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Early Reading & Phonics

It has been an exciting few months, developing and embedding our new phonics scheme. We have purchased many new books and prepared many new exciting resources. We have recently completed a full year of Little Wandle, and already the impact has been seen across key stage one and now into key stage two, with the introduction of Little Wandle’s Rapid Catch-Up.

It has been lovely to hear such positive comments from parents.

“My son has loved reading these books! I have seen loads of progress in his reading.”

“We’ve been really impressed with how well our child has learnt their sounds and embraced reading – she loves her books!”

“His confidence and ability improved so quickly with the introduction of this reading scheme.”

“I have seen a noticeable improvement in her confidence and fluency in reading under the scheme.”

Last year we began our Little Wandle journey. Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised is a complete systematic synthetic phonics programme (SSP) developed for schools by schools. Here are some frequently asked questions, which we think you’ll find useful.

Why have we started a new phonic scheme?

Last year the Government produced a new ‘Reading Framework’ centred around early reading research. It states that by ensuring high-quality phonics teaching the government wants to improve literacy levels to:

  • give all children a solid base upon which to build as they progress through school
  • help children to develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information

The Government advised schools to teach reading and phonics through a validated systematic synthetic phonics teaching programme to ensure all children received high-quality phonics teaching.

How will phonics be taught in school? 

Phonics is taught every day. The session lasts around 30 minutes, although when the children first start school the session times are shorter. The whole class is taught together. Some children will have extra keep-up sessions, sometimes individually and sometimes in small groups.

How will reading be taught in school?

Children will read in small groups three times a week. This will be led by a teacher or teaching assistant. The same book will be read each time but each session will focus on three specific skills of reading:

Decoding – sounding out and reading the words and sentences.

Prosody – developing our expression and reading with meaning in our voices.

Comprehension – understanding what has been read.

Your child will bring home their Little Wandle reading book every Friday. This book will be fully decodable and match your child’s phonic ability. They should not struggle or find the book a challenge. Please don’t think that this is then too ‘easy’ for my child – listen to them read with confidence and enjoy their fluency, expression and knowledge of the book. To help foster a love of reading, children will also take a book home that they can share and enjoy with you. This will be a book of their choice from the library. This is known as a sharing book. This book is for you to read to or with your child and enjoy together. Children in Year Two who have completed the phonics programme will take home a range of reader books matched to their ability.

There is more information about the books the children read, how we teach reading and what you can do at home to support your child further, on the Little Wandle parents’ link below. Please do take a look. The link also has videos which demonstrate how to say each sound.

We hope this information has been useful but if you ever have any questions please do not hesitate to speak to either your child’s class teacher or myself.

Mrs Burr

Phonics and Early Reading Lead

The resources on this page will help you support your child with saying their sounds …