We use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised to plan and provide daily engaging phonics lessons. In phonics, we teach children that the letters of the alphabet represent a different sound, that these can be used in a variety of combinations and are put together to make words. The children learn to recognise all of the different sounds and combinations that they might see when they are reading or writing. Our phonics teaching starts as soon as the children start in Reception 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. As a result, we aim that all our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words that they might discover. At Rosherville we also model these strategies in shared reading and writing both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on the development of language skills for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects.
How we teach phonics
In Reception and Y1, children follow the progression within Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme. Phonics is taught daily and there is a review session on a Friday.
Phonics starts in reception in week 2 to ensure the children make a strong start.
By the end of the reception, children will have been taught up to the end of phase 4.
By the end of year 1, children will have been taught up to the end of phase 5.
Reception lessons start at 10 minutes, with daily additional oral blending – increasing to 30 minutes as soon as possible.
Y1 lessons are 30 minutes long.
In Y2-Y3, phonics lessons are taught daily to children where appropriate – following the model of Little Wandle but plugging specific gaps identified through assessment.
Catch up sessions
Any children that have been identified through assessment as falling behind are identified quickly for daily small group or individual catch-up sessions to ensure that they catch up quickly. Parents are informed when their children are falling behind and are given resources to help support their children at home.
Reading practice sessions
Children across reception, year 1, year 2 (and beyond if appropriate) apply their phonics knowledge by using a full matched decodable reader in a small group reading practice session.
These sessions are 15 minutes long and happen three times a week. There are approximately 6 children in a group.
The sessions follow the model set out in Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised.
The children then take the same book home the following week to ensure success is shared with the family.
In Reception, these sessions start in week 4. Children who are not decoding, do a little blending lesson, following the model set out in Little Wandle Letters and Sound Revised.
How do we assess phonic knowledge?
In Reception and year 1, at the end of each week, there is a review session that recaps the learning. There are also whole review weeks (pre-planned and bespoke review weeks to address gaps identified by the class teacher’s ongoing formative assessment). Children identified in Reception and Y1 as in danger of falling behind are immediately identified and daily ‘keep up’ sessions are put in place – sessions follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme.
In Reception and year 1, the children are assessed at the end of every half term using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessment tracker.
The children in Y1 sit the Phonics Screening Check in the summer term.
Children who do not pass the Phonics Screening Check in Y1 will re-sit this in Y2.
Children who are in Y2-Y6 and need ‘catch up’ sessions are assessed through teacher’s ongoing formative assessment as well as half-termly summative assessments.
Phonics for children in KS2
For children who are in KS2 and are not secure with their phonics, we deliver Rapid Phonics, which is a synthetic phonics intervention intended to improve decoding skills and reading fluency. It teaches the relationship of word sounds to their corresponding letter groups in a structured way.
Rapid Phonics is a unique intervention program that includes 56 decodable and age-appropriate fiction and non-fiction reading books for the children to build their confidence and help them read accurately, quickly, and with expression.
- Clear sequencing of phonemes/graphemes
- Dyslexia-friendly fonts which are well-spaced and sized just right
- Repetition of the target phoneme/grapheme
- Inclusion of high-frequency sight words
- Continuous text
If you are a parent and would like more information about how to support your child with phonics at home, please follow this link to find the Reception and Year 1 overview as well as videos of the sound pronunciations, and letter formation sheets, and other helpful resources.