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Phonics and Early Reading

What our children say about English (2024)

Phonics Workshop for Parents - 05.11.23

Reading Progression Document

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.

Phonics & Reading Practice

At Sawtry Infant School, we are proud to 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.


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. 

Phonics Progression Document

Additional support

To ensure that children are making expected progress, we provide additional support in all year groups. Through our assessments of children's phonetic knowledge and understanding, we can identify children who may not be recognising or retaining specific sounds or who are finding it tricky to blend sounds to read words. Children with these gaps in their understanding are at risk of falling behind. Our offer of additional support includes:

  • Keep Up - an additional daily session for children in Reception and Year 1 which may be delivered within a small group or on a 1-to-1 basis. This may be provided to support children's phoneme (sound) recognition or blending practice.
  • Rapid Catch Up - for Year 2 children only. This is a fast paced support programme provided for Year 2 children who need to rapidly make progress in Phonics. This is delivered 3 times a week.


Both Keep Up and Rapid Catch Up children are reassessed after 3 weeks of taking part in the programme. This then indicates whether or not a child needs to continue with additional support. 

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.

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.