At St Botolph’s, we pride ourselves on offering our children quality education within a safe and nurturing environment. We continually strive to improve, giving our children exciting opportunities to broaden their horizons.
The St Botolph’s Curriculum has carefully planned activities and learning which matches our children’s needs, expanding their opportunities and widening their horizons. Learning is carefully connected, interweaving knowledge and skills to make it meaningful, while ensuring that the National Curriculum is followed.
“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, but extensively revised to provide a complete teaching programme meeting all the expectations of the National Curriculum, the Ofsted Deep Dive into reading and preparing your children to go beyond the expectations of the Phonics Screening Check.”
At St Botolph’s, we teach reading through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme.
By starting to teach phonics in Reception and by following the stated programme progression, we intend for our pupils to build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school. As a result, we aim for all our children to be able to tackle any unfamiliar words as they read. We also model the application of the alphabetic code through phonics in shared reading and writing, both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. At St Botolph’s, there is a strong focus on language development for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects.
How we teach phonics
In reception and Year 1, children follow the progression within Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme. Phonics is taught daily.
By the end of reception, children will have been taught up to the end of phase 4.
By the end of Year 1, children will have been taught up to the end of phase 5.
Reception lessons start at 10 minutes, with daily additional oral blending – increasing to 30 minutes as soon as possible.
Year 1 lessons are 30 minutes long.
In Year 2, phonic lessons are taught three times a week to children where appropriate – following the model of Little Wandle.
How we teach videos
How we teach tricky words
How we teach blending
Reading practice sessions
We teach children to read through reading practice sessions three times a week. These sessions:
are led by a fully trained adult to small groups.
use books matched to the children’s secure phonic knowledge using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessments.
are monitored by the class teacher, who rotates and works with each group on a regular basis.
Each reading practice session has a clear focus, so that the demands of the session do not overload the children’s working memory. The reading practice sessions have been designed to focus on three key reading skills:
prosody: teaching children to read with understanding and expression
comprehension: teaching children to understand the text.
Children who are not yet decoding have daily additional blending practice in small groups or 1:1 with a trained adult, so that they quickly learn to blend and can begin to read books.
In Reception and Year 1 two reading books are sent home every week.
The decodable reading practice book is taken home to ensure success is shared with the family.
Reading for pleasure books are also taken home for parents to share and read to children.
We value reading for pleasure highly and work hard as a school to grow a reading for pleasure culture.
We read to children every day. Books are chosen carefully as we want children to experience a wide range, including books that reflect the children at St Botolph’s and our local community as well as books that open windows into other worlds and cultures.
Every classroom has an inviting book corner that encourages a love for reading.
In Reception, children have access to the reading books as part of the continuous provision.
Children from Reception onwards have a home reading record. This is used to record the books children have read at home and school.
Assessment is used to monitor progress and to identify any child needing additional support as soon as they need it.
Assessment for learning is used:
daily within class to identify children needing Keep-up support sessions.
weekly in the Review lesson to assess gaps, address these immediately and secure fluency of GPCs, words and spellings.
Summative assessment is used:
every six weeks to assess progress, to identify gaps in learning that need to be addressed, to identify any children needing additional support and to plan the Keep-up support that they need.
The statutory Phonics Screening Check is sat by children in Year 1. Any child not passing the check re-sits it in Year 2. Also in Year 2, children are assessed through their teacher’s ongoing formative assessment as well as through the half-termly Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised summative assessments.
The resources on this page will help you support your child with saying their sounds and writing their letters. There are also some useful videos so you can see how they are taught at school and feel confident about supporting their reading at home. On this page you will also find our full Reception and Year 1 teaching programme overview to see what your child will learn and when.
Supporting your child with reading
Although your child will be taught to read at school, you can have a huge impact on their reading journey by continuing their practice at home.
There are two types of reading book that your child may bring home:
A reading practice book. This will be at the correct phonic stage for your child. They should be able to read this fluently and independently.
A sharing book. Your child will not be able to read this on their own. This book is for you both to read and enjoy together.
Reading practice book
This book has been carefully matched to your child’s current reading level. If your child is reading it with little help, please don’t worry that it’s too easy – your child needs to develop fluency and confidence in reading.
Listen to them read the book. Remember to give them lots of praise – celebrate their success! If they can’t read a word, read it to them. After they have finished, talk about the book together.
In order to encourage your child to become a lifelong reader, it is important that they learn to read for pleasure. The sharing book is a book they have chosen for you to enjoy together.
Please remember that you shouldn’t expect your child to read this alone. Read it to or with them. Discuss the pictures, enjoy the story, predict what might happen next, use different voices for the characters, explore the facts in a non-fiction book.