Systematic, Synthetic Phonics (SSP)


At St. Augustine’s CE Academy, phonic and reading skills are reinforced in all lessons where appropriate, and pupils are encouraged to apply their phonic knowledge in all areas of the curriculum and in their independent work. Explicitly, within The Early Years Foundation Stage and Year 1, high-quality systematic, synthetic phonic work makes sure that pupils learn:

  • grapheme/phoneme (letter/sound) correspondences (the alphabetic principle) in a clearly defined, incremental sequence;
  • to apply the highly important skill of decoding and then blending (synthesising) phonemes, through a word, to read it;
  • to apply the skills of segmenting words into their constituent phonemes to spell;
  • that blending and segmenting are reversible processes.

At St. Augustine’s CE Academy, 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 and follow their progression model. Please see below:


Programme Overview Reception & Year 1



Please see our ‘Phonics and Early Reading Policy’ that details all of the above, found on our ‘Policies and Useful Links’ page of the English area.


Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar

At. St. Augustine’s CE Academy, in order to achieve our intention that children leave us as confident and competent writers, we know that accurate use of Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPaG) is imperative. We use the National Curriculum 2014 as the basis of teaching SPaG and this is supplemented by high-quality resources refined and developed by our staff.

Little Wandle have integrated Phase 6 throughout much of the SSP programme, as children need to be able to read words in the past and progressive tenses and with the suffixes, so that they can read fully decodable books that have a normal syntax and are not constrained by a restriction on verb tenses. For this reason, they have included many suffixes previously found in Phase 6 in the programme so children have been taught to read the words before the meet them in the books. As reading and spelling are reversible processes, and because we teach spelling alongside reading, children will learn to spell words with these suffixes too. However, we know that spelling is harder than reading and so we continue teaching spelling by applying the alphabetic code and rules about suffixes in Year 2 as detailed in the National Curriculum.

Therefore, during Year 2, children who have passed the phonic screening check progress onto SPaG lessons. This is further developed and consolidated as the children move through Years 3 and 4. All of our children have the opportunity to learn spelling strategies that are highlighted and put into context during their reading. If there is a particular spelling rule the class are developing, seeing it in action in a text (through whole class reading or individual reading) further reiterates and encourages the children to apply that particular rule themselves.

SPaG is therefore taught in its own right and also built into the writing process. Continuous repetition of learning and seeing it being used in practice ensures a deeper level of understanding from the children – allowing that knowledge of SPaG to ‘stick’ and enabling each child to apply their learning in their own pieces of writing.

As with all of our teaching and learning at St. Augustine’s CE Academy, if children fall behind in their phonics and spelling development, this is quickly recognised by the staff and through regular, planned intervention strategies and support from home, systems, keep-up and catch-up sessions are put into place to allow each child the opportunity to catch up with their peers.

We are proud to be a part of SUA Trust

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SUAT supports and leads in the set-up of new academies joining the partnership. The services provided by the central support function cover both educational and non-educational support. In terms of educational support, SUAT is linked to the School of Education of Staffordshire University, which is an outstanding ITT provider.