Teaching phonics at New Waltham Academy
At New Waltham Academy we use a government validated phonics programme, ‘Little Wandle’ Letters and Sounds Revised’, in order to deliver a comprehensive a rigorous phonics curriculum. We ensure fidelity to the scheme to embed a consistent approach across Early Years and KS1 and into KS2 where needed. Resources for phonics and reading teaching are matched to the Little Wandle Scheme and are used on a daily basis during phonics and reading sessions.
In Nursery the emphasis is on the teaching of Phase 1. Phase 1 allows the children to explore sound and the sounds they hear around them progressing onto hearing sounds in the spoken word and beginning to gain the skills needed to orally blend words and hear the sounds in them. In Nursery we use ‘Twinkl phonics’ resources and characters as a means of working through Phase 1. Practitioners in Nursery will then introduce elements of Phase 2 to begin to prepare the children for their learning in Early Years.
As the children begin their time in Early Years they will continue to work through and consolidate the sounds taught in Phase 2, following the Little Wandle scheme and using resources exclusively to support their learning and provide opportunities for practising and applying their skills. By the end of the Autumn Term children will be moved onto Phase 3, continuing to learn through the Little Wandle scheme as they move into the Phase 4 part of the scheme towards the end of the Summer Term. In addition to daily phonics sessions the children take part in reading sessions delivered by practitioners using books from the Little Wandle scheme that are phonetically matched to the children’s abilities.
Year 1& 2
Children continue to follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds programme throughout Year 1 & 2 and build upon phonic knowledge acquired by children since Nursery. Children are also prepared for the Phonic Screening Check in the Summer term of Year 1. Children who do not pass the phonics screening continue to cover aspects of phases 2,3,4 & 5 as well as move onto further phases with the aim of passing by the end of Year 2. In addition to daily phonics sessions the children take part in reading sessions delivered by trained members of staff using books from the Little Wandle scheme that are phonetically matched to the children’s abilities.
Key Stage 2
In Year 3, children continue to work through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds scheme with discrete phonic lessons being taught to differentiated groups allowing diagnostic teaching to take place to meet all children’s phonic abilities. Once all children have confidently secured knowledge in Phase 6 they then continue on spelling and grammar focus.
Throughout school, from Nursery, we use diagnostic teaching to support those who are may have differing phonological awareness. ‘Keep Up’ sessions included in the Little Wandle scheme are implemented on a daily basis to support children who may need additional blending practise. Intervention also includes precision teaching, Nessy and POPAT to ensure that all children develop secure phonic knowledge to allow them to access a language rich world.