At St Peter’s, we use Little Wandle Letters and Sounds to teach phonics in EYFS and KS1.
What is Little Wandle Letters & Sounds?
Letters and Sounds is a phonics resource published by the Department for Education and Skills in 2007.
Little Wandle Letters and Sounds is a complete systematic synthetic phonics programme (SSP) developed for schools by schools. Based on the original Letters and Sounds, but extensively revised to provide a complete teaching programme meeting all the expectations of the National Curriculum, the Ofsted Deep Dive into reading and preparing your children to go beyond the expectations of the Phonics Screening Check.
It aims to build children's speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting by the age of five, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven.
Letters and Sounds is divided into six phases, with each phase building on the skills and knowledge of previous learning.
Letters and Sounds Phases
Phase One (Nursery /Reception)
The aim of this phase is to foster children’s speaking and listening skills as preparation for learning to read with phonics. Parents can play a vital role in helping their children to develop these skills, by encouraging their children to listen carefully and talk extensively about what they hear, see and do.
Phase Two – Four (Reception / Year One)
Phase Two is when systematic, high quality phonic work begins. During Phase Two to Four, children learn:
- How to represent each of the 42 sounds by a letter or sequence of letters.
- How to blend sounds together for reading and how to segment (split) words for spelling.
- Letter names e.g. through an alphabet song.
- How to read and spell some high frequency ‘tricky’ words containing sounds not yet learnt (e.g. they, my, her, you).
Phase Five (Year 1)
Children learn new ways of representing the sounds and practice blending for reading and segmenting for spelling.
Phase Six (Year 1/ Year 2)
During this phase, children become fluent readers and increasingly accurate spellers.
Children in EYFS and Year 1 have a fast-paced phonics session each day. Children are regularly assessed on their letter recognition and reading. As required, children are organised into small groups. These groups are organised according to the children’s specific needs, and the specific sounds, letters and comprehension skills needed are taught in a secure and engaging way. The sessions follow the same pattern of:
- Revise: The children will revise previous learning.
- Teach: New phonemes or high frequency or tricky words will be taught.
- Practice: The children will practise the new learning by reading and/or writing the words.
- Apply: The children will apply their new learning by reading or writing sentences
Helping your child with phonics
You can see our parent's guide to Phonics here
Year 1 Phonics Check
Information taken from theschoolrun.com:
The Phonics Screening Check is meant to show how well your child can use the phonics skills they’ve learned up to the end of Year 1, and to identify pupils who need extra phonics help. The Department for Education defines the checks as “short, light-touch assessments” that take about four to nine minutes to complete.
The checks consist of 40 words and non-words that your child will be asked to read one-to-one with a teacher. Non-words (or nonsense words, or pseudo words) are a collection of letters that will follow phonics rules your child has been taught, but don’t mean anything – your child will need to read these with the correct sounds to show that they understand the phonics rules behind them.
The 40 words and non-words are divided into two sections – one with simple word structures of three or four letters, and one with more complex word structures of five or six letters. The teacher administering the check with your child will give them a few practice words to read first – including some non-words – so they understand more about what they have to do. Each of the non-words is presented with a picture of a monster/alien, as if the word were their name (and so your child doesn't think the word is a mistake because it doesn't make sense!).
We will administer the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check in the summer term, week beginning TBC.