Early Reading, Phonics and Reading

Reading at Great Wishford C of E Primary (Including Early Reading/Phonics)


No challenge too big, no child too small- for with God nothing will be impossible (Luke 1:37)

 Quiet Reading | Marvels Lane Primary School | Lewisham | 


At Great Wishford School, reading is central to teaching and learning. We believe that being able to read for pleasure and knowledge transforms children’s lives culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. The acquisition of rapid fluency and proficient comprehension are aspirations we hold for all children at our school, regardless of their background, needs or abilities.


We give children the best start we can by teaching them to read as soon as possible, so that they can develop a love of reading that will provide them with the skills, knowledge and confidence for the future. We match fully decodable, progressive books to pupils developing phonic knowledge through regular assessment and clear expectations of pupils’ phonics progress term by term. Assessment of pupils’ phonics progress is detailed to identify any pupil who is falling behind the program’s pace, and targeted support is put into place immediately. Staff are trained in delivering Little Wandle Letters and Sounds, and teachers have a clear understanding of how pupils learn to read. Teachers give pupils sufficient practice in reading and re-reading books that match the grapheme-phoneme correspondences they know, both at school and at home. Children will also take home a book for pleasure from our school library to share with others, which has been guided by the teacher. In KS1, this is a book that children hear read to them, and can therefore be chosen for to stretch and challenge their language and comprehension. In KS2, books are selected to ensure readers are supported and extended appropriately, and to ensure children are reading a range of authors and genres. Hearing high quality stories, poems, rhymes and non-fiction read by a teacher, to develop pupils' vocabulary, language comprehension and love of reading, has been timetabled into the curriculum from Reception to Year 6. During guided reading sessions, children in both KS1 and KS2 practise Decoding, Prosody and Comprehension through explicit teaching of skills (including links to Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling), modelling, Book Talk and planned vocabulary development.


Children at Great Wishford school will read fluently and with the correct intonation, volume and tone to make meaning clear to themselves and others. They will have developed a range of comprehension skills and a wide knowledge vocabulary which will enable them to confidently understand our rich and varied literary heritage. Reading widely, and for pleasure, will support our children in: having a better understanding of the world around them; writing accurately, and with knowledge and creativity; being able to articulate their ideas confidently; continuing their learning into their further education and adult lives.


 Phonics is a structured way of teaching children to read quickly and skillfully. Children are taught how to read letters or groups of letters (graphemes) by saying the sound(s) (phonemes) using their pure sounds.They can then begin to read words, captions and whole sentences by blending the sounds together.

At Great Wishford School we follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds scheme to teach phonics and early reading. Please see the Little Wandle link here for information and help for parents regarding: articulating pure sounds; our progression in teaching Grapheme Phoneme Correspondences (GPCs) in Reception; how we teach alien words, tricky words and blending; and how to support your child with reading. These documents also include information about the mnemonics we use (pictures to support identification); the phrase we use to describe how to pronounce the Grapheme as a phoneme; and the phrase we use to help children form the Grapheme. 

Screening test

At the end of Year 1, children are expected to complete the Key Stage 1 Phonics Screening Check. The purpose of the check is to confirm whether individual children have learnt decoding and blending skills to meet an age-appropriate standard. The screening contains 40 words, including a combination of real words and pseudo words. Children who do not meet the pass mark, retake the screening in Year 2.

The following booklets give some help and guidance about supporting your child when reading at home.