At Lydd Primary School we follow the 'Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised' phonics programme. This is a synthetic phonics programme that is divided into five phases, and is taught through Nursery, Reception and KS1. Phonics is taught every day and reading books are closely matched to what is taught in Phonics lessons.
Phonics Teaching at Lydd Primary School
Phonics (Reading and Spelling)
At Lydd Primary School, we believe that all our children can become fluent readers and writers. We teach Phonics through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme. We begin teaching Phonics in Reception and follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised progression, which ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school.
As a result, all our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words as they read. We also model the application of the alphabetic code through phonics in shared reading and writing, both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on language development for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects.
At Lydd Primary School, we value reading as a crucial life skill. By the time children leave us, they read confidently for meaning and regularly enjoy reading for pleasure. Our readers are equipped with the tools to tackle unfamiliar vocabulary. We encourage our children to see themselves as readers for both pleasure and purpose.
Daily phonics lessons in Reception and Year 1
- We teach phonics for 30 minutes a day. 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:
- o Children in Reception are taught to read and spell words using Phase 2 and 3 GPCs, and words with adjacent consonants (Phase 4) with fluency and accuracy.
- o Children in Year 1 review Phase 3 and 4 and are taught to read and spell words using Phase 5 GPCs with fluency and accuracy.
- Children in Year 2 complete the programme as necessary.
Daily Keep-up lessons ensure every child learns to read
- Any child who needs additional practice has daily Keep-up support, taught by a fully trained adult. Keep-up lessons match the structure of class teaching, and use the same procedures, resources and mantras, but in smaller steps with more repetition, so that every child secures their learning.
- We timetable daily phonics lessons for any child in Year 2 or 3 who is not fully fluent at reading or has not passed the Phonics screening check. These children urgently need to catch up, so the gap between themselves and their peers does not widen. We use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessments to identify the gaps in their phonic knowledge and teach to these using the Keep-up resources – at pace.
- If any child in Year 3 to 6 has gaps in their phonic knowledge when reading or writing, we plan phonics ‘catch-up’ lessons to address specific reading/writing gaps. These short, sharp lessons last 10 minutes and take place regularly.
Teaching reading: Reading practice sessions three times a week
- We teach children to read through reading practice sessions three times a week. These:
- o are taught by a fully trained adult to small groups of approximately six children
- o use books matched to the children’s secure phonic knowledge using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessments
- o are monitored by the class teacher, who rotates and works with each group on a regular basis.
- Each reading practice session has a clear focus, so that the demands of the session do not overload the children’s working memory. The reading practice sessions have been designed to focus on three key reading skills:
- o decoding
- o prosody: teaching children to read with understanding and expression
- o comprehension: teaching children to understand the text.
- In Reception these sessions start in Week 4. Children who are not yet decoding have daily additional blending practice in small groups, so that they quickly learn to blend and can begin to read books.
- In Year 2 and 3, we continue to teach reading in this way for any children who still need to practise reading with decodable books.
- The decodable reading practice book is taken home to ensure success is shared with the family.
- o Reading for pleasure books also go home for parents to share and read to children. These books are high quality and are carefully chosen to include ambitious language and to stimulate discussion.
- o We use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised parents’ resources to engage our families and share information about phonics, the benefits of sharing books, how children learn to blend and other aspects of our provision, both online and through workshops.
Additional reading support for vulnerable children
- Children in Reception and Year 1 who are receiving additional phonics Keep-up sessions read their reading practice book to an adult daily.
Ensuring consistency and pace of progress
- Every teacher in our school has been trained to teach reading, so we have the same expectations of progress. We all use the same language, routines and resources to teach children to read so that we lower children’s cognitive load.
- Weekly content grids map each element of new learning to each day, week and term for the duration of the programme.
- Lesson templates, Prompt cards and How to videos ensure teachers all have a consistent approach and structure for each lesson.
Ensuring reading for pleasure
‘Reading for pleasure is the single most important indicator of a child’s success.’ (OECD 2002)
‘The will influences the skill and vice versa.’ (OECD 2010)
We value reading for pleasure highly and work hard as a school to grow our Reading for Pleasure pedagogy.
- We read to children every day. We choose these books carefully as we want children to experience a wide range of books, including books that reflect the children at Lydd Primary School and our local community as well as books that open windows into other worlds and cultures.
- Every classroom has an inviting book corner that encourages a love for reading. We curate these books and talk about them to entice children to read a wide range of books.
- In Reception, children have access to the reading corner every day in their free flow time and the books are continually refreshed.
- Children in Reception have a home reading record and children from Year 1 have an online reading record. The parent/carer records comments to share with the adults in school and the adults will write in this on a regular basis to ensure communication between home and school.
Assessment is used to monitor progress and to identify any child needing additional support as soon as they need it.
- Assessment for learning is used:
- daily within class to identify children needing Keep-up support
- weekly in the Review lesson to assess gaps, address these immediately and secure fluency of GPCs, words and spellings.
- Summative assessment is used:
- every six weeks to assess progress, to identify gaps in learning that need to be addressed, to identify any children needing additional support and to plan the Keep-up support that they need.
- The Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised placement assessment is used:
- with any child new to the school to quickly identify any gaps in their phonic knowledge and plan provide appropriate extra teaching.
- Children in Year 1 sit the Phonics screening check. Any child not passing the check re-sits it in Year 2.
Ongoing assessment for catch-up
- Children in Year 2 to 6 are assessed through:
- their teacher’s ongoing formative assessment
- the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds placement assessment
Phonics lessons involve three parts;
1 - Revisit and review
2 - Teach and practise
3 - Practise and apply
It is very important that the sounds are pronounced correctly so that they can easily be blended together. Look on this link to see how we pronounce each of the sounds!
Here are some words that you might hear your child using when talking about Phonics.
Blending is the skill of joining sounds together to read words. Children are taught to say the separate sounds in a word and to then blend them together to decode the word.
A digraph is a sound that is represented by two letters e.g. the sound 'a' in rain is represented by the digraph 'ai'.
A trigraph is a sound that is represented by three letters e.g. igh, ear and ure
A grapheme is a visual representation of a sound e.g. a letter or a group of letters.
Some sounds are represented by a single letter whilst others are represented by more than one letter.
A phoneme is a unit of sound e.g. the word 'cat' contains three phonemes; c - a - t.
Segmenting is the opposite of blending. Children are taught to segment a word into its separate sounds in order to spell it.
A split digraph is a digraph that is separated by other letters e.g. the sound 'a' in the word take is represented by the split digraph a-e.
The Phonics Screening Check
The Phonics Screening Check is an assessment at the end of Year 1 to confirm whether individual children have learnt phonetic decoding to an appropriate standard. It enables schools to identify children who need additional help, so ensure they are given support to improve their reading skills. It is a Statutory Requirement to carry out the screening check.
The check is a short, simple screening check which consists of a list of 40 words and pseudo words (non-words), which the child reads one-to-one with their class teacher.
The Phonics Screening Check takes place in June.
Here is a PowerPoint shown to parents on 19th April 2023 to inform them about the upcoming Phonics Screening Check.
- Practise reading at home with your child regularly - a little and often really helps! Encourage children to read books more than once so their reading becomes fluent.
- Boost comprehension. Ask questions like, "What do you think will happen next?" or "What did he mean by that?"
- Revisit familiar books. It's okay if your child wants to re-read favourite books from earlier years. In fact, it's actually beneficial!
- Read aloud to your child. Choose books on topics that excite your child, and read with gusto, using different voices for each character. Reading aloud and sharing books will widen vocabulary and boost their imagination!
- Promote a love of reading. Show your child how much you value reading by having plenty of books and magazines around the house, and getting caught reading yourself. You'll teach phonics as well as cultivate a lifelong love of reading.
- Give lots of praise! Praise your child for trying hard and doing their best.
- Speak with your child's teacher. If you have any questions speak to your child's teacher, who will be very happy to talk about Phonics and how we can work together to support the children.
These links provides top tips on how to support your child with reading at home;