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Woodside Primary School

Believe, Achieve, Succeed

Phonics and Reading

The following bullet points are the aims of the Reading curriculum and link to the whole curriculum intent by enabling a broad, linked theme focused progression where children are given the opportunity to study a wide range of topics through an enquiry based learning model. 

To ensure that all pupils:  

  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding  
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information  
  • acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language  
  • appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
  • use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas


We follow the National Curriculum as we believe it sets out a clear path of learning ready for the next education phase. Reading underpins children’s access to the curriculum and it clearly impacts on their achievement. There is considerable research to show that children who enjoy reading and choose to read benefit not only academically, but also socially and emotionally.

To be able to read, children need to be taught an efficient strategy to decode words. That strategy is phonics. Phonic decoding skills must be practised until children become automatic and fluent when reading. Fluent decoding is only one component of reading. Comprehension skills need to be taught to enable children to make sense of what they read, build on what they already know and give them a desire to want to read. Reading increases children’s vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech.


Phonics-Little Wandle

Why did Woodside choose Little Wandle?

Little Wandle carefully maps out the order, which the phonics will be taught, and this shows the progression through the framework. Teachers explicitly follow the plans set out within the scheme which enables them to teach at pace. All resources are provided by Little Wandle for daily lessons, reading practise. Basic training has been completed by all staff members but further training and CPD is always available on the Little Wandle website. and further training and CPD. Rigorous half termly assessments are carried out to ensure children are picking up phonics as they are taught and interventions (Daily Keep Up and Rapid Catch Up from Year 2) happen to where needed. In addition to this, there are a set of ‘tricky words’ that the children are required to learn by sight i.e. the, said.


How is your subject delivered in EYFS and KS1?

Nursery –As we follow Little Wandle Foundations in Nursery, we use their resources for phonics, Love for Reading and language. From teaching phonological awareness through nursery rhymes and tuning into phonics games as well as getting the most out of our story times, Little Wandle guides our teachers with informative videos, planning and resources. Nursery also leads a meeting with parents to ensure learning is being furthered at home in the same way.

Reception – We follow the planning schedule set out by Little Wandle- starting in the first full week that the children are in school. Resources provided with the scheme are used and the phonics is pure.

Year 1 –  There is a continuation of the Little Wandle Phonics Programme in Year 1. There is a revision of sounds before moving on. Phonics is taught daily and again the children will experience three reading practice sessions a week - as in Reception. 

In the summer term, the children take their Phonics Screening Check. We assess half termly, picking up on any children who have not grasped the phonics, enabling targeted phonics interventions to be put in place-Daily Keep Up. These targeted interventions are from the Little Wandle scheme. After three weeks of Daily Keep Up, an assessment will take place again to show the impact of our intervention. Some children may also be on the SEND version of Little Wandle.

Year 2- In Year 2, whole class daily reading practise happens every day. Those children who did not pass the PSC in year 1 or who are not fully secure with their phonics will be attending a Rapid Catch Up intervention programme and will be reading the relevant Little Wandle reading book (as explained above).


Children have phonics sessions daily, followed by three reading practice sessions a week, where they focus on the decoding, prosody and comprehension. The books read are carefully selected to rehearse phonics learnt in whole class sessions and develop fluency, prosody and comprehension. Children are grouped according to the GPCs that the children need to rehearse and move onto different books when their GPCs are secure for the next book or phase. The children are assigned their reading book at the beginning of the week to read at home. Parents are asked to read it every day with their child. The children share the same book all week with an adult, which allows for fluency, prosody and understanding as well as rehearsal of phonics skills. To instil a love of reading at home as well as school, the children choose a sharing book each week from the class library.


How is your subject delivered in KS2?

The teaching of phonics continues in Key stage 2 where children are not secure with their phonetic understanding. Targeted interventions are completed using Little Wandle-Rapid Catch Up. Assessments are then taken every three weeks to show the impact of the intervention and to show our next step as professionals. This is also the same as in our SEND programme too. When the children have been assessed as ‘fluent readers’ the children will then progress onto our coloured scheme books until they are free readers.


Within our KS2 reading curriculum, there is a strong focus on comprehension of text. Throughout the construction of our reading curriculum, we used the EEF research to ensure all key components such as word reading, teacher modelling and fluency are included within our framework to teach reading in KS2. Through our progression document, we have highlighted the specific skills EYFS-Year 6 will need to learn across their reading journey. These reading lessons will support these skills to flourish. Through this framework, we can foster the love of reading, include non-fiction text to support our teaching of the foundation subjects and cover a wide range of genres.


Teachers will also show that they are a reader too by reading to the children. Our reading spine offers a range of titles, authors, genres and more which are carefully selected to match our school community and enabling children to visualise themselves within books. 


How do you ensure that all children have access to your curriculum area? 

For readers who are no longer needing the Little Wandle programme, we ensure daily assessment for learning is used by all adults within lessons to support and adapt our reading curriculum. For example, we may use an adaptation through our text choice. We will have focused groups to ensure every child is successful and is making progress. To support our more able readers, we ensure that the text choice is challenging to enable higher order discussions and also hierarchical questioning is used to challenge children within our reading curriculum.


How do we ensure reading is brought to life outside of these lessons?

We recognise that reading is essential for the children to access other areas of the curriculum. Children are exposed to a variety of reading material across all areas of the curriculum. Our well stocked library is regularly visited by the children where they can select information books to read at home. 

To further reading for pleasure as a school, we want reading to be a part of the wider school too. We have completed a reading competition which encourages children of all ages to enjoy their reading books in different places. We also have a great link with our local library, who also attend school assemblies through the year to keep us up to date on many events they run. Through March, every child and adult through the school attends the library for a workshop. Parents/carers also help with these lovely visits and bring our reading to life. Woodside also enjoys annual World Book Week. We dress up, pair up older children with younger children and have even completed class book swaps.