Reading and Phonics

We believe in igniting a love of reading and introducing a wide world of literature.


Early Reading:

At our schools, a love for reading including taught phonics starts at Nursery and follows a very specific sequence that allows our children to build on their previous phonic knowledge and master specific phonic strategies as they move through school. We use Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised to plan and provide daily engaging phonics lessons for our younger children. We initially teach children the single letter sounds, and how to blend them together. We then begin to look at ‘diagraphs’ and ‘trigraphs’- where two or three letters make a new sound when put together. It is our ultimate aim that EVERY child will leave ours schools as a confident reader, with a love for reading both for pleasure and to find new information.


We teach children to read a new story every week in school, which contains the sounds that they have been taught so far. This ensures that the children are able to read the book, and that they experience success when doing so. By the time your child brings home the story book that they have been learning to read in school, they should find it easy! This is something that you can celebrate and enjoy together.


Each term, reception parents/carers will receive a date in which they will be invited into school to watch a phonics lesson and gain information on how best to support your child at home with their reading. 


Accelerated Reader:

Once children have finished the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds program they move on to Accelerated Reader. This is a reading program that helps teachers support and monitor children’s reading practice. Children select a book at their own level and read it at their own pace. When finished, the child takes a short online quiz to measure how much of the book they understood. Please see below a parent's guide to Accelerated Reader. 


Reading for pleasure: 

"Whole School Reading Challenge!"
All classes take part in a weekly whole school reading challenge to promote a love of reading at home. 
"We Love to Read" time
All children take part in a "we love to read" time 3x weekly; this is a chance for them to choose and read a book of their choice. Children are encouraged to read a range of genres from their in class book shelf including fiction, non-fiction, newspapers, magazines and poetry. 
"Book share" afternoon 
Each term you will receive a day in which you will be invited into school to share a book with your child. 

All our classes have an engaging reading area with a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry books to encourage curiosity and enjoyment.  In our Celebration Assembly, reading is celebrated and  classes share information about their class read and books that have caught their imagination.

Through our approach to reading, we aim to provide our children with the experiences and scaffolding they need to be able to write inventively for themselves. They are equipped with the rich language and skills that they need to produce their own high standard of writing, for a wide range of purposes.

We want your child to love reading - and to want to read for themselves. This is why we put our efforts into making sure they develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read. 



Our children are assessed every half term to see what level of fluency their reading is at, and to see how many sounds they know and can apply to their reading. The children are then put into small reading groups based on this information, which allows us to tailor our teaching and support directly to their needs.


Supporting your child at home:

You can support your child through their Little Wandle Letters and Sounds journey by listening to them read every night at home even if it is just for 10minutes, and recording it in their reading record. 

You will find 2 books in your child's bookbag:


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.

  • 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.

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

  • 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.
Validated systematic, synthetic phonics programme: 'Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised'
We teach early reading through the validated systematic, synthetic phonics programme 'Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised' which we have just purchased and implemented.
Right from the start of Reception, children will have a daily phonics lesson which follows the progression for Little Wandle Letters and Sounds and this continues in Year One to ensure children become fluent readers. 
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. Four new phonemes and their corresponding graphemes are taught (GPCs) each week and they are then used in the final lesson of the week to review the week’s learning. Children will also learn tricky words during these sessions.
In the Autumn and Spring term, Reception learn phase 2 and phase 3 GPCs and then will spend the final term learning phase 4. Year 1 begin the Autumn term with 3 weeks of revision of phases 2, 3 and 4 before learning phase 5, which will be completed by the end of the year. Year 2 children will begin the year by revisiting phase 5 and other previously taught phases to ensure all children are completely confident with applying these GPCs in both their reading and also their writing. 
Half termly assessments take place through Reception and Year 1 to help inform future teaching and help identify children who have gaps in their phonic knowledge and need additional practice. Daily assessment of learning also takes place within the classroom so staff can quickly identify any children who are in danger of falling behind and provide the appropriate daily ‘Keep Up’ intervention.