At Long Ridings Primary School, we use Little Wandle to teach phonics. (You can read the full Phonics Policy here)
At Long Ridings Primary School, we believe that all our children can become fluent readers and writers. This is why we teach phonics through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme. We start teaching phonics in Reception and follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised progression, which ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school. As a result, all our children will be able to tackle any unfamiliar words as they read. We also model the application of the alphabetic code through phonics in shared reading and writing, both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on language development for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects.
• For all children to become confident and fluent readers and writers, using their phonic knowledge to read and write at a standard at least equivalent to age related expectations.
• To provide a consistent approach to the teaching of phonics.
• To provide equal opportunities for all pupils to make good progress in phonics.
• To ensure that all children have access to high quality phonics teaching, which is differentiated accurately to meet their individual needs.
• To ensure that all children make good progress and reach age related expectations.
• To work in partnership with parents.
• All staff have the knowledge, understanding and skills to teach high quality phonic lessons. • Phonic lessons are taught every day, with a rigorous and systematic approach and with a good pace throughout the lesson and over time.
• High quality and consistent planning following The Little Wandle Scheme, leads to good outcomes for all children.
• Assessment and tracking are used to effectively plan next steps of learning.
• Phonic skills are applied in reading and writing, across all curriculum subjects.
• Parents understand the school’s phonic policy to effectively support their child’s learning at home.
Daily phonics in EYFS and Year 1
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:2
· 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.
Any child who needs additional practice has Keep-up support, taught by a fully trained adult. Keep-up lessons match the structure of class teaching, and use the same procedures, resources and mantras, but in smaller steps with more repetition, so that every child secures their learning.
• We timetable phonics lessons for any child in Year 2 or 3 who is not fully fluent at reading or has not passed the Phonics Screening Check. These children urgently need to catch up, so the gap between themselves and their peers does not widen. We use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessments to identify the gaps in their phonic knowledge and teach to these using the Keep-up resources – at pace.
• If any child in Year 3 to 6 has gaps in their phonic knowledge when reading or writing, we plan phonics ‘catch-up’ lessons to address specific reading/writing gaps. These short, sharp lessons last 10 minutes and take place at least three times a week.
The decodable reading practice book is taken home to ensure success is shared with the family. Reading for pleasure books also go home for parents to share and read to children. We use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised parents’ resources to engage our families and share information about phonics, the benefits of sharing books, how children learn to blend and other aspects of our provision, both online and through workshops.
Every teacher in our school has been trained to teach reading, so we have the same expectations of progress. We all use the same language, routines and resources to teach children to read so that we lower children’s cognitive load. Lesson templates, Prompt cards and How to videos ensure teachers all have a consistent approach and structure for each lesson. The Phonics Lead and SLT regularly monitor and observe teaching.
We use the resources bought from the Little Wandle Scheme to support the teaching of phonics. This includes, grapheme mats, grow the code grapheme charts, large letter grapheme cards for phase 2,3 and 5, small letter grapheme cards for phase 2,3 and 5, flashcards and tricky word cards for each phase.
In EYFS and Year 1 we have created our own Smart notebooks to use for phonics lessons linked to the Little Wandle Scheme.
We use the Collins Big Cat books in EYFS and Year1 and send these home each week to support phonics and develop fluency when reading.
We use the online Little Wandle resources and this is also available to parents: https://www.littlewandlelettersandsounds.org.uk/
Planning and Assessment
We follow the Little Wandle planning sequences in EYFS and Year 1. These are adapted as needed to support different groups of learners. The planning includes a yearly overview, termly overviews and weekly planning.
Little Wandle phonics is assessed during week 6 in each half term. The children are tested on their GPC correspondence and their ability to blend and/or read decodable and tricky words.
This data is input into the Little Wandle assessment tracker and teachers can then monitor progress and also identify any areas that need to be revisited during week 7. This will also allow for intervention groups to be created for those children who require additional support.
Assessment is used to monitor progress and to identify any child needing additional support as soon as they need it.
· Assessment for learning is used: daily within class to identify children needing Keep-up support. Weekly in the Review lesson to assess gaps, address these immediately and secure fluency of GPCs, words and spellings.
· Summative assessment is used: every six weeks to assess progress, to identify gaps in learning that need to be addressed, to identify any children needing additional support and to plan the Keep-up support that they need. By SLT and scrutinised through the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessment tracker, to narrow attainment gaps between different groups of children and so that any additional support for teachers can be put into place.