At Waterside Primary School , we believe that all our children can become fluent readers and writers. This is why we teach reading through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme. We start teaching phonics in Nursery/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.
Phonics Leader: Mrs T Bickerton-Dean
At Waterside Primary School we use Little Wandle Letters and Sound Revised to deliver our daily engaging Phonics lessons. Little Wandle is a complete systematic synthetic validated phonics programme.
How we teach phonics
- In the nursery, children follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised ‘Foundations for Phonics’ guidance. The focus is on daily oral blending and language development through high quality stories and rhymes.
- 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 early in reception to ensure the children make a strong start.
- By the end of 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.
- In Year 1 Phonics takes place daily on Monday and Friday and twice daily Tuesday to Thursday. The focus is on reading in the morning and writing and spelling in the afternoon. The phonics sounds taught throughout the week are used to set the children's weekly home spellings.
- In Y2-Y3, phonic lessons are taught daily to children where appropriate – following the model of Little Wandle but plugging specific gaps identified through assessment.
- In Y2-Y6 there are planned phonic ‘Keep-up’ sessions following a set model to address specific reading/writing gaps. These are short, sharp sessions lasting 10 minutes in length and taking place at least three times a week.
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 15/20 minutes long and happen three times a week per group. There are approximately 6 children in a group.
- The sessions follow the model set out in Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised and .
- The children then take the same book home the following week to ensure success is shared with the family.
How do we assess phonic knowledge?
- In reception and year 1, at the end of each week there is a review session which recaps the learning. There are also whole review weeks to help assess the children's Phonics knowledge and to pin point where addition catch up sessions maybe required.
- 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 (See additional link) .
- Children who do not pass the Phonics Screening Check in Y1, will re-sit this in Y2.
Supporting Your Child With Phonics
Year 1 Phonics Screening
Year 1 Phonics Screening Check
The phonics screening check is a quick and easy check of your child's phonics knowledge. This usually takes place in June. The check consists of a list of 40 words which the children will read one -to-one with their class teacher. The list of words contain both real and nonsense (alien) words, which is something the children are use to practising in school.
It is a statutory test done by all children across the country and takes around 10 minutes for each child to complete, dependant upon their pace.
The Phonics Screening will assess each individual child's phonics skills and knowledge learned through Reception and Year 1.
It will check that your child can:
- Sound out and blend graphemes in order to read simple words e.g. n-igh-t
- Read phonically decodable one-syllable and two-syllable words, e.g. cat, sand, windmill.
- Read a selection of nonsense words which are referred to as ‘pseudo words’.
To see further information regarding Phonics Screening please clink on the link below:
Seeing is Believing
Over the coming months we we will begin to extend the invitation to you as parents to visit us for bespoke workshops in order to allow you to see first hand how Phonics sessions are delivered and to help you to understand the huge significance Phonics has on the children for both reading and writing from such an early age. You'll be amazed to see how the children absorb their learning and begin to apply it independently throughout the rest of their curriculum.
Phonics is fundamental in helping our children read, write and spell. Where possible, children need to me exposed to lots of words, books and texts to support in their knowledge of recognising letters and their sounds and begin to apply their knowledge in both reading and writing of words.
A great way to support your child is with flashcards as children need to be able to recognise and read letters and sounds automatically. Children need to keep being exposed to these sounds in order to remember them so pinning new sounds up around the house or sticking them on the fridge will allow them to say them as often as possible.
When out and about encourage children to look for words with specific sounds, can they think of words containing those sounds. Practise writing the sounds too.
There are lots of other ways in which you can support your child at home with phonics including:
- Listening to your child read daily
- Reading aloud to your child
- Shared reading
- Talk, talk, talk - model good speaking and listening and introduce new vocabulary
The link below will take you to the Little Wandle support for parents page. It is full of fantastic resources to help you support your child with saying their sounds and writing their letters. There are also some very useful videos so you can see how they are taught at school and feel confident about supporting their reading at home.
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