Phonics & Early Reading

Little Wandle Phonics

Our school has chosen Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised as our systematic, synthetic phonics (SSP) programme to teach early reading and spelling. 

Terminology: Here is a link to a glossary which explains what the words we use at school mean.

Phonics glossary


We usually teach four new sounds a week and have a review lesson on a Friday.

Click the links below to understand how we pronounce and form these specific graphemes.

Reception pronunciation guide- autumn term 1

Reception pronunciation guide- autumn term 2

Reception pronunciation guide- spring term

Year 1 pronunciation guide

Progression Overview:

This programme overview shows the progression of GPCs and tricky words that we teach term-by-term. The progression has been organised so that children are taught from the simple to more complex GPCs, as well as taking into account the frequency of their occurrence in the most commonly encountered words. All the graphemes taught are practised in words, sentences, and later on, in fully decodable books. Children review and revise GPCs and words, daily, weekly and across terms and years, in order to move this knowledge into their long-term memory. Children need to learn to read as quickly as reasonably possible, so they can move from learning to read, to reading to learn, giving them access to the treasure house of reading.

For more information please click here- progression overview reception and year 1

Tricky words:

‘Tricky words’ are words that cannot easily be decoded (‘sounded out’ and read). This is because some of the sounds in the words are spelled in an unusual way. It is important for children to be able to read these words as they are among the most common words in English.

Below are the links to the tricky words your child will learn in Foundation Stage and Year 1.

Phase 2 tricky words: Reception Autumn term

Phase 3 tricky words: Reception Spring term

Phase 4 tricky words: Reception Summer term

Phase 5 tricky words: Year 1

Reading practice sessions:

The children read the same book three times in a week. The first time we work on decoding (sounding out) the words, the second time we work on prosody which is reading with expression – making the book sound more interesting with our story-teller voice– and the third time we look at comprehension. We read the books three times at school because we want to develop the fluency. The more they see words the more they begin to read them automatically without having to sound them out.

We assess your child every six weeks/half term to check progress. Any child who needs extra support has daily keep-up sessions planned for them.

This means that your child should:

  • Know all the sounds and tricky words in their phonics book well
  • Read many of the words by silent blending (in their head) – their reading will be automatic
  • Only need to stop and sound out about 5% of the words by the time they bring the book home – but they should be able to do this on their own.

Reading at home:

Your child will have received a letter which explains reading at home in detail. They will receive two books every Friday.

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!

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.

Here are some useful video links to show how we teach specific areas of phonics:

Blending- Watch the video below to understand how we teach blending. Playing blending games at home can be really useful for your child!

Phase 2 Sounds taught in Foundation Stage Autumn 1:

Phase 2 Sounds taught in Foundation Stage Autumn 2:

Phase 2 Sounds taught in Foundation Stage Spring 1:

Useful resources for home:

Capital letter formation

  • Grapheme mats

 Grapheme Mats – Phase 2 3 and 5