Phonics & Early Reading
Early Reading at St. John's Primary School
We teach early reading through the systematic, synthetic phonics programme 'Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised'. Right from the start of Reception children have a daily phonics lesson which follows the progression for Little Wandle Letters and Sounds and this continues in Year One to ensure children become fluent readers.
We teach phonics for 30 minutes a day. In Reception, we build from 10-minute lessons, with additional daily oral blending games, to the full-length lesson as quickly as possible. Each Friday, we review the week’s teaching to help children become fluent readers.
Children make a strong start in Reception: teaching begins in Week 2 of the Autumn term. We follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised expectations of progress (please see below for the progression). Four new phonemes and their corresponding graphemes are taught (GPCs) each week, and they are then used in the final lesson of the week to review the week’s learning. Children will also learn tricky words during these sessions. In the Autumn and Spring term, Reception learn phase 2 and phase 3 GPCs and then will spend the final term learning phase 4.
Year 1 begin the Autumn term with 3 weeks of revision of phases 2, 3 and 4 before learning phase 5, which will be completed by the end of the year. Year 2 children will begin the year by revisiting phase 5 and other previously taught phases to ensure all children are completely confident with applying these GPCs in both their reading and also their writing.
Half termly assessments take place through Reception and Year 1 to help inform future teaching and help identify children who have gaps in their phonic knowledge and need additional practice. Daily assessment of learning also takes place within the classroom, so staff can quickly identify any children who are in danger of falling behind and provide the appropriate daily ‘Keep Up’ intervention.
For support with the pronunciation of the phonemes taught, please refer to the videos below.
Reading Practice Sessions
Children in Reception, Year 1 and 2, read fully decodable books with an adult 3 times per week during our ‘Reading Practice’ sessions. These books are then sent home for children to build their reading fluency and showcase their developing skills and phonetic knowledge to their parents/carers.
These 3 reading practice sessions each have a different focus; decoding, prosody and comprehension.
Our reading books in Reception, Y1 and Y2 are Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised Big Cat books.