Phonics and Early reading

Early reading and phonics

Information for Reception class and Year 1’s parents

Following a recent change in government guidance, we decided to invest in a brand-new scheme for teaching early reading in our school, which we began in 2022. Already, we have seen a positive impact in both the pupil’s knowledge of phonics and their reading ability.

Phonics is taught daily to all children in Reception and Year 1 following a newly released phonics scheme called ‘Little Wandle – Letters and Sounds revised’.  This is a very thorough and rigorous programme, with all staff involved fully trained, and will teach pupils the skills they need to read.

Information of the content of what is taught can be found on this page as well as support to help you with the pronunciation of the phonemes.

With regards to reading, there are two different types of books that pupils have: ‘The sharing book’ and ‘The reading practice book’.

In class, pupils will read the same reading practice book three times in a week with an adult in a small group.

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

Pupils participating in Little Wandle

Every Friday, pupils take the book they read that week home. Please listen to them read the book at least twice over the weekend and return the book and reading record every Monday. Pupils should know all the sounds and tricky words in their phonics book well, read many of the words by silent blending (in their head) thus their reading will be automatic and they should only need to stop and sound out 5% of the words by the time they bring the book home but they should be able to do this on their own. If they cannot read a word, read it to them. Talk about the book and celebrate their success.

Pupils will take their reading record home on Friday, parents will need to indicate the amount of times they read to you over the weekend and leave a comment.

It is very important that the book is returned on a Monday as it could be needed by another pupil that week. Please look after these books.

The sharing book is SO important. This is how we are going to give them the WILL to read. Please read with your child as often as you can – at least once a day if possible. Your child will not necessarily be able to read this on their own. This book is for you both to read and enjoy together. 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 from their class library for you to enjoy together. Please read it with them and to them.  Enjoy the story and have fun! REMEMBER children are never too old to be read to! When reading with your child, try to…

  • Make the story sound as exciting as you can by changing your voice.
  • Talk with your child as much as you can.
  • Introduce new and exciting language.
  • Encourage your child to use new vocabulary.
  • Make up sentences together.
  • Find different words to use.
  • Describe things you see.

The sharing book can be changed daily if your child wishes. They have time to change their book every day between 8:50am-9:05am. They will also have the opportunity to choose books in our school library.