Little Wandle was chosen as the school's phonics programme as it has a central hub for training/ resources, begins teaching early starting learning within the first few weeks for Nursery and Reception children, identifies gaps quickly and helps children to catch up. Little Wandle matches the higher expectations of the new National Curriculum. Books are closely matched to children's phonic abilities and reading for pleasure is prioritised. Links to resources and support materials can be shared with parents easily via the school's Class Dojo pages.
We start teaching phonics and reading in Nursery/Reception and follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised progression, which ensure children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school.
At Aldbury, we also model the application of the alphabetic code through phonics in shared reading and writing, both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on language development for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects.
The Reading Leader (Emma Vardy), drives the early reading programme in our school. This person monitors and supports our reading team, so everyone teaches with fidelity to the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme.
Reception phonics begin at 9.30 each day and follow the sequenced Little Wandle planning and structure. Children use individual whiteboards on the carpet to practise writing words and apply their skills. A teaching assistant supports the children that are having 1:1 support outside of the lesson. A large grapheme mat and weekly sounds are displayed at all times for children to refer to and children have access to grapheme mats, whiteboards and pens in their independent learning time. At the end of each half term children are assessed and the children needing catch up support are identified. The teacher and teacher assistant support children during the day in extra blending practise, practising individual sounds or in in 1:1 sessions. Repeated practice is crucial and new sounds/ tricky words are referred to and practised throughout the day. Support for parents is sent out each half term on the Reception Class Dojo page.
Class 2 (Years 1 and 2) have spelling and phonics after break time each day. The children begin on the carpet and then sit at a table to apply their writing skills. A large grapheme mat is visible in the environment and small grapheme mats are on each individual table. At the end of each half term children are assessed and the children needing catch up support are identified.
The Reading Leader (Emma Vardy) observes interventions and Little Wandle sessions each term to ensure fidelity to the programme and to ensure the quality of teaching and learning.