At Lynsted and Norton Primary School, we aim to develop confident, fluent and passionate readers and writers from an early stage. We use Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised which is a complete systematic synthetic phonics programme (SSP). This is a process that first teaches the letter sounds, building up to blending these sounds together to achieve full pronunciation of whole words.
Application of phonics to reading The National Curriculum for English (2014) aims to ensure that all pupils:
- read easily, fluently and with good understanding
- develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
- acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language.
Reading underpins children’s access to the curriculum and it clearly impacts on their achievement. There is considerable research to show that children who enjoy reading and choose to read benefit not only academically, but also socially and emotionally. To be able to read, children need to be taught an efficient strategy to decode words. That strategy is phonics. It is essential that children are actively taught and supported to use phonics as the only approach to decoding. Other strategies must be avoided. Phonic decoding skills must be practised until children become automatic and fluent reading is established.
Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised
At Lynsted and Norton Primary School we use Little Wandle Letters and Sounds revised programme as our phonics programme. Fluent decoding is only one component of reading. Comprehension skills need to be taught to enable children to make sense of what they read, build on what they already know and give them a desire to want to read. Reading increases children’s vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. Furthermore, children who read widely and frequently also have more secure general knowledge.
Reading Practice Sessions
Children are given regular opportunities to apply the phonics they have learned by reading fully decodable books. The phonic progression in these books must match the progression of Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised. Reading practice sessions take place at least three times a week. 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:
- prosody – reading with meaning, stress and intonation
- comprehension – understanding the text.
In order to ensure a successful reading practice session, prior preparation is key. The following resources are prepared in advance of the sessions:
- grapheme cards
• word cards
• tricky word cards
• pages from the book which will be used to model prosody
• comprehension questions
• reading books
Content and Structure
The reading practice sessions have a clear structure:
• Pre-read: Revisit and review
• Reading practice: Practice and apply
• Review: Pacey review of any misconceptions and explanation of what is expected for home reading.
Pre-read: Revisit and review
It is important to start every reading practice session with a ‘revisit and review’. This will enable the children to bring the GPCs they have learned to the forefront of their memory. This makes it easier for them to automatically recall the words and set them up to succeed when they read the book. This part of the session is short and pacey. It provides the ideal opportunity to:
• revise the graphemes the children should already know
• practise fluently reading three or four words from the book, applying their phonic knowledge
• revise the tricky words that appear in the book
• Teach the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary.
Reading practice: Practise and apply
‘Practise and apply’ is the main part of the reading sessions. The specific content will vary according to the key reading skill being taught. When the focus for the reading practice session is decoding, each child reads the book independently, applying their phonic skills. The session which focuses on prosody, should begin with an opportunity for the children to read the book independently to practise their fluency, followed by the teacher/teaching assistant working with the reading group on how to develop prosody and practise this skill. In the third session, the focus is on comprehension. When the children are reading independently, the teacher/teaching assistant moves round the group, ‘tapping in’ to listen to each child read for two or three pages, depending on the length of the text.
At the end of the reading practice session, it is important to leave a few minutes to pick up on any common misconceptions and explain the home reading practice.
Support for parents
This link will take you to the progression document, so that you can see when your child would learn each sound Programme overview.
Click here for a Pronounciation guide
This link will take you to the parents section of the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds website; there are some really helpful videos on here Videos for parents
Click here for our Early Reading and Phonics policy