The Teaching of Phonics
Our Vision for Phonics
Our Phonics curriculum aims to equip all children with the skills & knowledge to enable them to lead a happy, healthy & purposeful life.
At our school we follow Little Wandle Letters and Sounds revised. We believe every child has the right to leave school being able to read fluently and well. We are also committed to teaching our children to use their phonic knowledge to decode and read unfamiliar words until they become automatic and fluent reading is established. Reading increases children’s vocabulary as they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. Our daily reading practice in EYFS and KS1 ensures children are given regular opportunities to apply the phonics they have learned to reading fully decodable books. Children have access to a range of phonetically decodable books in reading areas in their classrooms. Children who need to continue to practise decoding unfamiliar words are provided with phonetically decodable books to take home.
Content and Sequencing
We begin the teaching of reading (decoding) through a systematic synthetic phonics programme called “Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised”.
Foundations for phonics sets out the provision that should be in place to ensure children are well prepared to begin grapheme–phoneme correspondence (GPC) and blending at the start of Reception.
In Nursery oral blending and phonemic awareness are introduced through a series of engaging games and activities that develop children’s focused listening and attention. The introduction to GPC’s begin in the Summer term.
In Reception children participate in daily phonics lessons which last 30 minutes. The children start by learning the Phase 2 GPC’s in Autumn before moving onto Phase 3 GPC’s in Spring. Phase 4 is introduced in the Summer term where children learn to read longer words and compound words.
In Year 1 children participate in two daily phonics sessions lasting 25 minutes. In Autumn 1, children begin by reviewing Phase 3 and 4 before moving onto Phase 5. New Phase 5 graphemes are taught throughout the Autumn and Spring term. A review of the Phase 5 graphemes and tricky words are recapped throughout Summer 1. The last new Phase 5 graphemes are taught in Summer 2.
In Year 2 Phase 5 is reviewed up until Spring 1. Any children who still need exposure to phonics lessons are taught through daily keep-up sessions.
Aside from children accessing daily phonics lessons, children in Reception (starting in Spring 1) and in Year 1 apply their phonics during their daily reading practise sessions. According to their assessment data, children are grouped based on the fluency of their reading. The reading sessions are designed to focus on three key reading skills: decoding, prosody and comprehension. Each group reads with an adult three times a week. Children further up the school who present gaps in their phonic knowledge also access these reading sessions.
Children in Reception and KS1, and those who need more practise with decodable books, take home a “Books I can read to you”. These are phonetically decodable books that children are able to read fluently. Our Little Wandle assessments inform teachers which books are suitable to the child’s level of reading based off the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds matching grid.
Links across the curriculum
Reading is the passport to all other subjects in school.
Reading therefore is reinforced and practiced across all subjects.
When the focus for the reading practise session is decoding each child reads the book independently applying their phonics skills.
This session should begin with an opportunity for the children to read the book independently to practise their fluency, followed by the teacher/ta working with the reading group on how to develop prosody and practise this skill.
In the third session children focus on developing their comprehension skills by answering planned questions.
Little Wandle assessment and phonics screening
EYFS – 61%
Y1 Phonics – 77%
KS1 – EXS GDS
KS2 – EXS GDS
At end of KS2, Disadvantaged chn perform better in reading (80% exp) than the school average.
All children are expected to learn to read. We have a range of evidenced based intervention when gaps begin to appear. Little Wandle Catch up Programme, Serial Mash, Five-minute Boxes, Project X Code. The majority of TAs have had training in reading intervention and this is used throughout the school.
Whole school targets
To increase the number of children reaching GDS at the end of KS1 and KS2