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Wetheringsett C of E Primary School

It is the smallest of all seeds but when it grows up it is the biggest of all plants. It becomes a tree, so that birds come and make their nests.' Matthew 13:32

Early Reading




At Wetheringsett, we use phonics as the main approach to the teaching of reading when children begin to read. This means that they are taught individual sounds and the skills of ‘blending’ these together to read whole words.


We teach phonics through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds revised. This is a complete systematic synthetic phonics programme (SSP) developed for schools by schools. It is based on the original Letters and Sounds, but has been extensively revised to provide a complete teaching programme which meets all the expectations of the National Curriculum.

Phonics lessons

  • 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 begins in Week 2 of the Autumn term.
  • We follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised expectations of progress. Please see the progression document below for reference.

    Phoneme - The smallest unit of sound. There are approximately 44 phonemes in English (it depends on different accents). Phonemes can be put together to make words.

    Grapheme - A way of writing down a phoneme. Graphemes can be made up from 1 letter e.g. p, 2 letters e.g. sh, 3 letters e.g. tch or 4 letters e.g ough.

    Digraph - A grapheme containing two letters that makes just one sound (phoneme).

    Trigraph - A grapheme containing three letters that makes just one sound (phoneme).


    The teaching of Phonics continues in Year 1 when the children undertake the National Phonics Screening Check at the end of the year. Phonics knowledge is consolidated throughout Year 2 and beyond.


    Little Wandle


    Click on the link for lots of great ideas to help your child with his/her phonic skills;





As children become more fluent readers, they are encouraged to develop a wider range of strategies to read and this is reflected in the books they read.


In Early Years, the focus in class is on sharing books together and supporting children individually to begin to apply their phonics knowledge to read themselves. Reception children are provided with a story book with a range of activities to do with their grown up at home. We encourage these activities to be uploaded onto their Tapestry account so we can continue to foster the love of reading in school. The children take home a decodable book when they are able to decode words. 


Reading Spines