books which match their reading ability and confidence, as well as providing sufficient challenge. The bands include a wide range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry reading scheme books, as well as 'real' picture books, short stories and longer novels. We also have a number of 'Reading Trees' throughout the academy. Children are free to choose any book from the Reading Trees to read or share at home.

Our Reading Strategy is a trust-wide approach to develop reading comprehension skills. It takes place EVERY day for a minimum of 30 minutes, incorporating age-appropriate, challenging texts, which are rich in vocabulary.

Further details of this approach can be found in the attachment below.


Oracy is the ability to communicate effectively and as an academy, and a trust, we recognise the importance of developing oracy with our pupils. Working with Voice 21, we aim to elevate oracy to the same status as reading and writing.

Voice 21


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