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Little Wandle: Letters and Sounds



At Barnham CEVC Primary School, we recognise reading as a key life skill, which underpins access to the rest of the curriculum. We aim for children to read words and simple sentences by the end of Reception, become successful, fluent readers by the end of Key Stage 1 and develop a lifelong love of reading as they move through school. The systematic teaching of synthetic phonics, using Little Wandle: Letters and Sounds, is given a high priority throughout Early Years and Key Stage 1. Children need to learn key phonic knowledge and develop skills in segmenting and blending to complete the phonics check at the end of Year 1 and as part of developing fluency in reading.  We also value and encourage pupils to read for enjoyment and recognise that this starts with the foundations of acquiring letter sounds, segmenting and blending skills – enjoying success and gaining confidence from a positive experience. 


We aim to ensure that all pupils:

  • have a secure understanding of Phases 2 and 3 in the First Class Phonics programme; 
  • are able to segment and blend words within Phases 2 and 3, in terms of reading and blending words with graphemes learnt from Phase 3, in order to start Phase 4 at the start of the Autumn term in Year 1;
  • are introduced to the ‘tricky words’ early in the Autumn term in Reception and aim to read and write the high frequency words for Phase 2 to 3 before they enter Year 1; 
  • have completed Phase 4 and 5 in Year 1 and be ready to begin The Spelling Book by Jane Considine in Year 2.



Through the teaching of phonics following the Little Wandle: Letters and Sounds, the children are taught the essential skills needed for reading. Phonics is taught daily to all children in Reception and KS1. Phonics teaching is systematic, engaging, lively and interactive. Each phonics lesson includes the following elements:

  • Revisit and review - overlearn the previous graphemes and words
  • Teach and practise - introduce new phoneme / grapheme / words
  • Practise and apply - develop GPCs (grapheme phoneme correspondences), read and spell new words and secure knowledge of new phonemes
  • Grow the code - looking for correspondence between same phonemes but different graphemes (eg, ai, ay, a-e)


Extra support is provided to those in Year 2 (and in Year 3 where appropriate) who have not passed phonics screening in Year 1 and interventions are planned for those children who are working below expected levels using Little Wandle: Letter and Sounds Keep Up Programme.


Staff systematically teach learners the relationship between sounds and the written spelling patterns, or graphemes, which represent them.  In Reception, phonics is taught through daily whole class teaching input, small group activities and through continuous provision.  Staff ensure phonics is an integrated part of all learning in Reception, making links across the Early Years Curriculum as children explore the environment.  In Year 1 and Year 2 phonics is taught through a whole class teaching input, then differentiated activities for groups linked to the graphemes learning. Targeted intervention through KS1 for the teaching of phonics is organised into small groups, outside of the phonics lesson, depending on children’s prior phonics knowledge, and looking at where individuals need challenge or support. Where extra intervention is necessary, this is provided for children throughout Key Stage 1 and 2. 


Pupils have regular reading sessions with an adult to ensure they are regularly practising and applying their phonics knowledge. This includes extra one-to-one reading for those children who are most vulnerable to enable them to catch up to meet age related expectations.  In the EYFS the continuous provision matches children’s current knowledge and understanding whilst ensuring the children are suitably challenged. 

Teachers regularly assess children’s phonics knowledge using Little Wandle: Letters and Sounds assessment.  These regular assessments inform planning and allow teachers to identify any gaps in learning.  Children have phonically decodable reading books matched to their phonics knowledge which they are encouraged to read regularly at home to ensure fluency in reading is developed.  Books are chosen from our school reading schemes, including books from Oxford Reading Tree, Dandelion Phonic Readers and Letters and Sounds.

To find out more about Little Wandle: Letters and Sounds, click here:

Phonics & Early Reading Policy

Correct pronunciation of sounds

These three videos show you how to pronounce the sounds.  Notice how the children don’t add an ‘uh’ sound at the end, so they say: ‘t’ not ‘tuh’.