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Phonics & Early Reading

Why learning to read is so important

  • Reading is essential for all subject areas and improves life chances.

  • Positive attitudes to reading and choosing to read have academic, social and emotional benefits for children.

How children learn to read

  • Phonics is the only route to decoding.

  • Learning to say the phonic sounds.

  • By blending phonic sounds to read words.

  • Increasing the child’s fluency in reading sounds, words and books.

Reading fully decodable books

  • Children must read books consistent with their phonic knowledge.

  • It is essential not to use other strategies to work out words (including guessing words, deducing meaning from pictures, grammar, context clues or whole word recognition).

  • Books must be fully decodable and follow the Little Wandle scheme

  • Children need to read books in a progressive sequence until they can decode unfamiliar words confidently.


So how do we do it?

  • When we timetable phonics in Reception and Year one

All children in Reception and Year 1 participate in a daily phonics lessons, usually in the morning. All children no matter their attainment level are included in the lessons and we use ‘Keep Up’ interventions to make sure no child falls behind. Children with a SEND are given additional support during the lesson and extra 1:1 lessons planned to match their point of development using the Foundation for Phonics programme or the LW SEND programme.

  • When we timetable reading groups and what they involve (i.e. decoding, prosody & Comprehension)

In Reception and Year 1 we timetable Reading Practise Groups three times a week. Each group, of up to 6 children, spends 20 mins with a highly trained adult exploring how to decode the book in the first sessions, how to read with fluency and expression in the Prosody sessions and finally checking their understanding of the text in the Comprehension sessions.

  • We have invested in new books

To meet the demands of the new programme we have invested heavily as a school in the matching Harper Collins reading books for both the main Little Wandle programme and the Rapid Catch Up programme for ages 7+. This means all children are given books that match their phonic ability and enable them to be successful at reading, in turn developing their love of reading for pleasure.

  • we have invested in the Rapid Catch-Up intervention programme and books – for children in year 2 (spring term and onwards) and Key Stage 2

For children that need that extra bit of support we have invested in the Rapid Catch-Up programme which helps close the gaps for children in the spring term of year 2 and above. Any child identified as not meeting ARE in Reading is assessed on the LW Rapid Catch-Up Assessment and entered onto the programme if needed. This involves group and 1:1 sessions to close the gaps in their grapheme knowledge and support them in meeting the expected standard for their year group. Any child with a SEND, who would struggle with cognitive overload from the pace of the Rapid Catch-Up programme, is assessed on the SEND assessment and the best SEND pathway and planning is selected for them accordingly.

Programme Overview: Please look at the document below for the overview

Programme Overview Reception And Year 1

Key Documents: Phonics & Early Reading 

Programme Overview

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