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Phonics (Reading)

Statement of Intent:

At Harrietsham Primary School, we believe that reading is a fundamental skill that will enrich and shape each child’s life. We aim to create enthusiastic and confident readers and writers through a structured and enriched spelling and reading curriculum that is evident throughout all year groups in our school.

We teach using Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised which is our chosen systematic synthetic phonics programme. As children move from Early Years, to KS1, to KS2, their knowledge of the alphabetic code will be built upon to enable all children to reach their full potential in their spelling and reading skills. We ensure that these skills are utilised and secured across the entirety of the curriculum to help children develop a rich vocabulary.

At Harrietsham, we believe that all children can become fluent readers and writers. By the time children leave our school, we intend for every child to develop a love for reading, through stimulating reading environments and opportunities to discover a variety of texts. We revisit the learning around phonics and spelling to support children with unfamiliar words and phrases, and to enable them to read for pleasure and for purpose. As children move through the school, we aim to create readers who can discuss their favourite texts and enjoy sharing their love of reading.

In our school, we have Reading Leaders who ensure that the highest quality phonics, spelling and reading practices are maintained throughout the school.




Phonics and Spelling

We use the Little Wandle scheme to ensure that all requirements of Phonics and Early Reading set out in the National Curriculum and Ofsted are met. In Reception and Year 1, we have daily phonics lessons, which are taught 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. All resources and activities used in Phonics and Early Reading sessions have fidelity to this scheme and are consistent in all classes. GPCs are taught using the Little Wandle scheme and follow the Letters and Sounds Progression, from Phase 2 (Early Years) to Phase 5 (Year 1).

As children move past Year 1, we use the No-Nonsense Spelling programme to ensure children’s knowledge of the English Language continues to develop, building on their Phonics knowledge. We continue to use the Little Wandle scheme throughout the school to support children who may require extra support with their reading and spelling.


Teaching Reading

In Reception and Year 1, children will receive 3 group reading sessions per week with an adult from class. Each reading session will focus on the following:


Session 1: Decoding

This is developing the children’s ability to read the words on the page using their Phonics knowledge.

Session 2: Prosody

This is reading with expression, for example speaking louder if a character is shouting.

Session 3: Comprehension
This is understanding the content of the text, making predictions and ‘reading between the lines’.


These sessions are taught using a phonetically decodable book at the child’s level, the same book is used for each session. This structure continues into Year 2 and beyond if we believe it is necessary.


Children in Year 2 and above will move onto our banded books to continue developing confidence, independence and an enjoyment for reading. Adults will read with children regularly and engage with discussions around their reading. Each child has a reading journal to keep track of reading at home and classes are given regular opportunities to visit our school library.



By the time children leave our school, they will be equipped with the Phonics knowledge required to decode unfamiliar words in reading and apply this to their high-quality writing in all areas of the curriculum. Children will have developed a love and understanding of a range of literature which will also support them in their further education. We aim that at least 82% of children will pass the KS1 Phonics Screening check in Year 1, with the lowest 20% being supported to pass in Year 2 if required. Children in KS2 will be supported where necessary to enable them to ‘plug the gaps’ and achieve their age-related expectation.

Phonics Gallery