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Phonics Vision Statement


At Kentisbeare Primary School, we value reading as a crucial life skill. We believe that early reading and phonics is the gateway to learning, underpinning the whole school curriculum and opening up a world of possibilities for our children. We aspire to create enthusiastic, confident, and engaged readers, that harness a love of reading, and a curious and inquisitive attitude towards exploring and understanding what they have read. We encourage our children to see themselves as readers for both pleasure and purpose and equip them with the skills to tackle words, phrases and sentences, along with a range of new language and vocabulary.





  • For our pupils to have a strong knowledge and understanding of letters and sounds.
  • For our pupils to develop a love of reading.
  • For our pupils to read with fluency and prosody.
  • For our pupils to have an enhanced understanding of what they are reading.
  • For our pupils to be skilled in applying their knowledge of phonics to other areas of learning.


Our aim is for all children to have a secure and 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. From Reception, Phonics is taught following the Little Wandle Revised Letters and Sounds Programme, which ensures a consistent and systematic approach to the teaching and learning of phonics. Children have discrete, daily phonics teaching following the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised progression. Teachers draw upon observations and continuous assessment to ensure children are stretched and challenged and to identify children who may need additional support.

At Kentisbeare Primary School, we encourage and support the application of phonics within shared reading and writing, both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the wider curriculum.

Staff are dedicated to advocating the love and pleasure of reading by immersing children in stories through shared reading and encouraging discussion around books. Whilst early reading is explicitly taught through phonics, it is also interwoven into all aspects of learning across the school curriculum. 



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 word cards, as well as the interactive whiteboard, for review teaching and sentence level work. 
  • Little Wandle phonics lessons will be tailored to ensure that every child’s phonics needs are met within whole-class teaching.
    • Word and 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.

Phonics in Year 2

Phonics does not end with the Phonics Screening Check, or even at the end of Year 1, but rather when all children have mastered the alphabetic code. Phonics teaching in Year 2 will depend on their final Year One assessments.  

  • Autumn Term 1 - Children in Year 2 will receive daily 30 minute phonics lessons with a focus on reviewing previous learning and plugging the gaps from Year One. Teachers will use previous assessment data to determine their planning and teaching, ensuring these gaps have been taught discreetly. 
  • Autumn Term 2 - Children will be introduced to Little Wandle's five-week 'Phase 5 review' programme for Year 2. 
  • Spring Term 1 - Children will move onto Little Wandle's five-week 'Bridge to Spelling' programme for Year 2.
  • Spring Term 2 and beyond - Children will progress onto Little Wandle's 20 week 'Spelling' programme for Year 2. 


Additional Support and Catch-Up 

Reception and Year One

Those children in Reception and Year One who require additional support with reading and phonics will receive daily Keep - Up sessions with a trained adult. These sessions will include the teaching, practice and review of areas those individuals or groups are not yet secure with. Children in Reception and Year One who are receiving these sessions will also have regular opportunties to read their matched decodable book to an adult throughout the week.

Year Two and beyond

  • Those children in Year 2 and beyond who require additional phonics teaching and intervention, will receive daily Rapid Catch-Up support. This support will include the teaching, practice and review of areas those individuals or groups are not yet secure with, as well as three weekly practice reads, using matched decodable books. 


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 using the Little Wandle Letters and Sound Revised assessments and book matching grids on pages 11–20 of ‘Application of phonics to reading’.

  • 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

  • prosody: teaching children to read with understanding and expression

  • comprehension: teaching children to understand the text.

​- Children will continue to receive three weekly reading sessions until they have read Phase 5 Set 5 books for at least six weeks. Once they have done this, they will take the final core programme Phase 5 fluency assessment. If the assessments show that they can read at 60-70+ words per minute with an accuracy rate of at least 90%, then children are ready to exit the Little Wandle Revised programme.


Nurturing a culture of reading for pleasure

‘Reading for pleasure is the single most important indicator of a child’s success.’ (OECD 2002)

‘The will influences the skill and vice versa.’ (OECD 2010) ·

We read to children every day. We choose these books carefully as we want children to experience a wide range of books, including books that reflect the children at Kentisbeare Primary School and our local community as well as books that open windows into other worlds and cultures.​

  • We read to children every day. We choose these books carefully as we want children to experience a wide range of books, including books that reflect the children at Kentisbeare Primary School and our local community as well as books that open windows into other worlds and cultures.
  • Every classroom has an inviting book corner that encourages a love for reading. We curate these books and talk about them to entice children to read a wide range of books.
  • In Reception, children have access to the reading corner every day in their free flow time and the books are continually refreshed.
  • Children from Reception onwards have a home reading record. The parent/carer records comments to share with the adults in school and the adults will write in this on a regular basis to ensure communication between home and school.
  • As the children progress through the school, they are encouraged to write their own comments and keep a list of the books/authors that they have read.
  • All children are able to access the school and class library and choose a book to take home and share weekly.
  • The school library is made available for classes to use at protected times. Children across the school have regular opportunities to engage with a wide range of Reading for Pleasure events (library visits and talks etc)


Ensuring consistency and pace of progress  

● 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.  

● Weekly content grids map each element of new learning to each day, week and term for the duration of the programme.  

● Lesson templates, Prompt cards and ‘How to’ videos ensure teachers all have a consistent approach and structure for each lesson.  

● The Reading Leader and SLT use the Audit and Prompt cards to regularly monitor and observe teaching; they use the summative data to identify children who need additional support and gaps in learning.




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 for Reception and Year 1 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.


- A placement assessment is used:

  • with any child new to the school in Reception and Year 1 to quickly identify any gaps in their phonic knowledge and plan and provide appropriate extra teaching.

- Statutory assessment

  • Children in Year 1 sit the Phonics screening check. Any child not passing the check re-sits it in Year 2.

​- Fluency assessments measure children’s accuracy and reading speed in short one-minute assessments. They are used:

  • in Year 1, when children are reading the Phase 5 set 3, 4 and 5 books

  • with children following the Rapid Catch-up programme in Years 2 to 6, when they are reading the Phase 5 set 3, 4 and 5 books

  • to assess when children are ready to exit their programme.

For Year 1 children, this is when they read the final fluency assessment at 60–70+ words per minute. Older children can exit the Rapid Catch-up programme when they read the final fluency assessment at 90+ words per minute. At these levels, children should have sufficient fluency to tackle any book at age-related expectations. After exiting their programme, children do not need to read any more fully decodable books.


Children in Year 2 to 6 are assessed through:​

  • the Rapid Catch-up initial assessment to quickly identify any gaps in their phonic knowledge and plan appropriate teaching

  • the Rapid Catch-up summative assessments to assess progress and inform teaching.

The Rapid Catch-up assessment is also used with any child new to the school in Year 2 and above to quickly identify any gaps in their phonic knowledge and plan and provide appropriate extra teaching.


Supporting your child at home

Although your child will be taught to read at school, parents can have a huge impact on their reading journey by continuing their practice at home. It is essential to children’s progress that families understand the benefits of sharing books, how children learn to blend and other aspects of our provision.

  • We use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised parents’ resources to engage our families and share information about phonics. We share the research behind the importance and impact of sharing quality children’s books with parents through workshops, leaflets and the Everybody read! resources.


There are two types of reading books that children will bring home:

- Reading practice book 

The decodable reading practice book is taken home to ensure success is shared with the family.

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

We strongly encourage reading this book at least three times. This will hugely benefit your child's reading fluency, confidence and understanding! The more they read and familiarise themselves with the words, sentences and whole text, the more successful they will be!

- 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, your child will not be able to read this on their own. 


Please visit this link for more information on reading with your child: 


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


Videos to support your knowledge of sounds taught and correct pronunciation.

Phase 2 Autumn 1
Phase 2 Autumn 2
Phase 3 Spring 1
Phase 5 Yr1
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