Our Phonics Programme
At Yew Tree Community School we follow the ‘Little Wandle Letters and Sounds' revised’ phonics programme, which enables children to learn systematically. All staff are highly trained and given continuous training to enable all children to unlock their full reading potential. To teach all our pupils to become fluent, confident readers and cultivate a love for reading, we follow a daily, discreet, systematic phonic programme. This develops pupils’ ability to tackle unknown words within a text by blending the phonemes (sounds) within the word.
The phonic lessons are structured to ensure that children are first able to identify letters and to say the sound those letters make. Once children are confident with saying the single letter sounds and blending them to create words, they then start to learn the common digraphs (where two letters go together to create a new phoneme such as sh), trigraphs (where three letters create a new phoneme such as igh) and spelling patterns that we use within the English language.
Year 2 continue with daily phonics sessions for those groups or individuals who require more support, followed by a structured spelling, grammar and punctuation curriculum.
Foundations for phonics in Nursery
- We provide a balance of child-led and adult-led experiences for all children that meet the curriculum expectations for ‘Communication and language’ and ‘Literacy’. These include:
- sharing high-quality stories and poems
- learning a range of nursery rhymes and action rhymes
- activities that develop focused listening and attention, including oral blending
- attention to high-quality language.
- We ensure Nursery children are well prepared to begin learning grapheme-phoneme correspondences (GPCs) and blending in Reception.
Daily phonics lessons in Reception and Year 1
- We teach phonics for 30 minutes a day. In Reception, we build from 10-minute lessons, with additional daily oral blending games, to the full-length lesson as quickly as possible. Each Friday, we review the week’s teaching to help children become fluent readers.
- Children make a strong start in Reception: teaching begins in Week 2/3 of the Autumn term.
- We follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised progression:
- Children in Reception are taught to read and spell words using Phase 2 and 3 GPCs, and words with adjacent consonants (Phase 4) with fluency and accuracy.
- Children in Year 1 review Phase 3 and 4 and are taught to read and spell words using Phase 5 GPCs with fluency and accuracy.
Daily Keep-up lessons ensure every child learns to read
- Any child who needs additional practice has daily keep-up support, taught by a fully trained adult. Keep-up lessons match the structure of class teaching, and use the same procedures, resources and mantras, but in smaller steps with more repetition, so that every child secures their learning.
- We timetable daily phonics lessons for any child in Year 2 or 3 who is not fully fluent at reading or has not passed the Phonics Screening Check. These children urgently need to catch up, so the gap between themselves and their peers does not widen. We use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessments to identify the gaps in their phonic knowledge and teach to these using the Keep-up resources – at pace.
- If any child in Year 3 to 6 has gaps in their phonic knowledge when reading or writing, we plan phonics ‘catch-up’ lessons to address specific reading/writing gaps. These short, sharp lessons last 10 minuets and take place at least three times a week.
Our focus is to embed the ‘Seven features of effective phonics practice’
- 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.
For more information about your child's phonics, please follow the link:
How to articulate the sounds-please watch the videos
In the workshops section of the website, there are a range of useful materials for parents. These can be accessed from this link: