Message sent from:


Subject Lead: Miss Chrissie Luque

Link Governor: Mrs Julia Herridge


At St Mary's Primary School, we passionately believe that enabling children to read and write independently is one of our core purposes.  These skills are not only fundamental to successfully accessing the rest of the curriculum but also have significant implications for self -esteem and life chances.  We believe that every child has the right to thrive in a Literate world and this sits at the heart of our vision for the children at our school. Reading is the key to all learning.  We strive to develop confident, enthusiastic and motivated readers and instil a love of reading for pleasure as soon as children begin their learning journey with us. 

We aim for pupils to:

  • Learn to read fluently and at speed in Reception and Year 1 using the principles of the Little Wandle programme so that they can focus on developing their skills in comprehension, vocabulary and spelling in Year 2 and beyond
  • Quickly become a competent reader in order to be able to access the wider curriculum
  • Develop a love of books by reading to them daily, at home and at school
  • Have access to a wide range of phonetically decodable books that support our Little Wandle programme as well as access to high quality literature as they develop their reading skills beyond the programme
  • Our Early Reading and Phonics curriculum aims to ensure all children are secure in their phonic knowledge at the end of Year 1 and pass the National Phonics Screener


Our curriculum

At St Mary's, we teach children to read effectively and quickly every day across the Foundation stage through to Key Stage 1 using  Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised which provides a systematic and synthetic approach to the teaching of phonics. This approach enables the children to rapidly recall the 44 sounds and corresponding letters/letter groups.

Children in Reception and Year 1 receive daily 20-minute phonics lessons to ensure there is a rapid rehearsal and application of sounds.  Through fast pace teaching and application of decoding and encoding skills, we ensure our children quickly develop confidence in early reading and writing skills.

Through regular six weekly Little Wandle assessments, we quickly identify children who are in danger of falling behind and ensure these children are targeted for interventions and regrouping in class to ensure gaps are filled quickly and the children continue to make progress.

Pupils deepen their phonics skills by reading phonetically plausible reading books matched to their sounds knowledge three times a week.  We apply this phonic knowledge to their English lessons and the wider curriculum ensuring the skills are practised and secured.

Children in Reception and Year 1 apply their skill of Early Reading and Phonics during continuous provision opportunities.  This area is given a high priority within our provision, with activities planned and resources provided to ensure children have opportunity to develop and practise early reading and phonics skills daily within both our indoor and outdoor provision.

We strongly believe that working in partnership with parents is the key to unlocking success.  We take parents on our phonics journey with us, offering a Reading Evening in the Autumn term. 

Pupils are given the opportunity to listen to an extensive array of high quality books, developing a shared love, passion and enjoyment of reading. 

Teaching and learning style

Children follow the same format of lessons across Reception and Key Stage 1, working on more complex sounds as they enter Year 1.  Daily sessions of Little Wandle phonics take place in EYFS and Year 1 for all children.

We model the use of pure sounds and quickly correct children who are not using these to ensure they are able to blend sounds into words more easily.

Children can start blending sounds into words as soon as they know a small group of letters well. During lessons, children are taught to hear sounds and blend them in a sequence to make a word.  We start with orally blending sounds, then progress to reading the letters and blending them together to read the word.  Children then learn to spell the sounds in words.

Children are grouped by their reading stage within Little Wandle Phonics programme.  The regular assessment means that children can move rapidly through the various reading stages. We closely monitor their progress against our reading progression document to ensure all children are able to achieve end of year expectations.



Children are assessed every six weeks using the Little Wandle assessments.  Gaps are quickly identified and a rapid programme of intervention planned for individuals and groups to ensure they do not fall behind and so enable all children to pass the national phonic screener at the end of Year 1.

Useful Documents



The impact of Reading success in our school is measured through the following:

  • Pupils will be able to decode and recognise enough sight words at the end of their Key Stage 1 programme of study to be able to confidently and fluently read a text at their level
  • Pupils of all abilities will be able to succeed in all reading lessons
  • Pupils will enjoy reading across a range of genres
  • Once children have progressed through the Little Wandle programme, pupils will use a range of strategies for decoding words, not solely relying on phonics
  • Pupils will have a good knowledge of a range of authors
  • Pupils will be ready to read in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education
  • Parents and carers will have a good understanding of how they can support reading at home, and contribute regularly to home-school records
  • The % of pupils working at ARE within each year group will be at least in line with national averages.
  • The % of pupils working at Greater Depth within each year group will be at least in line with national averages
  • There will be no significant gaps in the progress of different groups of pupils (e.g. disadvantaged vs non disadvantaged)
Hit enter to search