At Gomersal Primary School, we use Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised which is a complete systematic synthetic phonics programme (SSP) developed for schools by schools. 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 your child to go beyond the expectations of the Phonics Screening Check.
We use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised to plan and provide daily engaging phonics lessons. In phonics, we teach children that the letters of the alphabet represent a different sound, that these can be used in a variety of combinations and are put together to make words. The children learn to recognise all of the different sounds and combinations that they might see when they are reading or writing. Our phonics teaching starts in Reception and follows a very specific sequence that allows our children to build on their previous phonic knowledge and master specific phonic strategies as they move through school. As a result, all our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words that they might discover.
How we teach phonics
- 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.
- Y1 lessons are 30 minutes long.
- In Y2-Y3, phonic lessons are taught daily to children, where appropriate – following the model of Little Wandle, plugging specific gaps identified through assessment.
- In Y4-Y6, if appropriate, there are planned phonic ‘catch-up’ sessions following a set model, to address specific reading gaps.
Reading practice sessions
- Children across Reception, Year 1, Year 2 (and beyond if appropriate) apply their phonics knowledge by using a fully matched decodable reader, in a small group reading practice session.
- These sessions are 15 minutes long and happen three times a week. There are approximately 6 children in a group.
- The sessions follow the model set out in Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised.
- The children then take the same book home to ensure success is shared with the family.
- In Reception these sessions start early in the Autumn term. Children who are not decoding, do a little blending lesson, following the model set out in Little Wandle Letters and Sound Revised.
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 is also an assessment week (pre-planned and bespoke review weeks to address gaps identified by the class teacher’s ongoing formative assessment).
- Children identified in Reception and Y1 , who are in danger of falling behind receive ‘daily keep up’– 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.
- Children who do not pass the Phonics Screening Check in Y1, will re-sit this in Y2.
- Children who are in Y2-Y6 and need ‘catch up’ sessions are assessed through teacher’s ongoing formative assessment as well as half termly summative assessments.
If you are a parent and would like more information about how to support your child with phonics at home, please follow this link to find the Reception and Year 1 overview as well as videos of the sound pronunciations, letter formation sheets and other helpful resources.
Please click this link to go directly to the Phonics Screening Check Power-point
Please click this link to go directly to the Parents Little Wandle meeting power-point.
Little Wandle formation phrases
At Gomersal Primary School, we use the Collins Big Cat reading scheme, which is a whole-school programme that provides complete support for primary reading from early phonics to fluency.
Encouraging everyone to read! Please click the link below for lots of ideas.