• Language

Westover Green Community School and Autism Centre

Phonics and Early Reading

At Westover Green we teach early reading through the validated systematic, synthetic phonics programme 'Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised' which we have just purchased and implemented in 2022.

Phonic Lessons

Right from the start of Reception, children have a daily phonics lesson which follows the progression for Little Wandle Letters and Sounds and this continues in Year One to ensure children become fluent readers.

In Reception, we build from 10-minute lessons, with additional daily oral blending games, to the full-length lesson as quickly as possible. Each Friday, we review the week’s teaching to help children become fluent readers. Children make a strong start in Reception: teaching begins in Week 2 of the Autumn term.

We follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised expectations of progress (see below). Four new phonemes and their Grapheme Phoneme Correspondence (GPC) are taught each week and they are then used in the final lesson of the week to review the week’s learning. Children will also learn tricky words during these sessions.

In the Autumn and Spring term, Reception learn phase 2 and phase 3 GPCs and then will spend the final term learning phase 4. Year 1 begin the Autumn term with 3 weeks of revision of phases 2, 3 and 4 before learning phase 5, which will be completed by the end of the year. Year 2 children will begin the year by revisiting phase 5 and other previously taught phases to ensure all children are completely confident with applying these GPCs in both their reading and also their writing (Please see the overview here for what this progression looks like).

Little Wandle Overview: Programme Progression - Please click here

Little Wandle Glossary of Terms - Please click here

Half termly assessments take place through Reception and Year 1 to help inform future teaching and help identify children who have gaps in their phonic knowledge and need additional practice. Daily assessment of learning also takes place within the classroom so staff can quickly identify any children who are in danger of falling behind and provide the appropriate daily ‘Keep Up’ intervention.

Reading Practice Sessions

In addition to the Phonic lessons, children in Reception and Year 1 (as well as any children who are accessing Phonics in Y2-Y6) read fully decodable books with an adult 3 times per week during our ‘Reading Practice’ sessions. These books are then sent home for your child to build their reading fluency and demonstrate their developing skills and phonetic knowledge to you as parents/carers.

These 3 reading practice sessions each have a different focus;

  1. Decoding (sounding out the word)
  2. Prosody (giving the text meaning)
  3. Comprehension (understanding what has been read)

Supporting your child with reading at home

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 will bring home in Reception and Year 1: Reading practice phonics book and Sharing book

Reading practice phonics book

This book has been carefully matched to your child’s current reading level. They will have read this book three times during the reading sessions before it is brought home. 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, ask them to decode (sound it out) and blend it. After they have finished, talk about the book together.

Below are videos to help with Phonetic pronunciation as well as a parent sheet to support.

Phase 2 sounds taught in Reception Autumn 1 Phase 2 sounds taught in Reception Autumn 2 Phase 3 sounds taught in Reception Spring 1 Phase 5 sounds taught in Year 1
Download a guide to how children are taught to say their sounds.

Reception Phase 2 Autumn 1 sounds


Reception Phase 2 Autumn 2 sounds


Reception Phase 3 Spring sounds


Year 1 Phase 5 sounds


Sharing book

The sharing book is a book the children 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 and enjoy the story together.

Year 1 Phonics Screening Check

Children in Year One take part in an individual Phonics Screening Check in the Summer term normally in June.

If any pupil did not sit or did not pass their phonics screening check in Year 1, they will be required to take them in Year 2 in the Summer term.