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Cove Infant School

Growing and Achieving together

Phonics and Early Reading



At Cove Infant School we believe that for all our children to become fluent readers and writers, phonics must be taught through a systematic and structured phonics programme.


We use Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised to plan and provide daily engaging phonics lessons. 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. The children learn to recognise all of the different sounds and combinations that they might see when they are reading or writing. Our phonics teaching starts as soon as the children join us in Reception and follows a very specific sequence that allows the children to build on their previous phonic knowledge and master specific phonic strategies as they move through school. As a result, all our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words that they might discover. The modelling of these strategies in shared reading and writing both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum is key to allowing the children to succeed. Speaking and Listening skills are crucial for reading and writing in all subjects; we therefore encourage the development of language skills and extension of vocabulary across the school. 


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, with a review session on a Friday.  
  • At the beginning of the year, phonics lessons in Reception are 10 minutes long, with daily additional oral blending opportunities.  Lessons are increased in length to between 20 and 30 minutes as soon as as soon as possible.
  • Year 1 lessons are 30 minutes long.
  • In Year 2,  phonic lessons are taught daily to children where appropriate – following the model of Little Wandle through the use of their Keep up Intervention.  As we introduce Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, Year 2 are following the same whole class structure of phonics teaching as Year 1.  


Reading practice sessions

  • Children in all year groups apply their phonics knowledge by using a full matched decodable reader 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 a group.
  • The sessions follow the model set out in Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised.
  • The children then have access to the same book on their e - library account the following week, to ensure success is shared with their family.


How do we assess phonic knowledge?

  • In Reception and Year 1, at the end of each week there is a review session which recaps the learning. There are also whole review weeks (pre-planned and bespoke review weeks to address gaps identified by the class teacher’s ongoing formative assessment).
  • Children identified in Reception and Year 1 who may be falling behind are immediately identified and daily ‘keep up’ sessions are put in place – sessions follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme.
  • In Reception and Year 1, the children are assessed at the end of every half term using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessment tracker.
  • In Year 1, children will take the national Phonics Screening Check in the summer term (June).
  • Children who do not pass the Phonics Screening Check in Year 1, will re-sit this in the summer tem of Year 2.
  • Those children who are in Year 2 this year (2021-2022) did not take their Phonics Screening Check in Year 1 due to the Covid -19 disruption and subsequent Government guidance around National Assessment.  These children will therefore take the check in Autumn term 2021. 


Further information about how to support your child with phonics and early reading at home can be found below.  

If you have any queries or questions relating to Phonics or Early Reading at Cove Infant School, please contact Miss Carrie Maries (Reading Lead) via the Contact Us page.  

Reading for Pleasure! 


 Each year, the 'Books for Topics' website create a list of exciting books for each year group to explore as part of reading for pleasure. 

We have attached the lists for this year.