At Gosbecks Primary School we recognise that reading is a key life skill and that the ability to read brings life-long pleasure. The teaching of phonics and early reading throughout Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 is of the highest priority. Our vision is for all children to quickly become enthusiastic and motivated readers. They have the ability to recognise, blend and segment sounds, in order to read words, as well as reading sight words, in order to become confident, fluent readers, who show a good understanding of what they have read. This helps them across our broad and balanced curriculum. Our children read a wide range of high-quality genres and texts, promoting a love of literature and an enjoyment of reading for pleasure and for information, as well as using reading to promote reflective thinking. This starts with nursery rhymes and traditional stories in EYFS and ends with children reading a wide range of books in Year 6 from classics to modern literature with themes that reflect our current society.
At Gosbecks Primary School we strive to teach children to read effectively and quickly, following the Little Wandle Revised letters and sounds programme. This programme includes teaching synthetic phonics, sight vocabulary, decoding and encoding words as well as spelling and accurate letter formation. We passionately believe that teaching children to read and write independently, as quickly as possible, is one of the core purposes of a primary school. These fundamental skills not only hold the keys to the rest of the curriculum but also have a huge impact on children’s self-esteem and future life chances.
EYFS - Children are introduced to phonics at the beginning of the year. All children are taught phonics following Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which is a DFE validated phonics programme The programme is a systematic, synthetic approach to teaching phonics, with clear expectations that are laid out term by term. This marks the start to the structured and systematic approach to the teaching of phonics. The process of segmenting and blending whole words and selecting letters to represent those phonemes is taught. Little Wandle includes speed grapheme cards along with visuals to enable children to form a concrete image of how to write letters. During this phase the children are also introduced to reading and spelling common and tricky words. Approximately 4 new sounds are introduced each week. By the end of reception the children have been taught 50 sounds and have worked through phases 2-4. Embedded in to the programme are 6-weekly assessment tasks, which allow teachers to identify any children that may need extra support. Children are taught in their class year groups and then if children are identified needing support they are given intervention in a group or 1-1 session.
Year 1- All children in Year 1 continue to follow the Little Wandle structured and systematic phonics programme learning phase 5. Half termly assessment continues so that children are tracked and interventions happen quickly and efficiently to ensure that children remain on track.
Years 2 and above- All children in Year 2 follow the Little Wandle revision programme. Once they are secure, we move them onto Accelerated reader and spelling objectives. Children who need further support have regular intervention. Individual reading books for year 2- the children take home 2 reading books each week- 1 book that they can read fluently to be a celebration of their reading at home and a 2nd book which they may need some support reading with an adult.
Years 3 and above -Children who have not yet mastered phonics continue with phonics intervention (Dancing Bears/IDL). These interventions help these children to have frequent practice of these skills to support their retention of this knowledge and their application of their phonics skills.
All our staff (teachers and support staff) in KS1 have received intensive phonics training. We also provide peer support and feedback through observations and subject leader monitoring.
Individual Reading Books
Children are given regular opportunities to apply the phonics they have learned to reading fully decodable books. The phonic progression in the Little Wandle books we provide to the children match the progression of the programme. Reading practice sessions take place at least three times a week in Reception, Year 1 classes and Year 2 classes in the Autumn term. 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 focus on three key reading skills:
- Prosody – reading with meaning, stress and intonation
- Comprehension – understanding the text.
The same book is used over the three sessions and after the third read in school the book is sent home. The children should be reading the book with 95% fluency at home. Parents are encouraged to celebrate their child’s reading. The children also take home a weekly sharing book for parents to enjoy reading to them.
Children’s progress is continually reviewed to allow for movement between ability groups, and to plan interventions for those needing extra help. All children are formally assessed every six weeks in a planned assessment week. Once Little Wandle assessments are complete the programme highlights children for specific interventions. The resources needed are laid out on the Little Wandle scheme.
The national Phonics screening check is performed in June of Year 1. The purpose of the screening check is to confirm that all children have learned phonic decoding to an age appropriate standard. The children who did not meet the required standard for the check in year 1 enter again in year 2 and receive additional intervention support to help them reach the standard. As children enter KS2 provision is made for those children still requiring support with reading and spelling.
Parents and Carers
Welcome to our Phonics Curriculum page. We follow the Little Wandle letters and sounds revised framework at Gosbecks to teach the children phonics. Please visit the Little Wandle website using the link below.
There are lots of parent friendly resources for you to access including short videos for you to watch to help you to understand how we teach the children to read and write using the programme.