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Phonics

LITTLE WANDLE LETTERS AND SOUNDS REVISED

 

In September 2021, we began using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised scheme for the teaching of phonics to our Reception and Year 1 pupils. Little Wandle Letters and Sounds allows all children to learn to read, primarily by decoding, as quickly as possible after they start school in Reception. The rationale behind the scheme is as follows:

 

The National Curriculum for English (2014) aims to ensure that all pupils:

• read easily, fluently and with good understanding

• develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information

• acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language.

 

Reading underpins children’s access to the curriculum and it clearly impacts on their achievement. There is considerable research to show that children who enjoy reading and choose to read benefit not only academically, but also socially and emotionally.

 

To be able to read, children need to be taught an efficient strategy to decode words. That strategy is phonics. It is essential that children are actively taught and supported to use phonics as the only approach to decoding. Other strategies must be avoided. Phonic decoding skills must be practised until children become automatic and fluent reading is established.

 

Fluent decoding is only one component of reading. Comprehension skills need to be taught to enable children to make sense of what they read, build on what they already know and give them a desire to want to read. Reading increases children’s vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. Furthermore, children who read widely and frequently also have more secure general knowledge.

Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Progression

The progression document provides information about the GPCs and Tricky Words taught each half term. 

Click on the link below for the Little Wandle Parent Page where you will find more useful information about the scheme including the pronunciation of phonemes.

YEAR ONE PHONICS TEST

WHAT IS THE PHONICS SCREENING TEST?

The Phonics Screening Test is a short assessment given to all children in Year 1. The test seeks to check whether children have learned to decode written words using their phonic skills to a required level.
The test is compulsory in all state schools and is given to pupils towards the end of Year 1, usually during the 2nd or 3rd week of June. If pupils have not reached the expected level, they will be tested again in Year 2.

WHO WILL CONDUCT THE TEST?

A teacher who is well known to the child (but not necessarily the class teacher) will carry out the test.

WHAT DOES THE TEST INVOLVE?

The test is carried out on a one to one basis with each child and is administered in a quiet room to allow the children to concentrate fully. They will be asked to read 40 words aloud. Some will be simple and familiar, some more complex and there will also be a selection of ‘non’ or alien words. These are fake words that are used solely to test the child’s ability to use their phonics knowledge (rather than relying on word recognition) to break down unfamiliar words into recognisable sounds and blend them together to read the word.  Alien words are used during the test because they are new to all the children and therefore, no bias is given to children with a good vocabulary knowledge or visual memory of words.

This use of decoding is an essential skill when learning to read as it gives the children confidence to tackle words they have not encountered before in a systematic and methodical way and greatly reduces the inclination to ‘guess’ what the word might be.

HOW LONG WILL THE TEST TAKE? 
The test should take between 5 – 10 minutes to administer however,  there is no time limit and each child will be supported to work through the words at a pace which is most suitable to their individual needs.

HOW WILL I KNOW IF MY CHILD HAS PASSED THE TEST?

We will inform parents of their child’s results towards the end of the summer term.  Results will be included in your child’s end of year report.

Websites such as PhonicsPlay.com have a great selection of interactive games such as Obb and Bob and Dragons Den which focus on real/alien word reading.

LINKS TO PHONIC GAMES AND RESOURCES

Range of phonic games

https://www.ictgames.com/mobilePage/literacy.html

Range of phonic games

https://www.phonicsplay.co.uk/

Interactive online phonic books

https://www.starfall.com/h/ltr-classic/

Mr Thorne does Phonics

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7sW4j8p7k9D_qRRMUsGqyw

 

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