Phonics at Tarporley
Our school uses Little Wandle (Letters and Sounds Revised) as as our systematic synthetic phonics (SSP) programme to teach early reading and spelling. It is based on the original Letters and Sounds, but is fully resourced and sets expectations of progression that are aspirational yet achievable. We will work through the entire Little Wandle Programme until your child can successfully utilise their phonic knowledge and blending skills to read fluently. Children need to learn to read as quickly as reasonably possible, so they can move from learning to read, to reading to learn, giving them access to the treasure house of reading. Children in Reception and Year 1 have daily phonics lessons. They are taught 4 new grapheme phoneme correspondences (GPCs) per week, plus a review lesson on a Friday. Knowing a GPC means being able to match a phoneme (sound) to a grapheme (written representation) and vice versa. The children will also learn a series of ‘tricky words’. Tricky words are those words with code that has not been taught yet. We build into the timetable some weeks for the children to consolidate what has been taught so far. We assess your child every six weeks to check progress. Any child who needs extra support will have keep-up sessions planned for them.
Children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 will also take part in Reading Practice Sessions. We use our gorgeous books published by HarperCollins for Little Wandle. The children have access to an online library, where a copy of the same book they are reading in school is available for them to access at home.
Reading Teaching Sessions are:
- Timetabled 3 times a week
- Taught by a trained teacher / teaching assistant
- Taught in small groups
The children read the same book three times a week. The first time we work on decoding (sounding out) the words, the second time we work on prosody, which is reading with expression – this aids
comprehension and encourages our children to read like writers and the third time we look at comprehension. We read the book three times in school because we want to develop fluency. The more children see words, the more they begin to read them automatically without having to sound them out.
Supporting your child with reading at home
Although your child is taught to read at school, you can have a huge impact on their reading journey by continuing their practice at home. There will be three types of reading book that your
child will bring home:
- A reading practice book
- A sharing book
- An online reading practice book
Reading practice books (the eBook and the physical book)
These decodable books have been carefully matched to your child’s current reading level. When listening to them read the book please remember to give them lots of praise – celebrate their success and where necessary their perseverance!
- If they can’t read a word, allow them time to use their sounds to build it up, where necessary help them to build the word or read it to them.
- Re-read sentences with the children to develop rhythm and intonation.
In order to encourage your child to become a lifelong reader, it is important that they learn to rea 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 nonfiction book. The main thing is that you have fun!
Supporting phonics at home
For further information on how to support your child with phonics, please visit the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds website: https://www.littlewandlelettersandsounds.org.uk/resources/for-parents/
You will find a grapheme information sheet to help you with formation and pronunciation. It is really important that you pronounce the sounds correctly at home if you are supporting your child. The
videos are on the website for you to refer to and if you are unsure, please ask your child’s teacher.