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Reading at William Austin Infant School

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How do we teach Phonics?

In our school we follow ‘Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised’ which is a DFE validated Systematic Synthetic Phonics (SSP) progression.


In Year R children are taught phonics daily. They have plenty of opportunities to link graphemes (letters) to their phonemes (sounds). Children learn how to say the sounds clearly and accurately, how to orally blend the sounds to make words and how to read the graphemes to blend sounds.


Alongside the teaching of phonemes, children are taught to read tricky words. These, combined with the teaching progression of GPCs (grapheme-phoneme-correspondence), are taught in a manner that children will encounter the most frequently in their day to day reading. These then progress to those that are less frequently encountered and are the more complex part of the phonetic code system.  Children learn formation phrases to help them write the letters correctly. Children learn how to segment words to write them.


In Year 1 children learn that there are different graphemes that represent phonemes. This is called ‘Growing the Code.’


Our Reading

Reading Practice Books

Children in Year R, Year 1 and those for whom it is appropriate in Year 2, will read a book that is matched to their phonics based on their most current half termly phonics assessment. All of our books are ‘Collins Big Cat phonics’. These are completely matched to our phonics programme progression and are fully decodable.


Children will read in a group at least twice a week. In this group they will be heard read individually by their class teacher or support staff. Each session will focus on their decoding, prosody and the different comprehension domains. Once the children are reading this book fluently they will take it home to read it to their parents.


Sharing Book

Children will also take home a sharing book full of exciting themes and vocabulary. Children will choose this book on their weekly visit to the school’s library. Parents should read this book to their child. Children will not be able to read this book to their parents.


Children in Year 2 will follow the phonics progression based on their phonic assessment outcomes. They will continue their phonics until they have completed the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised phonics progression and are reading fluently.


Shared Reading Lessons Year 2

Each week children in Year 2 will take part in a shared reading lesson. Each lesson focuses on one of our comprehension reading domains. As part of this lesson children read extract texts from authentic books and high quality authors. They then have opportunities to take part in engaging class discussions surrounding the text themes, events and vocabulary. Children then answer written comprehension questions to show their understanding.


Accelerated Reader

In addition to individual reading and shared reading we also use Accelerated Reader. This is for those children who have confidently completed the phonics programme of study and who are reading fluently with comprehension. There are opportunities for children to read popular, engaging, high quality texts. Children read for 20 minutes daily and then, once confident, will quiz on the book that they have read.