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Phonics and Early Reading





The phonics and reading scheme we use as a school is Little Wandle Letters and Sounds.





Our aim is for all children to become skilled and fluent readers, who are able to access a variety of texts for both information and enjoyment on a lifelong level.  We ensure that school is a story and text-rich environment where books are valued and something to be excited about, planning for children to be exposed to a rich and varied collection of texts promotes this ethos. 


We want our students to be confident and curious readers as they grow up and this access and enjoyment of texts begins within our Foundation Stage and continues throughout school.   


We believe that phonics plays a large part in children beginning to engage with texts, both supported by and independent of adults.  Our Phonics Curriculum has been developed in order to give our children the best possible start to reading, ensuring that they make rapid progress and can begin to access texts as soon as possible.   


Our phonics curriculum: 


  • utilises highly skilled staff to deliver the Little Wandle phonics program 

  • ensures that progress and next steps for children are driven through formative and summative assessment 

  • supports children to access texts that are appropriate for their developmental/phonetic stage 

  • ensures rapid progress for the majority of children and quick identification of those children where this is not the case 





Our Phonics Curriculum is overseen by our Phonics Lead.  The Lead provides training and support to staff, quality assurance regarding the delivery of the Little Wandle program, is responsible for assessment of phonics within school and reports directly to Senior Leaders. 


The Phonics Curriculum: 

  • is delivered through the Little Wandle Programme 

  • is taught daily to classes in Foundation Stage and Year 1 

  • comprises of a daily whole class lesson and a catch-up session for children who have been assessed as requiring further support/input with the content from the whole class lesson 

  • is taught daily to children who are still working within the phonics phases and stages, even though their peers may no longer be engaged in phonics learning (for example, Year 4 staff deliver daily phonics input to Year 4 children working within the phonics framework) 

  • uses additional intervention which is directed by the use of daily formative assessment and tracked half-termly by summative assessment against standardised and similar suites of assessment programmes 

  • staff ensure that children are provided with reading material (phonetically decodable books) that are matched to their individual phonetic stages 

  • targeted phonics resources and suitable texts are provided to families and children for use at home to further grow their ‘reading miles’  




We recognise that in order to make progress children require high quality teaching of phonics.  We also understand that where gaps in knowledge and understanding are present, that these are swiftly identified and additional support put in place to allow the child to make accelerated progress and catch-up. 


Our Phonics Curriculum: 


  • supports children to quickly utilise synthetic phonics and increase their  access to texts and reading 

  • helps children to feel confident in their ability to access text 

  • uses formative assessment to identify children’s understanding/ability to use taught knowledge 

  • allows staff to intervene early and rapidly when children do not make the expected progress 

  • includes practice which allows us to track the progress of children and cohorts across half-terms  

  • provides data to classroom staff and informs whole class teaching and intervention  

  • allows the Phonics Lead to recognise areas of good practice and those requiring development 

  • impact is shared with Governors, Sheffield South East Trust and reported through statutory channels (annual Phonics Screen Check for Year 1 and 2 cohorts)