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Phonics Intent Statement 2023-24

At Nelson Academy, we are passionate about ensuring all children become confident and enthusiastic readers and writers. Our aims for our pupils are to,

· Be equipped to tackle any unfamiliar words as they read.

· Read confidently for meaning and regularly enjoy reading for pleasure.

· See themselves as readers for both pleasure and purpose.

We believe that phonics provides the foundations for learning to make the development into fluent reading and writing easier. Phonics is the process that is used to help children break down words into sounds, as well as building letter and word recognition. This can then enable children to use unknown words in the future. Children learn to segment words to support their spelling ability and blend sounds to read the words.

Phonics at Nelson Academy uses the ‘Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised Scheme.’ It was first implemented in September 2022 and training was delivered to all staff to ensure that all adults are able to support and deliver lessons/interventions. The scheme allows our phonics teaching and learning to be progressive from Nursery up to Year 2 as well as allowing children’s listening and speaking skills to develop.

Here is an overview of what Little Wandle looks like in our school:

Foundations for phonics in Nursery

We provide a balance of child-led and adult-led experiences for all children that meet the curriculum expectations for ‘Communication and language’ and ‘Literacy’. These include:

· sharing high-quality stories and poems

· learning a range of nursery rhymes and action rhymes

· activities that develop focused listening and attention, including oral blending attention to high-quality language.

We ensure Nursery children are well prepared to begin learning grapheme-phoneme correspondences (GPCs) and blending in Reception.

Phonics in Reception and Year 1

We teach phonics for 30 minutes a day. In Reception, we build from 10-minute lessons, with additional daily oral blending games, to the full-length lesson as quickly as possible. Each Friday, we review the week’s teaching to help children become fluent readers.

· Children make a strong start in Reception: teaching will begin in Week 2 of the Autumn term.

· Children in Reception are taught to read and spell words using Phase 2 and 3 GPCs, and words with adjacent consonants (Phase 4) with fluency and accuracy.

· Children in Year 1 review Phase 3 and 4 and are taught to read and spell words using Phase 5 GPCs with fluency and accuracy. They will then move on to alternative GPCs enabling them to further their phonetical knowledge and reading ability.

Keep up interventions and KS2

Any child who needs additional practice has Keep-up support, taught by a fully trained adult. Keep-up lessons match the structure of class teaching, and use the same procedures, resources and mantras, but in smaller steps with more repetition, so that every child secures their learning.

For any child in Year 2 or 3 who is not fully fluent at reading or has not passed the Phonics screening check will receive Rapid Catch up sessions. We use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessments to identify the gaps in their phonic knowledge and teach to these using the Keep-up resources – at pace.

If any child in Year 3 to 6 has gaps in their phonetical knowledge when reading or writing will have interventions to help bridge any gaps they might have.

Reading at Nelson Academy

We teach children to read through reading practice sessions three times a week.

These are taught by a fully trained adult to small groups of approximately six children who use books matched to the children’s secure phonic knowledge using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds.

Each reading practice session has a clear focus. The reading practice sessions have been designed to focus on three key reading skills:

· decoding

· prosody: teaching children to read with understanding and expression

· comprehension: teaching children to understand the text.

In Reception these sessions start in Week 4 using the skills shared from the lessons so that they quickly learn to blend and can begin to read books.

In Year 2 we continue to teach reading in this way for any children who still need to practise reading with decodable books.

Reading at Home

The books the children read in school will then be sent home as an ebook for the children to read with their adults at home. This helps the children develop their fluency and embed the skills they have learnt throughout the reading practise sessions.

Right from the beginning we encourage children to be independent and motivated readers. We provide them with the skills and opportunities to fire their imagination and interest in reading a wide variety of texts!


Little Wandle Letters And Sounds Revised

Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised resources for parents can he found here