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Phonics Vision Statement


Our intent, in phonics, at Kentisbeare School is to ensure that the teaching of phonics and reading is accessible to all learners, regardless of background. Our aim is for all children to have a solid knowledge and understanding of letters and sounds, ensuring that it is embedded and built upon as they progress through the Early Years and KS1. At Kentisbeare Primary School, we believe that all our children can become fluent readers and writers. This is why we teach reading through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme. We start teaching phonics formally 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 are able to tackle any unfamiliar words as they read. At Kentisbeare Primary School, 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. Our Phonics Policy sets out the means by which we ensure consistency and a systematic approach to the teaching and learning of phonics. It will allow our children to learn to read and spell words both independently and confidently, using the sounds they have required during their first years of school. It aims to reinforce the high expectations that we have at Kentisbeare for pupil progress.


Foundations for phonics in Pre-School

  • We provide a balance of child-led and adult-led experiences for all children that meet the curriculum expectations for ‘Communication and language’ and ‘Literacy’. These 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.
  • We ensure Pre-School children are well prepared to begin learning grapheme-phoneme correspondences (GPCs) and blending in Reception.

Daily phonics lessons in Reception and Year 1

  • We teach phonics each morning 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. Children make a strong start in Reception: teaching begins in Week 3 of the Autumn term.
  • Each Friday, we review the week’s teaching to help children become fluent readers.
  • The teaching of whole-class phonics is delivered using grapheme/phoneme correspondence (GPC) flashcards and the interactive whiteboard for the teaching of word reading and tricky words.
  • Little Wandle phonics lessons will be tailored to ensure that every child’s phonics needs are met within whole-class teaching.
    • Sentence level work will be adapted to both support and challenge individual learners.
    • Additional adults will be used to support individuals and/or groups of learners.
  • We follow the Little Wandle 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 Reception are taught Phase 2, 3 and 4 tricky words.
    • Children in Year 1 review Phase 2, 3 and 4 phonemes and tricky words.
    • Children in Year 1 are taught to read and spell words using Phase 5 GPCs with fluency and accuracy and Phase 5 tricky words.


Reception Overview

Reception Tricky Words


Year One Overview

Year One Tricky Words




Assessment is used to monitor progress and to identify any child needing additional support as soon as they need it.

  •  Ongoing assssments are carried out:
    • 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.
    • Early Years and Key Stage One use the half termly coding system to track individual progress.
    • those in KS2 still using our phonics decodable books will continue to be assessed and tracked regularly.

Reading Practice Sessions

We teach children to read through reading practice sessions three times a week.

  • These:
    • are taught by a fully trained adult to small groups of approximately six children
    • use books matched to the children’s secure phonic knowledge.
    • use books that children are able to read with 90% fluency.
    • are monitored by the class teacher, who rotates and works with each group on a regular basis.
  • Each reading practice session has a clear focus, so that the demands of the session do not overload the children’s working memory.
  • The reading practice sessions have been designed to focus on three key reading skills:
    • decoding: segmenting and blending strategies and discussions surrounding phonemes and graphemes are a focus. 
    • prosody: teaching children to read with understanding and expression
    • comprehension: teaching children to understand the text.
  • In Reception these sessions start in Week 4. Children who are not yet decoding have daily additional blending practice in small groups, so that they quickly learn to blend and can begin to read books.
  • In Year 2 and beyond, we continue to teach reading in this way for any children who still need to practise reading with decodable books.

Supporting your child at home


Everybody-read-leaflet-for-parents.pdf (littlewandlelettersandsounds.org.uk

Although your child will be taught to read at school, you can have a huge impact on their reading journey by continuing their practice at home.

There are two types of reading book that your child may bring home:

A reading practice book. This will be at the correct phonic stage for your child. They should be able to read this fluently and independently.

A sharing book.  Your child will not be able to read this on their own. This book is for you both to read and enjoy together.

Reading practice book

This book has been carefully matched to your child’s current reading level. If your child is reading it with little help, please don’t worry that it’s too easy – your child needs to develop fluency and confidence in reading.

Listen to them read the book. Remember to give them lots of praise – celebrate their success! If they can’t read a word, read it to them. After they have finished, talk about the book together.

Sharing book

In order to encourage your child to become a lifelong reader, it is important that they learn to read for pleasure. The sharing book is a book they have chosen for you to enjoy together.

Please remember that you shouldn’t expect your child to read this alone. Read it to or with them. Discuss the pictures, enjoy the story, predict what might happen next, use different voices for the characters, explore the facts in a non-fiction book. The main thing is that you have fun!

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