Phonics & Reading

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Click on this Little Wandle Letters & Sounds icon to find out how you can support your child with phonics



"And said to him, hear you what they say? And Jesus said, Yes; have you never read..." Matthew 21:16

What if there were no books?

This is such a deep question for us to consider, isn't it? Books inspire us, the words inside them allow us to dream of worlds beyond our comprehension, and sometimes even give us the strength to make those dreams come true...

Phonics: Little Wandle

At Wharton CofE Primary School, Phonics is a high priority and it is essential that our approach to teaching phonics and reading is accessible to all learners, regardless of background, and that it promotes and fosters a life-long love of reading from the very beginning of their school journey. 

We teach phonics from the beginning of Reception and through Year 1, and to those in Year 2 and Key Stage 2 who have not yet passed the phonics screening check in Year 1. Children are taught to phonically decode and blend through a daily discrete phonics lesson. We follow the Little Wandle for Letters and Sounds programme. The children are taught phonics in ability groups within their year group and as children progress and become fluent and confident at identifying, decoding and blending phonemes, phonics lessons focus more on grammar, spelling and spelling rules. Continual assessment informs teachers of next steps and ensures progression.

Our early readers use Big Cat Collins phonically decodable books to practise their reading skills in school and to take home. Pupils will bring home a phonically decodable book each Friday, which they have already read in school three times with their teacher in reading practice sessions. After practising the book at home, children return the book the following Tuesday. 

Pathways to Read

'Reading widely and often increases pupils’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. Reading also feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious young minds.' The National Curriculum on reading

Our intent is for all pupils to be capable readers and writers with the ability to transfer their English skills to other subjects using a wide range of purposeful vocabulary.

We encourage the children as readers, who select texts for purpose and pleasure. Books and reading are at the heart of everything we do. 

At Wharton CofE Primary School, we use a Mastery approach to reading through the Pathways to Read’ progressive scheme of work. The units of work are delivered using high-quality texts and children in all year groups are given varied opportunities for reading. Skills are built up through repetition within the units, and our children apply these skills in the reading activities provided. 

From years 2 to 6, we teach weekly whole class shared and guided reading lessons with related activities and questioning, as well as individual reading opportunities. There is a clear teaching focus with the opportunity to master key reading skills in each session – retrieval, clarifying vocabulary, comprehension and inference. Follow-up tasks enable pupils to evidence the skills they have mastered. For pupils still needing support with phonics from years 2-6, we provide individual reading support that uses phonically decodable texts.

Reading for Pleasure

Reading for pleasure is an activity that has real emotional and social consequences. There is a growing body of evidence which illustrates the importance of reading for pleasure for both educational purposes as well as personal development. The evidence strongly supports the argument that those who read more are better readers.  Reference: DFE-57519-2012

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