Phonics and Early Reading

Phonics and Early Reading


Phonics and Early Reading at Honiton Primary School is taught using a DFE approved Systematic Synthetic Phonics programme called Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised.


How we teach Phonics


Our phonics teaching starts in nursery where children are exposed to high quality texts and rhymes to support language development and daily oral blending. 

In reception and year 1 children are taught in daily phonics sessions following the progressive Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme. 



  • Phonics teaching begins in week 2. 
  • By the end of reception children will have been taught the Grapheme-Phoneme-Correspondents (GPCs) and tricky words for phases 2, 3 and 4. 
  • Phonic sessions last for 15 minutes at the beginning of the year, increasing to 30 minutes.


This is a week by week progression map for the year of the phonics taught in reception. 

Year 1

  • Phonics teaching begins in the first week reviewing sounds and tricky words taught in reception for the first 4 weeks. 
  • By the end of year 1 all children will have been taught the GPCs and tricky words up to phase 5. 
  • Phonic sessions last for 30 minutes every day. 


This is a week by week progression map for the year of the phonics taught in year 1. 

Assessing Phonic Knowledge


Phonics is assessed daily, weekly and 1/2 termly in reception and year 1. 


  • In reception and year 1 there are weekly review sessions which recap the learning from that week. 
  • Children identified in reception and year 1 in danger of falling behind are immediately identified and daily 'keep up' sessions are put in place, following the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised Programme. 
  • Children in year 1 and reception are assessed using the Little Wandle assessment tracker. This allows staff to identify the whole class or individual needs. 
  • In the summer term of year 1 children complete the statutory Phonics Screening Check. Children who do not meet the expected standard have support put in place to meet the expected standard by the end of year 2. 

Reading in reception and key stage 1

Across our school, reading is taught daily. We encourage a love of reading, alongside explicit teaching of comprehension skills.  We expose children to a wide range of literature and genres & incorporate an intrinsic love for reading. 


  • Children are encouraged to use their phonics knowledge when reading in reception, year 1, year 2  (and beyond if appropriate) by using a fully matched decodable book. 
  • Children in reception and year 1 read in groups of approximately 6 children, 3 times a week with a text closely matched to their phonics knowledge. These sessions are about 15 to 20 minutes long. 
  • These sessions follow the Little Wandle model:


  1. Session 1: Decoding - discussing sounds in the book, reading 3-4 words fluently, recognising and reading some tricky words               
  2. Session 2: Prosody - reading the same text but with appropriate stress, meaning and intonation.                   
  3. Session 3: Comprehension - now children should be able to read the text with some fluency a focus on the  comprehension of the text can happen. Including questions on identifying and explaining, inference, prediction and vocabulary. 


  • Children then take the text home the following week to ensure success is shared with families.

Reading for Pleasure

Alongside our phonics teaching it is important the children are exposed to a variety of high quality texts to increase a love of books and promote reading for pleasure. We promote this love of reading by:


  • Reading books linked to our Reading Spine that are read during class story time. These texts expose children to a variety of authors, genres and questions posed in our curriculum. 
  • Making the most use of our class reading areas and our school library. 
  • Listening to and sharing rhymes. 

Supporting Phonics and Reading at home


Little Wandle also supplies useful videos and documents for parents and carers to use to support their child with phonics and reading at home. Reading with your child as often as you can, can have a positive impact on your child's reading skills and promote a love of reading. 


The website includes videos on how to pronounce each sound for each phase, videos on how we teach tricky words, alien words, blending and phase 5 and a video on how to support your child with their reading. 

The website also includes documents to support how to pronounce the sounds taught, recognising the alternate sounds taught in year 1 and how to write capital letters. Please find these documents below too.