Little Wandle Phonics

• We are passionate about research and improving practice to enable children to be successful learners. We worked with the English Hub to audit our teaching of phonics and the resources we used. 

• A completely consistent approach to planning, resources and delivery. This reduces the cognitive load of our learners, helping them to learn phonics quickly. 

• New decodable books for phonics phases 2 – 5, meaning early readers feel success very quickly. 

• Government guidance about validated phonics schemes, updates to the Ofsted framework and research (EEF)


What is Little Wandle Letters and Sounds? 


• An exciting, new DfE commissioned phonics scheme that puts emphasis on ensuring every child can read by the time they leave Year 1. 

• New resources, decodable reading books, letter formation phrases, mnemonics. 

• Built in ‘Keep Up’ sessions to ensure all children are supported.


How do we teach children to read? 


• Daily phonics, in Year 1 additional phonics are taught as part of our catch up plan. This will happen until the class are once again ‘on track’ 

• Regular exposure to taught sounds 

• Phonics as a route to decoding; to be able to blend to read and segment to spell. 

• Learnt in ‘phases’ as a whole class 

• 4 new sounds per week and a review lesson 

• Keep up sessions that may be 1:1 or group as needed 

• After 5 weeks of teaching the children are assessed on the sounds they have been learning, their blending skills, reading of words with key sounds and tricky words that have been introduced. 

• 3 reading practice sessions with a decodable book


Phonics Screening Check 


In June of Year 1, children will undertake a statutory assessment called the phonics screening check. This consists of 40 words (20 real and 20 nonsense). For the past few years, the pass mark has been 32 out of 40. If they don’t pass, they retake the check later in the year. They are currently working on the Little Wandle lessons that will support them to complete this assessment.


Children require 95% word understanding in order to have meaningful, comfortable comprehension. Previously, children would take home a colour banded or levelled book and pick any book from that band. This has been replaced by decodable books linked to phonics phases. The children will only read books with sounds they have previously learnt to enable fluency. Once they have ‘graduated phonics’ they will take home books as before.


Children will read 3 times per week on the same book focusing on different skills: -Decoding -Prosody (expression) -Comprehension. They will bring home a decodable book that contains words with the same focus sounds as the book they have been reading in school. They will keep this book for a week. You can use the prompts inside the front and back cover to support your child as they read. 


We ask that the book comes to school every day. This book is matched to your child’s phonic ability and should be fluent and automatic. The aim is that the children read at a 95% fluency. This means that the children should need little to no support reading the words. We assess them every 6 weeks to match their reading ability to the right book.


Year 2


Children in Year 2, depending on phonic ability, will either continue learning phonics or move on to learning spelling rules and grammar. They will continue to learn to read with fluency and expression as well as developing their comprehension through group reading sessions.


Helping your child at home 


You might find your child comes home with sounds they can practise, this may be on cards or a keyring – ask them to read the sounds until it is embedded, don’t forget to shuffle them! Some children learn to blend really quickly, and others take a little longer. If your child is finding it difficult, ask your child’s teacher for ways to help at home – playing blending games at home is so helpful! Please make sure you know how to pronounce the sounds! 


Read as often as possible – research shows that children who read for 20 minutes extra per day acquire 2 million more words per year = more fluency in daily reading. It would be great if the children were heard three times a week at school and another three times at home. Please ensure they have their reading book with them everyday. 


Promote a love of reading both with the decodable book and other books. Read to your child, ask questions, clarify the meaning of words, role play characters, discuss the pictures, predict what might happen next. Make reading a fun experience! Celebrate their success and achievements with reading.




The resources on this page will help you support your child with saying their sounds and writing their letters.

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!