South Wellfield First School

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South Wellfield First School, Otterburn Avenue, South Wellfield, Whitley Bay, NE25 9QL

0191 643 3300

South Wellfield First School

Welcome to South Wellfield First School where We Shine Brightly!

  1. Curriculum
  2. English
  3. Phonics/Spelling


At South Wellfield First School, our aim is to ensure that as many children as possible learn to read well, quickly. We know that reading is a fundamental life skill and ensure that all children leave our school able to read well. We teach phonics using a whole class teaching model which means that every single pupil has the same opportunities when learning to read. Learning to read well, early, is a priority for every child. Children who may find it harder to learn how to read are given extra support from their teacher and learning support assistants every day.


We follow the Department for Education accredited Essential Letters and Sounds (ELS) phonics programme. The aim of ELS is to get all children to read well, quickly. It teaches children to read by identifying the phonemes (the smallest unit of sound) and graphemes (the written version of the sound) within words and using these to read words.

All members of staff are trained to teach ELS to ensure that we have an expert team of reading teachers which ensures that all children receive high-quality first teaching every day.

To ensure all children learn to read well, quickly, children learn phonics from the very start of Nursery, with a focus on Phase 1.  From the start of Reception, Phase 2 commences and is explicitly taught every day during a dedicated slot on the timetable. Throughout the day, children use their growing phonic knowledge to support them in other areas of the curriculum and have many opportunities to practise reading decodable texts, precisely matched to the phonic knowledge. This includes reading 1:1 with a member of staff, with a partner during paired reading and during whole class reading sessions.

We ensure that all children to learn to read well and keep up rather than have to catch-up. Daily phonics lessons continue in Year 1 and further through the school to ensure all children become confident, fluent readers.

We match the home reading texts to each child’s current phonic knowledge to ensure that they consolidate their most recent teaching and learning at home.  ELS teaches relevant, useful and ambitious vocabulary to support children’s journey to becoming fluent and independent readers.

As children move through school, we follow the ELS spelling programme in Year 2, 3 and 4.

“It is books that are the key to the wide world; if you can’t do anything else, read all that you can”.  Jane Hamilton, Novelist.                                                                                                                                                 

To support your child with reading please explore the documents below:

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