Welcome to the Phonics section. Here we will give you information about phonics and what/how we teach it here at Horton Kirby Primary.

At Horton Kirby Primary School Phonics is taught using the structure of our systematic synthetic programme ‘Little Wandle Letters & Sounds’.

What is Little Wandle Letters & Sounds?

It is a comprehensive programme which provides a multi-sensory approach, using letter frames, flash cards, phonic games and listening activities.  Using the Little Wandle Letters & Sounds lesson structure, each session will follow the same format of introduce, revisit and review, teach, practise and apply.

Phonics is split up into five phases. It is taught in Reception and Year 1. The Phonics programme overview shows the progression of GPCs and tricky words that we teach term-by-term. The progression has been organised so that children are taught from the simple to more complex GPCs, as well as taking into account the frequency of their occurrence in the most commonly encountered words. Children work on decoding, segmenting and blending in every lesson. Children are exposed and use the correct subject specific technical vocabulary (such as phoneme, digraph, trigraph).  All the graphemes taught are practised in words, sentences, and later on, in fully decodable books. Children review and revise GPCs and words, daily, weekly and across terms and years, in order to move this knowledge into their long term memory. Children need to learn to read as quickly as reasonably possible, so they can move from learning to read, to reading to learn, giving them access to the treasure house of reading. Our lessons are designed to meet the children’s needs based on our on-going phonic assessments. This informs planning and streaming within year groups. Children who are not keeping-up with their peers will be given additional practice immediately through keep-up sessions.

Reception Phonic Programme Overview

Phase 2,3 + 4  – Taught in Reception

Year 1 Phonic Programme Overview

Review Phase 3 + 4

Introduce Phase 5 – Taught in Year 1

Reading Practice Sessions

Children in Reception and Year 1 will participate in Reading Practice Sessions with a teacher. The books the children will be reading in these sessions are the Big Cat Little Wandle Books. These books will be carefully matched to the child’s current reading level. The children will read the same book three times, focusing on different reading skills in each session.

Session 1 Decoding – the children will apply their phonic knowledge to read words.

Session 2 Prosody – the children will read the book again and practise reading with prosody so the children develop reading with appropriate meaning, stress and intonation. It provides an opportunity to explore characters’ feelings, what words mean and how punctuation adds to the meaning.

Session 3 Comprehension – Initially, in Reception, the focus will be on identifying key aspects of the text, retrieval and prediction. The children will be reading detectives where they will find clues in the book to answer questions.

The children will draw on their knowledge of vocabulary to understand texts. They will:

  • Identify/explain key aspects of fiction and non-fiction texts.
  • Identify and explain the sequence of events in the text.
  • Inference and deduction.
  • Prediction.

Children will then take this book home after their three sessions. We aim for the children to be able to read the book with 90% fluency.

How you can help at home:

Phonic books will be sent home. Teachers will put the GPC’S the children have learnt in their Phonic sessions, in their Phonic Books, for the children to take home. Regular practice of these GPC’s will support your child in their reading and writing.

Please refer to the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds website for correct pronunciation.

Click the link below:

The children will bring phonetically decodable books home that are matched to their phonic ability, to read to their parent/carer! This will aid application, speed and fluency- developing speedy reading! 

The children will also bring home a sharing book that they can talk about and enjoy with their parent/carer.

Phonics Screening Check

Children in Year 1 throughout the country will all be taking part in a Statutory Phonics Screening Check in June. Children in Year 2 will also take the check if they did not achieve the required result when in Year 1 or they have not taken the test before. The phonics screening check is designed to confirm whether individual children have learnt phonic decoding and blending skills to an appropriate standard.

What Happens During the Screening?

The test contains 40 words. Each child will sit one-to-one and read each word aloud to their teacher. The test will take approximately 10 minutes per child, although all children are different and will complete the check at their own pace. The list of words the children read is a combination of 20 real words and 20 pseudo words (nonsense words).  The pseudo words will be shown to your child with a picture of an alien. This provides the children with a context for the pseudo word which is independent from any existing vocabulary they may have. Pseudo words are included because they will be new to all pupils; they do not favour children with a good vocabulary knowledge or visual memory of words. We prepare children by introducing them to ‘alien’ words throughout their daily lessons using sounds that they have learnt. The pass mark last year was 32/40.

KS2 – Phonics

If the children need further support in their Phonics when they move into KS2, they will be put in an intervention that is tailored to them.

Phonics Information and documents

Phonics Information Booklet

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Phonics Screening Check Letter

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Phonics Screening Parents Information Powerpoint

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Capital Letter Formation

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Pronunciation Guide EYFS Autumn 1

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Pronunciation Guide EYFS Autumn 2

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