Systematic synthetic phonics is taught daily in EYFS and KS1 and is prioritised as the most important strategy in teaching our early readers the skills, strategies and knowledge needed to succeed, with the ambition that every child is a reader by age 7.
We follow the Little Wandle programme, based on the original Letters and Sounds, but extensively revised to provide a complete teaching programme meeting all the expectations of the National Curriculum and preparing our children to flourish beyond the expectations of the Phonics Screening Check.
In all areas of our phonics teaching, we employ the seven key features that have been identified through the English Hubs programme as characterising highly successful phonics teaching:
• direct teaching in frequent, short bursts
• consistency of approach
• secure, systematic progression in phonics learning
• maintaining pace of learning
• providing repeated practice
• application of phonics using matched decodable books
• early identification of children at risk of falling behind, linked to the provision of effective keep-up support.
Through the vehicle of our chosen phonics programme, Little Wandle, we ensure that children learn the necessary grapheme-phoneme correspondences (GPCs) to read new and familiar words and then apply this knowledge to sentence level reading. Following phonics lessons, which entail revision and teaching of new GPCs, children practise segmenting words into known individual phonemes and then blending them to read the words in new and familiar books. In order to build confidence and ensure success in reading, children are given decodable books that only contain the taught sounds from prior phonics sessions. We share decodable books – physically and virtually – with parents at home to bring our families into our reading community and ensure success for our young readers.
Rigorous, regular assessment is employed to identify children who need additional support to ‘keep-up’. Early readers in Year 2 and KS2 receive rigorous daily intervention with the same phonics pedagogy to accelerate learning and equip them with the skills to become lifelong readers.
For information, support and resources for parents and carers, please visit the below website.
Please view our Phonics and Early Reading policy here.