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Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School

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Phonics and Early Reading- Little Wandle

Friday 24th November Parents Meeting - Phonics and Early Reading - Reception and Year 1


Little Wandle Revised Letters and Sounds


At Sacred Heart, we follow the DfE approved, Little Wandle scheme for teaching phonics. This scheme takes a mastery approach to phonics and the idea is that all children will move through the scheme at the same pace and progression. Every member of staff, regardless of their role or key stage had completed the phonics training for this scheme. 



The programme below shows what is taught and when in Reception and Year 1. Children in Nursery will be taught and take part in sessions relating to Phase 1.


Each grapheme has a specific picture that is used to introduce it, along with either a pronunciation phrase or a mnemonic to ensure consistency and that all staff are introducing it in exactly the same way. Actions and songs are not used to avoid cognitive overload.

It is vital when pronouncing the sounds that only pure sounds are used and that 'uh' is not added at the end of a word. Please see the videos below to hear how each sound is pronounced. 

Phase 2 Sounds Reception Autumn 1

Reception Autumn 1 - how to pronounce Phase 2 sounds

Phase 2 Sounds Reception Autumn 2

Phase 3 sounds Reception Spring Term

How we teach blending

Tricky words



During our phonics lessons, there is a large amount of vocabulary and specific terminology that the children acquire and will use. The terminology is used throughout the school by all adults to ensure consistency and understanding. Please click the link below for a summary of the main vocabulary used.


Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Glossary

Phonics Screening Check 


At the end of Year 1, the children take part in a phonics screening check. This test takes about 10 minutes to carry out per child. The test is taken individually, where the child sits with their class teacher, and they are asked to read a total of 40 words. The words are a mixture of 'real' words and made-up words, which are often referred to as 'alien words'. The test is designed to see if children can apply their phonics knowledge to decode sounds correctly to read the words. As some of the words are not actual words with any meaning, the child is being assessed solely on their ability to decode to ensure that they can apply the same principles to learning new words as their vocabulary grows. To pass the phonics screening check, they must correctly read aloud 32/40 of the words 



Alien Words