GLF Schools

GLF Schools

GLF Schools was founded in 2012 in order to enable the federation of Glyn School (an academy in 2011) and Danetree Junior School. Together, we began our journey to become a MAT of more than 1000 talented staff working with over 10,000 children in 40 schools across 5 regions in southern England.

Our Schools

Banbury Region

Banstead Region

Berkshire & Hampshire Region

Caterham Region

Crawley Region

Didcot Region

Epsom Region

London Boroughs

Redhill Region

Sunbury & Camberley Region

Reading and Phonics

Our reading curriculum includes the non-statutory guidance in the EYFS Development Matters, the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework, National Curriculum statutory requirements for Reading and Little Wandle Letters and Sounds. The Reading Framework 2021 explains that by ensuring children become fluent and engaged readers at the very earliest stages helps avoid the circle of reading difficulty and demotivation.

It also states that fluent reading is key to unlocking the wider curriculum for children. This underpins our ethos for reading. Additionally, it explains that the ability to read increases life chances and opportunities for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. For this reason, supporting our disadvantaged pupils to read is of paramount importance to us.

The ability to read is dependent on a number of different processes, as demonstrated in The Scarborough Reading Rope. Therefore, our curriculum is designed to enable children to develop all of the necessary skills to read fluently. We tackle all of the elements of word reading through our phonics lessons We activate word meanings at the start of reading lessons and focus on language development through our Oracy curriculum. Comprehension (including making inferences and text structure) is taught through reading lessons.

The Reading Framework and the Education Endowment Fund ‘Improving Literacy in Key Stage 1’ state that Systematic Synthetic Phonics programmes (SSP) are the best way to teach children to read. Our school has used the Letters and Sounds phonics scheme for many years, very successfully. We have, consistently, had very high levels of children passing the Year 1 Phonics Screening. We have made the decision to move to the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds SSP as it is a DfE accredited programme. We have worked with the Trust Strategic English Lead and other schools already working with the programme and seen the positive impact the programme has made in those schools, to choose the right SSP for your pupils. The emphasis of teaching through a mastery style approach where all children learn together and pupils struggling are supported to keep-up from the start, sit well with our school values and how we deliver our curriculum.


Reading is at the heart of the curriculum, and it is an integral part of every subject. At  Lightwater Village School, we enable all pupils to become fully independent, proficient, reflective readers who love reading. It is our intention to equip our pupils with essential reading skills and a positive, enthusiastic attitude towards reading that will prepare them for the next stage of their education and life beyond school. 

Phonics- At Lightwater Village School, we believe that all our children can become fluent readers and writers. This is why we teach reading through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme. We start teaching phonics in Reception and follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised progression, which ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school.

As a result, all our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words as they read. At Lightwater Village School, 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.

Comprehension- We value reading as a crucial life skill. By the time children leave us, they read confidently for meaning and regularly enjoy reading for pleasure. Our readers are equipped with the tools to tackle unfamiliar vocabulary. We encourage our children to see themselves as readers for both pleasure and purpose.

Because we believe teaching every child to read is so important, we have a Reading Leader who drives the early reading programme in our school. This person is highly skilled at teaching phonics and reading, and they monitor and support our reading team, so everyone teaches with fidelity to the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme.

Curriculum Implementation  

For more detailed information on how our phonics and reading curriculums are delivered across the school please see our Reading Progress Document and Little Wandle Programme Progression document. 

Daily phonics lessons in Reception and Year 1 

  • We teach phonics for 20 minutes a day. In Reception, we build from 10-minute lessons, with additional daily oral blending games, to the full-length lesson as quickly as possible. Each Friday, we review the week’s teaching to help children become fluent readers.  

  • Children make a strong start in Reception: teaching begins in Week 2 of the Autumn term. 

  • We follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised expectations of progress

  • Children in Reception are taught to read and spell words using Phase 2 and 3 GPCs, and words with adjacent consonants (Phase 4) with fluency and accuracy. 

  • Children in Year 1 review Phase 3 and 4 and are taught to read and spell words using Phase 5 GPCs with fluency and accuracy.  

Daily Keep-up lessons ensure every child learns to read 

  • Any child who needs additional practice has daily Keep-up support, taught by a fully trained adult. Keep-up lessons match the structure of class teaching, and use the same procedures, resources and mantras, but in smaller steps with more repetition, so that every child secures their learning. 

  • We timetable daily phonics lessons for any child in Year 2 who is not fully fluent at reading or has not passed the Phonics Screening Check. These children urgently need to catch up, so the gap between themselves and their peers does not widen. We use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessments to identify the gaps in their phonic knowledge and teach to these using the Keep-up resources – at pace.   

Teaching reading: Reading practice sessions three times a week 

We teach children to read through reading practice sessions three times a week. These: 

  • are taught by a fully trained adult  

  • use books matched to the children’s secure phonic knowledge 

Each reading practice session has a clear focus, so that the demands of the session do not overload the children’s working memory. The reading practice sessions have been designed to focus on three key reading skills: 

  • decoding 

  • prosody: teaching children to read with understanding and expression 

  • comprehension: teaching children to understand the text.  

Home reading 

The decodable reading practice book is taken home to ensure success is shared with the family.  

  • Reading for pleasure books also go home for parents to share and read to children.  

  • We use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised parents’ resources to engage our families and share information about phonics, the benefits of sharing books, how children learn to blend and other aspects of our provision, both online and through workshops. 

Ensuring consistency and pace of progress 

  • Every teacher in our school has been trained to teach reading, so we have the same expectations of progress. We all use the same language, routines and resources to teach children to read so that we lower children’s cognitive load. 

  • Weekly content grids map each element of new learning to each day, week and term for the duration of the programme.  

  • Lesson templates, Prompt cards and How to videos ensure teachers all have a consistent approach and structure for each lesson. 

  • The Reading Leader and SLT use the Audit and Prompt cards to regularly monitor and observe teaching; they use the summative data to identify children who need additional support and gaps in learning.  

Ensuring reading for pleasure 

‘Reading for pleasure is the single le most important indicator of a child’s success.’ (OECD 2002) 

‘The will influences the skill and vice versa.’ (OECD 2010) 

We value reading for pleasure highly and work hard as a school to grow our Reading for Pleasure pedagogy. 

  • We read to children every day. We choose these books carefully as we want children to experience a wide range of books, including books that reflect the children at our school and our local community as well as books that open windows into other worlds and cultures. 

  • Every classroom has an inviting book corner that encourages a love for reading. We curate these books and talk about them to entice children to read a wide range of books.  

  • In/Reception, children have access to the reading corner every day in their free flow time and the books are continually refreshed.  

  • The school library is made available for classes to use at protected times. It must be booked via the school booking system. Children across the school have regular opportunities to engage with a wide range of Reading for Pleasure events (book fairs, author visits and workshops, national events etc). 

All classes have access to the library at least once a week following the library timetable. The library is used to encourage our children to develop a love of reading and read for pleasure. It can also be used for small group work and interventions. 

Curriculum Impact  


Assessment is used to monitor progress and to identify any child needing additional support as soon as they need it. 

  • daily within class to identify children needing Keep-up support  

  • weekly in the Review lesson to assess gaps, address these immediately and secure fluency of GPCs, words and spellings. 

  • every six weeks to assess progress, to identify gaps in learning that need to be addressed, to identify any children needing additional support and to plan the Keep-up support that they need. 

  • by SLT and scrutinised through the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessment tracker, to narrow attainment gaps between different groups of children and so that any additional support for teachers can be put into place.  

Statutory assessment 

  • Children in Year 1 sit the Phonics Screening Check. Any child not passing the check re-sits it in Year 2. 

We have consistently had Year 1 Phonics Screening Check pass rates of around 95% for the last 3 years. Our pupils talk passionately about reading and are all able to make recommendations about the books they enjoy.  

Our pupils leave our school having read a wide range of high quality texts across different genres. Our pupils can talk about their favourite books and recommend books to others. Most importantly, all of our children leave our school with a love of reading and that will enable them to access the curriculum and everything the literary world has to offer as they move through life. 





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.

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.

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!


Pronunciation guide for parents  1

Pronunciation guide for parents 2

Pronunciation guide for parents 3

Little Wandle Programme Progression
Phonics and Reading Policy 2021/22


Phonics Screening Check Information for Parents 2024