Following on from the September Phonics Meeting for Parents and Carers. Please find below additional information regarding our phonics scheme - Little Wandle 


Why learning to read is so important

  • Reading is essential for all subject areas and improves life chances.
  • It develops vocabulary, imagination and creativity.
  • Builds language skills.
  • Positive attitudes to reading and choosing to read have academic, social and emotional benefits for children.


How children learn to read

  • Daily Phonics: Phonics is the only route to decoding.
  • Learning to say the phonic sounds.
  • By blending phonic sounds to read words.
  • Increasing the child’s fluency in reading sounds, words and books.
  • Reading three times weekly, each session focusing on a different skill:  decoding, prosody and comprehension 


Reading fully decodable books

  • Children must read books consistent with their phonic knowledge.
  • It is essential not to use other strategies to work out words (including guessing words, deducing meaning from pictures, grammar, context clues or whole word recognition).  
  • Books must be fully decodable and follow the Little Wandle scheme
  • Children need to read books in a progressive sequence until they can decode unfamiliar words confidently.


The role of Parents’ and Carers’ 

  • Have a positive impact on their child’s reading.
  • Should model the importance of reading practice to develop fluency.
  • Children take home books they have read at school to re-read at home to build fluency.
  • There are two different types of books that pupils bring home: reading practice and books to share for pleasure.
  • Reading at home encourages a love of books, along with developing vocabulary and discussion.
  • Parents should use voices, expression, discuss unfamiliar vocabulary, talk about the pictures, and predict what might happen next.
  • Give positive yet informative feedback in the home reading diary at least 3 times a week

Supporting your child with reading

Although your child will be taught to read at school, you can have a huge impact on their reading journey by continuing their practice at home.


There are two types of reading book that your child may bring home:

A reading practice book.

This will be at the correct phonic stage for your child. They should be able to read this fluently and independently.

A sharing book.  Your child will not be able to read this on their own. This book is for you both to read and enjoy together.


Reading practice book

This book has been carefully matched to your child’s current reading level. If your child is reading it with little help, please don’t worry that it’s too easy – your child needs to develop fluency and confidence in reading.

Listen to them read the book. Remember to give them lots of praise – celebrate their success! If they can’t read a word, read it to them. After they have finished, talk about the book together.


Sharing book

In order to encourage your child to become a lifelong reader, it is important that they learn to read for pleasure. The sharing book is a book they have chosen for you to enjoy together.

Please remember that you shouldn’t expect your child to read this alone. Read it to or with them. Discuss the pictures, enjoy the story, predict what might happen next, use different voices for the characters, explore the facts in a non-fiction book. The main thing is that you have fun!

Children who are not making expected progress
Children who are not making expected progress are assessed every three weeks and are put on the 'Keep Up' intervention, where they receive additional phonics booster sessions, daily. Children in Key Stage 2 who have not passed their phonics screening are put on the 'Rapid Catch Up' intervention, which is a longer, daily intervention but aimed at older children, to keep them engaged. 
Year 2 follow the Little Wandle Spelling Programme which bridges the gap between phonics and spelling. We follow the No Nonsense Spelling Programme in Key Stage 2. Please see the progression maps below.

Whole Class Guided Reading Year 2-Year 6



  •        All children are exposed to high quality texts.
  •        The texts are linked to themes, reading is linked to writing; this is to ensure our writing results increase and give children a context and a purpose for writing.
  •        This method aims to expand children' vocabulary and deepen their understanding of the texts they are reading.
  •        Children working below expected level get to hear peers who are working at expected/above expected level construct a higher level response. 
  •        Reading strategies are modelled by teacher.
  •        Children are explicitly taught how to construct written responses and answer questions. 
  •        Low level readers are balkanized to reading only lower-level books. WCGR will ensure this doesn’t happen (Lemov, 2016). 
  •        Pupils who struggle with reading will switch off when a reading lesson is not swift and sharp. This is why our lessons are 30-40 minutes. (Lemov, 2016). 



What will WCGR look like?



  •       The teacher should be reading the text TO the children, modelling good fluency and expression.
  •       Children should follow along with a ruler, when the teacher is reading.
  •       A range of different skills should be taught and applied.
  •       There should be a mixture of SATS style questions and more creative ways of showing comprehension.


Whole Class Reading activities are used to: 

 Show literal understanding.

Make inferences about the text.

Demonstrate understanding of words and vocabulary. 

Apply learnt knowledge from the book. 

A lot of skills we need in reading will be encompassed in these activities. This will include making predictions (inferences), summarising (literal) and explaining (both!). 



How we adapt WCGR for all 

  •        Essential that those that struggle with decoding continue to receive additional support outside of lessons.
  •        Adults can still work with a guided group during whole class reading-also providing opportunities to read aloud. 
  •        Activities are differentiated for all abilities, may include modified version of questions or text (widget)
  •        Work in pairs as a group to answer collaboratively without adult present. 



We don't just use books!


Wordless picture books, images, song lyrics, film clips and adverts are all ways to engage children, taking away barriers, so all children can concentrate on analysing, deconstructing and evaluating at a deeper level. The most important thing is that reading links to writing and the structure of the week is adhered to.


How we build vocabulary


  •        We require children to draw upon knowledge of vocabulary in order to understand text.
  •        We use vocabulary tiles in classrooms to explicitly teach and remember vocabulary, which encourages children to use new words in their writing.
  •     We stretch beyond explicit vocabulary teaching: supporting children to make sense of a word in context, how it is used in the text and how it might be used in different contexts.