Our Approach to Reading


At Anchorsholme Academy, FFT Success for All (SFA) is the vehicle for our teaching of Phonics and Reading. FFT Success for All Phonics is a complete systematic synthetic phonics (SSP) programme that has been validated by the Department for Education.

At the heart of SFA is a set of Co-operative Learning standards. Pupils work in pairs and teams and are rewarded for developing and demonstrating each of these standards :-

Success For All (SFA) is a programme for teaching phonics and reading from Foundation Classes to Year 6. It lays strong foundations in oracy and literacy starting with Foundation Stage pupils and continues to provide systematic teaching of phonics and reading throughout the primary years (1-6). The programme is based on research and is proven to raise standards in reading.

SFA provides a wide range of opportunities for children to explore and develop phonic knowledge and comprehension strategies, develop vocabulary and spelling, improve grammatical awareness, analyse whole texts.

Pupils’ skills in decoding, segmenting & blending, fluency and comprehension are determined using a robust assessment aligned to the FFT Success for All programme.

Pupils are grouped according to their needs and multiple sessions are delivered across year groups to meet the needs of individuals. Pupils are assessed approximately every eight weeks and re-grouped if necessary.

Pupils in Foundation Stage and KS1 have 2 discrete sessions every day. The first is a 25 minute phonics session which consolidates prior learning, introduces pupils to new GPCs (written representations of a sound) and allows pupils to practise and apply new learning through reading and spelling of words and building of sentences. The daily SFA reading session focuses on reading fluency, comprehension and application of skills aligned to the learning in phonics sessions.

Pupils in Years 3 – 5 have a 30 minute SFA lesson five days a week focusing on reading comprehension. Where children may need additional support, they continue to be supported through SFA phonics and Roots reading activities.

Pupils in Year 6 continue the 30 minute lesson five days a week and move on to revision modules as the year progresses. Some may also move on to Quest modules.

Where a need for additional support in phonics and early reading is identified, staff are trained to deliver ‘FFT Tutoring with the Lightning Squad’. This takes a blended approach with both face-to-face and online platform tutoring to improve reading skills.

Specific support for comprehension is provided in year groups through ‘Reciprocal Reading’ which develops the key strategies of predicting, clarifying, questioning and summarising.

A Love Of Reading

At Anchorsholme, we believe that it is not just about giving children the skills to be able to read and decode, it is also about instilling a love of a variety of different kinds of literature and books.

Our curriculum is centred around a variety of engaging core texts both in the daily SFA English lessons and within cross curricular topics. Through the use of high quality and engaging texts, we aim to immerse children in learning which enables them to deepen their understanding of knowledge and skills across the curriculum. Our Reading Spine identifies texts which have been selected to feed the imagination, stimulate thought and provide a ‘living library’ for pupils.

A wide range of shared novels provide a valuable opportunity for pupils and staff to share stories everyday and for staff to model good reading habits.

Reading at School

At Anchorsholme, we want our children to become enthusiastic, engaged readers with a lifelong love of books and literature.

We introduce children to a wide range of high-quality fiction, non-fiction and poetry books in our English SFA lessons and cross curricular topic lessons.

In the early stages of reading, children are taught to decode words using phonic skills as their main approach. Alongside this, children are also taught sight vocabulary.

Children read in pairs and small groups during their daily 30 minute reading lessons and also individually with either the class teacher or a teaching assistant.

From Year 2 upwards, children are encouraged to quiz on the books they have read using ‘Accelerated Reader’ and are encouraged to become a ‘Word Millionaire’.

Reading at home

Developing readers will bring home a decodable reading book (according to their phonic knowledge and reading stage). We expect children to read regularly to an adult at home. In Reception and Key Stage 1 books are changed weekly. In Key Stage 2, books are changed as required (children in Key Stage 2 will be reading longer books which may last for several days/week). Children are encouraged to re-read texts in order to increase their fluency.

Your child should be reading at home for around 10-15 minutes (at least) each day. Your support with this is essential in order to develop your child’s reading skills, confidence and understanding.

If your child is an independent reader, it is still vital that you continue to read with them, listen to them and discuss the books they are reading.

Tips for reading with your child
  • Try to find a regular time to read together. 10-15 minutes per day is better than a longer session once a week. Set this time aside and make it part of your daily routine.
  • Reading together should be a positive experience. Ensure that there are no distractions during reading time. This time should be relaxing, remember to praise your child’s efforts.
  • Encourage your child to have a go at reading words, by using their phonic skills to read unfamiliar words and by working on developing their sight vocabulary.
  • Talk with your child about the meanings of words in order to help them to understand what they are reading about.
  • Encourage your child to read a range of texts such as stories, newspapers, comics, leaflets, signs, etc.
  • Read books to your child regularly. Younger children will bring home a book from the school library for you to read to them. With older children, choose a favourite author and read a chapter a night to them.
  • Ask children questions about the text in order to develop their understanding of what they have read.
Question to develop understanding
  • Where/when does the story take place?
  • Who are the characters in the story?
  • What happens in this part of the story?
  • Tell me one/two things that the main character does in this part of the story?
  • Can you retell the story in your own words?
  • Tell me what the character was like?
  • Tell me the most interesting/exciting/funny part of the story. Why?
  • What do you think the character feels about….? How do you know?
  • What do you think would have happened if…?
  • What do you think is going to happen next?
  • Which part of the book did you like the best/least? Why?
  • How has the author used words/phrases to make this character funny/sad/clever/frightening etc?
  • Why is….a good title for this book?
  • Do you know anymore stories like this? How are they alike?
  • Do you know another story with similar characters? Tell me how they are similar.
  • What do you think the story is telling us?
  • Has anything like this happened to you?

If you need any further information about Success for All (SfA), please contact the school office on 01253 855 215 and ask to speak to Mrs Lang.


Extra Curricular Activities

Staff Members

Years Established