Phonics (reading & spelling)
At Alfriston Primary School, we believe that all our children can become fluent readers and writers. This is why we teach reading through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme. We start teaching phonics in Reception and follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds progression. which ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school.
As a result, all our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words as they read. At Alfriston Primary School we also model the application of the alphabetic code through phonics in shared reading and writing, both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on language development for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects.
Find out more and access some super resources on the Little Wandle Letters & Sounds website.
Following on from the September Phonics Meeting for Parents and Carers, please find below additional information regarding our phonics scheme - Little Wandle Letters & Sounds
Why learning to read is so important
- Reading is essential for all subject areas and improves life chances.
- Positive attitudes to reading and choosing to read have academic, social and emotional benefits for children.
How children learn to read
- Phonics is the only route to decoding.
- Learning to say the phonic sounds.
- By blending phonic sounds to read words.
- Increasing the child’s fluency in reading sounds, words and books.
Reading fully decodable books
- Children must read books consistent with their phonic knowledge.
- It is essential not to use other strategies to work out words (including guessing words, deducing meaning from pictures, grammar, context clues or whole word recognition).
- Books must be fully decodable and follow the Little Wandle Letters & Sounds scheme
- Children need to read books in a progressive sequence until they can decode unfamiliar words confidently.
The role of parents and carers
- Have a positive impact on their child’s reading.
- Should model the importance of reading practice to develop fluency.
- Children take home books they have read at school to re-read at home to build fluency.
- There are two different types of books that pupils bring home: reading practice and books to share for pleasure.
- Reading at home encourages a love of books, along with developing vocabulary and discussion.
- Parents should use voices, expression, discuss unfamiliar vocabulary, talk about the pictures, and predict what might happen next.
- Give positive yet informative feedback in the home reading diary at least 3 times a week.
Supporting your child with reading
Although your child will be taught to read at school, you can have a huge impact on their reading journey by continuing their practice at home.
There are two types of reading book that your child may bring home:
- A reading practice book - this will be at the correct phonic stage for your child. They should be able to read this fluently and independently.
- A sharing book - your child will not be able to read this on their own. This book is for you both to read and enjoy together.
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.
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!
Supporting your child at home video
Here is a link to our phonics progression from Reception to Year 1
Programme Overview Reception and Year 1
Useful videos for parents
Useful Phonics videos for parents and carers
Phase 2 sounds taught in Reception Autumn 1
Phase 2 sounds taught in Reception Autumn 2
Phase 3 sounds taught in Reception Spring 1
How we teach blending
Quick guide to Alien words
How we teach tricky words