At Langley Mill Academy are currently adopting the the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds systematic synthetic phonics programme, which is replacing our current use of the previous Letters and Sounds, to teach phonics.
Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised is a complete systematic synthetic phonics programme (SSP) developed for schools by schools. Based on the original Letters and Sounds, Little Wandle is extensively revised to provide a complete teaching programme meeting all the expectations of the National Curriculum.
To be able to read, children need to be taught an efficient strategy to decode words. That strategy is phonics. It is essential that children are actively taught and supported to use phonics as the only approach to decoding. Other strategies must be avoided. Phonic decoding skills must be practised until children become automatic and fluent reading is established. Fluent decoding is only one component of reading.
We know that comprehension skills need to be taught to enable children to make sense of what they read, build on what they already know and give them a desire to want to read. Reading increases children’s vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. Furthermore, children who read widely and frequently also have a more secure general knowledge.
Click on the image above for a link to the Little Wandle website and further information for parents.
As we are a Key Stage 2 Junior School, we use Little Wandle to ensure children receive the correct, rapid intervention in Year 3 to go beyond the expectations of the Phonics Screening Check and become fluent and confident readers - so that they rapidly catch up. Before we stop using the Big Cat for Little Wandle decodable books, we check that pupils are fully fluent when reading Phase 5 books.
Our final assessment checks children’s progress and also matches them to the final set of our Phase 5 books (set 5). We make sure your children can read these books fluently and with understanding before we move off the programme.
Little Wandle have integrated Phase 6 throughout much of the programme as children need to be able to read words in the past and progressive tenses and with the suffixes in Phase 6 so that they can read fully decodable books that have a normal syntax and are not constrained by a restriction on verb tenses. For this reason they have included many suffixes in Phase 6 in the programme so children have been taught to read the words before they meet them in the books.
As reading and spelling are reversible processes, and because we teach spelling alongside reading, children will learn to spell words with these suffixes too. However, we know that spelling is harder than reading and so we would expect to continue teaching spelling by applying the alphabetic code and rules about suffixes in early KS2 as detailed in Year 2 of the National Curriculum.
At Langley Mill we use 'Sound buttons' to help children recognise the separate phonemes in a printed word. Sound buttons can be used as a support in the early stages of learning. For each word, a dot is placed under any single-letter grapheme and a short horizontal line under the group of letters that form a digraph or trigraph, as shown below. This can help support both reading and writing.
You can view the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised 2021: Programme progression by clicking the image below:
You can view 120 fully decodable books to support the new SSP programme by clicking the image below.
Featuring an exciting mix of stories and non-fiction to foster a love of reading in all children, the books will be matched perfectly to the Little Wandle progression and will support all the Letters and Sounds phases.
Our systematic synthetic phonics Lead is our SENCO Mrs A Pappa
Our English Lead is Mr A Bland
If you require any further information regarding how we use phonics to teach your child to read, then please do not hesitate to contact us via the school office.