At Kenilworth Primary School, we teach phonics through a scheme called Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised. We believe that for all children to become fluent readers and writers, phonics must be taught through a synthetic and structured phonics programme. This is a complete systematic synthetic phonics programme (SSP) developed for schools by schools. It is based on the original Letters and Sounds but has been extensively revised to provide a complete teaching programme which meets all the expectations of the National Curriculum. 

Phonics is taught daily for children working at Phases 1-5, and from Phase 2. Each session will follow the same format of introduce, revisit and review, teach, practise and apply. This ensures that children learn new sounds whilst applying taught sounds to their reading of new words. Children work on decoding, segmenting and blending in every lesson. Children are exposed to and use the correct subject specific technical vocabulary (such as phoneme, digraph, trigraph). These children have an additional 3 reading practise sessions per week, to help build fluency in decoding. 

How we teach phonics

  • In nursery, children follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised 'Foundations for Phonics' guidance. This focus is on daily oral blending and language development through high quality stories and rhymes. 
  • In Reception and Y1, children follow he progression within the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme. 
  • Phonics starts in Reception in week 2 to ensure the children make a strong start.
  • By the end of Reception, children will have been taught up to the end of phase 4. 
  • By the end of year 1, children will have been taught up to the end of phase 5
  • Reception lessons start at 10 minutes, with daily additional oral blending - increasing to 30 minutes as soon as possible
  • Y1 lessons are 30 minutes long.
  • In Year 2, phonic lessons are taught daily to children where appropriate - following the model of Little Wandle but plugging specific gaps identified through assessment. 

Reading Practice Sessions

  • Children across Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 (where appropriate) apply their phonics knowledge by using a fully matched decodable reader in a small group reading practice session.
  • These sessions are 20 minutes long and happen three times a week. There are approximately 6 children in a group. 
  • The sessions follow the model set out in Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised. 
  • The children then take the same book home the following week to ensure success is shared with the family. 

How do we assess phonic knowledge?

  • In reception and year 1, at the end of each week there is a review session which recaps the learning. There are also whole review weeks (pre-planned and bespoke review weeks to address gaps identified by the class teacher's ongoing formative assessment).
  • Children identified in reception and Y1 as in danger of falling behind are immediately identified and daily 'keep up' sessions are put in place - sessions follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme. 
  • In reception and Year 1, the children are assessed at the end of every half term using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessment tracker.
  • The children in Y1 sit the Phonics Screening Check in the summer term. 
  • Children who do not pass the Phonics Screening Check in Y1 will re-sit this in Y2. 
  • Children who are in Y2 and above and need 'catch up' sessions are assessed through teacher's ongoing formative assessment as well as half termly summative assessments. 

Parent Support

Here is a link to the 'For Parents' section of the Little Wandle website:  

The resources on this page will help you support your child with saying their phonemes (sounds) and writing their graphemes (letters). There are some useful videos so you can see how your child is taught at school, to be able to confidently support their reading at home. 

Little Wandle Parents' Presentation

Updated: 16/05/2022 25.41 MB

Little Wandle Programme Overview for Reception and Year 1

Updated: 25/04/2022 565 KB
Updated: 25/04/2022 566 KB

Little Wandle Grapheme Mats

Updated: 25/04/2022 1.33 MB
Updated: 25/04/2022 1.32 MB

Letter Formation Supports

Updated: 11/09/2023 263 KB
Updated: 25/04/2022 558 KB