At Holden Lane Primary School, we value the importance of Early Reading as it opens the doors to a new world for all of our pupils. We ensure that the pupils become fluent readers by delivering a systematic and structured phonics programme which we teach with fidelity to the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised scheme.
We use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised to plan and provide daily, engaging phonics lessons. In phonics lessons, we teach 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 pupils 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 Nursery 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, our pupils are able to tackle any unfamiliar words that they might discover.
How Phonics is Taught
- In the Nursery, pupils follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised ‘Foundations for Phonics’ guidance. The focus is on daily, oral blending and language development through high quality stories and rhymes.
- In Reception and Year 1, pupils follow the progression within Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme. Phonics is taught daily and there is a review session at the end of each week.
- Phonics starts in Reception in week 2 to ensure that the pupils make a strong start.
- By the end of Reception, pupils will have been taught up to the end of phase 4.
- By the end of Year 1, pupils will have been taught up to the end of phase 5.
- Reception lessons last for 10 minutes at the start of the year, with daily additional oral blending opportunities. Over the year, the lessons increase to 30 minutes.
- Lessons in Year 1 last for 30 minutes.
- In Year 2 and Year 3, phonic lessons are taught daily, following the model of Little Wandle, to pupils who have specific gaps in their phonics knowledge which have been identified through assessment.
- In Year 2 to Year 6, there are planned phonic ‘catch-up’ sessions following a set model to address specific reading and writing gaps. These are short, sharp sessions lasting 10 minutes in length and taking place at least three times a week.
Reading Practice Sessions
- Pupils from Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 (and beyond if appropriate) apply their phonics knowledge by reading fully-matched decodable books in small-group reading practice sessions.
- Reading practice sessions are 15 minutes long and take place three times a week. There are approximately 6 pupils in a group.
- The reading practice sessions follow the model set out in Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised.
- Pupils take the book they have read in the reading practice session home the following week to ensure success is shared with their family.
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.