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At Sawtry Infant School, we aim for children to:

  • Develop a positive attitude and enthusiasm for English learning;
  • Express themselves clearly and confidently;
  • Become independent and fluent readers;
  • To write for different purposes;
  • To take pride in their work.


English learning is taught daily throughout the week. We provide:

  • One daily lesson to explore key texts; children learn new vocabulary and apply this to their independent writing (see ‘English lessons & Writing’ below);
  • A direct Phonics session, delivered using Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised (see ‘Phonics & Reading Practice’ below);
  • Reading Practice sessions three times a week, enhanced with using matched decodable texts;
  • A daily story time using a recommended year group text;
  • Handwriting twice a week.


Parents - We recognise the importance and impact that supporting children's learning at home can have on a child's overall learning journey. Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised have a dedicated page where parents can explore how to support reading at home and pronouncing each sound correctly. This can be found here: Little Wandle for parents If you need any further support or have any questions regarding English, please speak to our English subject leader, Mr Alletson. 

Our Reading Vision

We believe that every child should be able to read for pleasure and develop a life-long love of books. At Sawtry Infant School, we develop our children’s imagination to unlock a treasure chest of wonder, through reading stories and using factual books to research and learn new facts. We believe that every child should be given the tools to develop into an enthusiastic reader; both at home and in school using a phonetic approach. The whole school recognises that reading improves language, inspires imagination and strengthens well-being, preparing children for life in a diverse and modern Britain. Through our dedication to early reading, we aim for children to write using a range of new vocabulary for different audiences and purposes. This ensures that children have the opportunity to be curious and creative, learning to listen and speak competently in wider discussions.

English lessons & Writing

Our English learning is delivered as a unit of work, involving ‘phases’, which build on children’s language and writing skills using a carefully chosen key text. The key text is the focus for the unit and children work together to act out or explore the story in Speaking and Listening activities. Then, the language and grammar in the focus book is explored and children practice using this in their own work. Finally, children will independently write, in different genres, using the learning they have learned from their experience of the key text. We deliver our English learning using the following structure:


Phonics & Reading Practice

At Sawtry Infant School, we follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme to deliver Phonics teaching.


In Phonics, we teach children that the letters of the alphabet represent a different sound, that these can be used in a variety of combinations and are put together to make words. These are called ‘phonemes’, which at Sawtry Infant School, we refer to as ‘sounds’. Our Phonics teaching starts in Reception and follows a very specific sequence which allows children to build upon their previous phonics knowledge whilst learning new content. Phonics is taught daily, including a review session on a Friday. We also ensure that the strategies learned in phonics are applied both inside and outside the phonics lesson and are used across the whole curriculum.


  • In Reception, children follow the progression within the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme. Phonics teaching starts in Week 2 and are taught for 15 minutes; this increases quickly to 30 minutes throughout Autumn term. By the end of Reception, children will have been taught up to the end of Phase 4.
  • In Year 1, children continue their Phonics journey and begin to explore alternative spellings of the different sounds. This prepares children to take the statutory Phonics Screening Check. By the end of Year 1, children will have been taught up to the end of Phase 5.
  • In Year 2, children recap any gaps in their Phonics knowledge in the Autumn Term. For the remainder of the year, children will explore applying all learned sounds to spellings and developing fluency in reading. Any children who did not reach the expected score in the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check will revisit this check in Year 2.


Reading Practice 


  • Children across the whole school apply their Phonics knowledge by using a fully matched decodable book in a small group reading practice session. These sessions are 15 minutes long and happen three times a week. There are approximately 6 children in each group.
  • The sessions follow the model as described by Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised. All children then take same book home after the third session to share their successes with their family and to continue developing confidence and fluency. In Reception, these sessions start in week 4, once children are blending the first set of sounds.

Story Time

Each class has a daily story time. This is where a story book is shared with the class by an adult. Classes also have this time to visit the school library and share a book there. The book chosen by the adult is part of our ‘recommended reads’ for children in that year group, to ensure that children have access to the highest quality texts, which focus on a variety of modern themes and issues, being read to them.


Our handwriting lessons also follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme. We spend two 30 minutes sessions a week in Key Stage 1 to focus on the correct formation and sizing of letters. This includes learning good posture for handwriting, where to start and end each letter and where they sit on the line correctly. We use the ‘formation phrases’ as provided by Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised. Please see these below.

Assessing English learning

  • Evidence of children's work (such as writing across the curriculum) and teacher's knowledge of the children, enable teachers to input termly assessments of children's Reading and Writing. 
  • For Phonics, in each year group, there is a review session which recaps and revisits previously taught learning. There are also whole review weeks; these are pre-planned and bespoke review weeks to address gaps in children’s knowledge.
  • Children who are identified as in danger of falling behind in Phonics are immediately identified and daily ‘keep up’ sessions are put in place – these sessions follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme.
  • In Reception and Year 1, children are assessed at the end of every half term using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessment tracker. This also gives teachers guidance on the appropriate book level to allocate to individual children.
  • Year 1 children complete the statutory Phonics Screening Check in the Summer term. Year 2 children who did not meet the expected standard in the Phonics Screening Check in Year will retake this in Year 2. The result of these scores are reported to parents in their child’s end of school year report.

Reading at home

Although children are taught to read at school, we appreciate the huge impact that reading at home can have by continuing their practice outside of school. To support this, we offer two types of reading books that your child may bring home. These include a Little Wandle reading book and a reading for pleasure book. Please see the image below for more information.