At St Chad's, we believe that all our children can become fluent readers and writers. This is why we are proud to be transitioning over to the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised; a systematic and synthetic phonics programme.

The Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised progression ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school. Put simply, we want children to learn to read effortlessly so they can put all of their energy into comprehending what they have read and to spell effortlessly so that they can put all of their energy into composing what they write.

Early reading starts with phonics and developing good phonics skills in younger children is vitally important. The foundations for early phonics are laid from Nursery. This largely falls within the 'Communication and Language' and 'Literacy' area of learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage. The aim of this phase is to foster children's listening and speaking skills as preparation for learning to read with phonics. Children are provided with a balance of child-led and adult-led experiences which include: 

  • sharing high-quality stories and poems
  • learning a range of nursery rhymes and action rhymes
  • activities that develop focused listening and attention, including oral blending
  • attention to high-quality language

From Reception onwards, we teach phonics for 30 minutes a day (to begin with 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.

We follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised Expectations of Progress:

  • Children in Reception are taught to read and spell words using Phase 2 and 3 GPCs, and words with adjacent consonants (Phase 4) with fluency and accuracy.
  • Children in Year 1 review Phase 3 and 4 and are taught to read and spell words using Phase 5 GPCs with fluency and accuracy.
We timetable daily phonics lessons for any child in Year 2 who is not fully fluent at reading or has not passed the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check.
In addition to their daily phonics lessons, children also take part in three reading practice sessions a week, as per the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds revised programme. Children read books matched to their secure phonic knowledge, ensuring a good mix of stories and non-fiction to foster a love of reading. The reading practice sessions have been designed to focus on three key reading skills:
  • decoding
  • prosody: teaching children to read with understanding and expression
  • comprehension: teaching children to understand the text
The reading practice book is taken home to ensure success is shared with the family. Children also take home every week a sharing book to enjoy with their parents/carers. Additional information about our home reading programme can be found here.
As a school, we recognise that parents make a crucial difference to children's outcomes, therefore, we are fully committed to working in close partnership with all of our families. Throughout the year we hold a number of parent workshops to support with all aspects of home reading, including early reading skills, phonics and shared reading time. We also provide a wealth of home reading guidance, support and resources so that parents are more knowledgeable, more confident and better equipped to support with their child's early reading at home. Further information about our parent workshops, classes, events and home reading resources can be found here.
A copy of our phonics policy can be found here.