Phonics and Early Reading

At Moulton Primary School, we pride ourselves on the high-quality provision of teaching early reading as soon as children start school. We believe that for all our children to become fluent readers and writers, phonics must be taught through a systematic and structured phonics programme.

Giving children a solid foundation in reading will enable them to develop the secure ability to read confidently/fluently for pleasure and within all curriculum areas.  This will enable all children to move from learning to read, to reading to learn, giving them access to the treasure house of reading.

We use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised to plan and provide daily engaging phonics lessons. In phonics, we teach children that the letters of the alphabet represent a different sound, that


these can be used in a variety of combinations and are put together to make words. The children learn to recognise all of the different sounds and combinations that they might see when they are reading or writing. Our structured phonics teaching starts in Reception and follows a very specific sequence that allows our children to build on their previous phonic knowledge and master specific phonic strategies as they move through school. As a result, all our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words that they might discover. At Moulton, we also model these strategies in shared reading and writing both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on the development of language skills for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects.

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How we teach phonics

  • In Reception and Year 1, children follow the progression within Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme.
  • Phonics is taught daily and there is a review session on a Friday.
  • Phonics starts in Reception in Week 2 to ensure the children make a strong start.
  • By the end of Reception, children will have been taught up to the end of Phase 4.
  • By the end of Year 1, children will have been taught up to the end of Phase 5.
  • Reception lessons start at 10 minutes, with daily additional oral blending – increasing to 30 minutes as soon as possible.
  • Year 1 lessons are 30 minutes long.
  • In Year 2, phonic lessons are taught daily to children where appropriate – following the model of Little Wandle but plugging specific gaps identified through assessment. This usually occurs during the Autumn Term.
  • In Year 2 – Year 6 there are planned phonic ‘rapid catch-up’ sessions following a set model to address specific reading/writing gaps. These are short, sharp sessions lasting 10 minutes in length and taking place at least three times a week.

Reading Practice Sessions

  • Children across Reception, Year 1, Year 2 (if appropriate) apply their phonics knowledge by using a full matched decodable reader in a small group reading practice session.
  • These sessions are 20-25 minutes long and happen at least twice a week. There are approximately six children in a group.
  • The sessions follow the model set out in Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised.
  • The children then take the same book home the following week to ensure success is shared with the family.
  • In Reception, these sessions start in week 4. Children who are not yet decoding, receive additional blending practice, following the model set out in Little Wandle Letters and Sound Revised. This continues until the children can blend independently.
  • Children in KS2 who require additional support with phonics are provided with age-appropriate fully-decodable texts and receive 1:1 support.

Applying phonics at home

All children are encouraged to read at home. They will bring their decodable book home that has been matched to their phonic ability and studied in school during reading sessions. This should be read at least three times a week at home to help promote fluency and automaticity. Sharing their ‘going home book’ also supports your child to develop a love of reading for pleasure.

For more information on how to support your child with Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Phonics follow:


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