Phonics & Early Reading
Phonics is the process that is used to help children read and write by teaching phonemes (sounds) for graphemes (letters). At Lower Peover, we follow the ‘Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised’ programme. Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised is a complete systematic synthetic phonics programme (SSP). Developed for schools by schools it is based on Letters and Sounds but extensively revised to provide a complete teaching programme, meeting all the expectations of the National Curriculum. The programme establishes a clear sequence that enables children to begin to read and write simple words, phrases and sentences as early as possible in Reception. It then, systematically and cumulatively, works towards children being able to decode any unknown words in age appropriate texts by the time they complete the programme at the end of Year 1.
Our phonics delivery follows the seven effective principles of successful phonics, which are:
- Direct teaching in frequent, short bursts
- Consistency of approach
- Secure, systematic progression in phonics learning
- Maintaining pace of learning
- Providing repeated practice
- Application of phonics using matched decodable books
- Early identification of children at risk of falling behind, linked to the provision of effective keep-up support.
The ultimate goal of teaching phonics is that our children read fluently, recognising words instantly using phonics to decode any unknown words. This means that phonics knowledge needs to be embedded in long-term memory so that its application becomes automatic.
We believe, repeated, spaced practice is the most effective way of transferring knowledge from short- to long-term memory and therefore our phonics teaching offers repeated practice at the point of learning. We return to practise the same elements again at intervals over an extended period.
Each week our children take home decodable books matched to the sounds they have previously been taught and are secure with reading with 95% fluency. They are also provided with opportunities to engage with exciting age-appropriate books by choosing a book to share with parents/carers from their class library. Furthermore, across our curriculum high-quality texts are used which will fire their imaginations and motivate them to learn phonics, in order to become confident and fluent readers.