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Phonics and Early Reading

It is our priority to ensure that each child is taught to read.  Phonics is the way that our students start their journey to become independent and fluent readers.  From the moment the children join us in Reception, phonics is taught in a highly structured programme of daily lessons which continues throughout Reception and Year 1.  It is our aim at St Elizabeth’s to provide children with the skills necessary to be able to read confidently and access information throughout the curriculum whilst developing their own enjoyment of reading.

Phonics (reading and spelling)

At St Elizabeth’s, we teach phonics and early reading through the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme.  We start teaching phonics in Reception and follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised progression, which ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school.

As a result, all our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words as they read.  At St Elizabeth’s, we also model the application of the alphabetic code through phonics in shared reading and writing, both inside and outside of the phonics lessons and across the curriculum.  We have 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.


At St Elizabeth’s, we value reading as a crucial life skill.  By the time children leave us, they read confidently for meaning and regularly enjoy reading for pleasure.  Our readers are equipped with the tools to tackle unfamiliar vocabulary.  We encourage our children to see themselves as readers for both pleasure and purpose.

Because we believe that teaching every child to read is so important, we have a Reading Leader who drives the early reading programme in our school.  The Reading Leader is highly skilled at teaching phonics and reading, and monitors and supports the reading team, ensuring that all staff teach with fidelity to the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme.

Phonics Screening Check

During the summer term, children in Year 1 are tested on their phonic knowledge in the Phonics Screening Check.  The purpose of the screening check is to confirm that children have learned phonic decoding to an age-appropriate standard and identify children who have gaps in their phonic knowledge and may need support in Year 2 to develop reading and writing skills.  Parents are informed as to whether their child has achieved the national expectation within the child’s end-of-year report.  Children who do not meet the age expected standard in phonics at Year 1 receive additional tuition in Year 2 and are tested again in the summer term.

Please click here for more information about the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme.

For more details about the teaching of phonics and early reading at St Elizabeth’s, please read the document below.