At Holy Family, we highly value the process that children will go through in order to become successful readers. Beginning with the foundations of speaking, listening and sound discrimination in Nursery, to progressing whole class and group phonics sessions in Reception, we build on these fundamental skills to begin children’s path to being lifelong readers. We use Little Wandle Letters and Sounds to help us teach phonics at Holy Family.
In EYFS and KS1, we continue the phonics journey, using daily synthetic phonics and Guided Read sessions, in conjunction with daily English lessons, as a springboard to developing a love of reading. Children are also fully prepared for the national Year 1 Phonics Screening Check that happens every year in the summer term of Year 1.
Throughout our phonics teaching we focus on many different aspects of reading. In particular the following skills:
- Word reading – children will learn to decode words using a DfE accredited phonics programme called Little Wandle Letters and Sounds. Children will be regularly assessed on their segmenting, blending and reading skills each term, enabling us to target children who are struggling and ensure every child is a reader with targeted interventions.
- Comprehension – it is imperative that children show understanding of what they have read. Therefore, we work hard with children to ensure that comprehension skills are highly valued from EYFS right up until Year 6. We support children with this with Guided Read groups, whole class, one-to-one and independent reading from EYFS – KS2. Regular assessment of these skills enables us to meet the needs of every child and provide support and challenge for our readers.
The Little Wandle website has some great resources for parents. You can access it here: https://www.littlewandlelettersandsounds.org.uk/resources/for-parents/. On the website you will find videos that demonstrate how to say the sounds your child will be learning at school. Below are some documents that will be helpful as your child progressing through their phonics and reading journey with us, including ‘sound mats’ that detail the sounds your child will learn in Reception and Year 1 and also the progression. (Please note that as we started this scheme part way through the year, the exact term dates for coverage may not be accurate for the academic year 2021-2022 as we have had some time of crossover between phonic schemes.)
From Reception, children will be sent home with both a reading and a ‘Sharing Book’. We also offer a phonics workshop with parents in Reception, this year’s presentation can be found here:
Please see a copy of a letter sent to all parents detailing our new phonics scheme here: (Phonics letter). Parents in EYFS and KS1 can support their child’s phonics in the following ways (taken from the Little Wandle website):
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.
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!