At Garden City Academy, we believe that reading is the single most important transferable skill that we can equip our pupils with. As a result, reading has both high priority and a high profile at our school. Reading takes place throughout the school every day and learning outcomes linked to reading are taught in daily Guided Reading and English lessons, as well as in other areas of the curriculum, where appropriate. During these lessons, children are taught through the use of core texts taken from our GCA Reading Spine and through shorter extracts from resources from Fred’s Teaching. 

At GCA, children are read to by an adult at least 3 times a week during class story time. Reading for pleasure is very important at GCA. Children attend the school library once a week with their classes and can enjoy reading at playtimes and lunchtimes in our playground newly opened ‘Book Nook’. We also have a Library Leaders club for Years 5 and 6 and the school take part in national reading events such as World Book Day and Pyjamarama.


Phonics and Early Reading

In Early Years and Key Stage 1, we use the Little Wandle Phonics Programme to teach children phonics at GCA. Phonics starts in Nursery using Little Wandle Foundations and becomes more formalised when children move into Reception. Phonics sessions are split into 1) phonics for reading and 2) phonics for writing and spelling. All teachers follow a set teaching structure for both of these sessions which is structured into three areas: revisit, teach and apply. Fluency is built into the Little Wandle Programme and children read every day through paired reading. Where children require further intervention, we provide ‘keep up’ and ‘catch up’ programmes; this varies depending on the needs of the child.


Progression of phonics

Nursery – Little Wandle Foundations – Phase 1

Reception – Little Wandle Programme – Phase 2, 3, 4

Year 1 – Little Wandle Programme – Phase 5

Year 2 – Guided Reading for Fluency using Little Wandle decodables and Little Wandle Spelling Programme


If you require further information on Little Wandle and how to support your child from home then please follow the link below:


Updated: 16/10/2023 23.00 MB


Guided Reading

In Key Stage 2, Guided Reading is taught using Fred's Teaching. The short extracts used are engaging to promote and foster a love of reading whilst also ensuring that our children are exposed to a range of fiction and non-fiction texts. The half termly medium term plans are structured around topics and themes such as Brilliant Book Series, Best Books of 2023 and Awesome Women (International Women's Day) educating our children on topical issues and exposing them to high-quality and popular texts. Guided Reading lessons follow a sequence of learning across a week. Every session begins with fluency and vocabulary practice. Across the week children use a range of techniques to build fluency including modelled reading by the teacher, echo and choral reading and paired reading. At GCA, we teach children the various VIPERS skills (Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval, Summarise/Sequence) with mixed practice at the end of the week. 

Updated: 16/04/2024 1.22 MB
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