Phonics and Early Reading

At Hugglescote Primary School, we are passionate about ensuring all children become confident and enthusiastic readers and writers, and we believe that Phonics provides the foundations in supporting children to develop these skills in order for this to become achievable.

How we teach phonics

• In EYFS and Year 1, 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 in EYFS in week 2 to ensure the children make a strong start.

• By the end of EYFS, 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.

• EYFS 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 but plugging specific gaps identified through assessment.

There is the Little Wandle Programme overview which shows the progression of GPCs and tricky words that we teach term-by-term.

Reading practice sessions

• Children across EYFS, 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 the following week to ensure success is shared with the family.

• In EYFS these sessions start in week 4. 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 EYFS and year 1, at the end of each week there is a review session which recaps the learning. There are also whole review weeks (pre-planned and bespoke review weeks to address gaps identified by the class teacher’s ongoing formative assessment).

• Children identified in EYFS and Year 1 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 EYFS 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 Year 1 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.

Parents can support their child’s reading journey through regular reading at home. Reading to and with your child every evening for at least ten minutes can make a dramatic difference to a child’s achievement within school. A report from the Oxford University Press highlighted the importance of parents reading with their children. ‘Children who read outside of class are 13 times more likely to read above the expected level for their age’.

The report also offers six tips for reading with your child at home, including:

• Make time to read- even ten minutes a day

• Choose different types of books

• Take turns to read

• Talk about the book- asking your child questions

• Pay attention to the language

• Enjoy reading

Supporting your child with reading

Although your child will be taught to read at school, you can have a huge impact on their reading journey by continuing their practice at home.

There are two types of reading book that your child may bring home:

A reading practice book. This will be at the correct phonic stage for your child. They should be able to read this fluently and independently.

A sharing book. Your child will not be able to read this on their own. This book is for you both to read and enjoy together.

Reading practice book

This book has been carefully matched to your child’s current reading level. If your child is reading it with little help, please don’t worry that it’s too easy – your child needs to develop fluency and confidence in reading.

Listen to them read the book. Remember to give them lots of praise – celebrate their success! If they can’t read a word, read it to them. After they have finished, talk about the book together.

Sharing book

In order to encourage your child to become a lifelong reader, it is important that they learn to read for pleasure. The sharing book is a book they have chosen for you to enjoy together.

Please remember that you shouldn’t expect your child to read this alone. Read it to or with them. Discuss the pictures, enjoy the story, predict what might happen next, use different voices for the characters, explore the facts in a non-fiction book. The main thing is that you have fun!

These three videos show you how to pronounce the sounds. Notice how the children don’t add an ‘uh’ sound at the end, so they say: ‘t’ not ‘tuh’. Use the downloadable information to help your child remember how to write their letters and say their sounds.

Autumn 1 sounds

Please see the guide below to see how children are taught to say their sounds in Reception Autumn 1.

Autumn 2 sounds

Please see the guide below to see how children are taught to say their sounds in Reception Autumn 2.

How to write capital letters

Please see the guide below to see how children are taught to write capital letters.

Spring 1 sounds

Please see the guide below to see how children are taught to say their sounds in Reception Spring 1

How we teach

These videos show parents how we teach your child specific aspects of phonics in class.

A quick guide to alien words