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Reading and Phonics



At Millbrook Infant School we use the 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 in Reception and follows a very specific sequence that allows our children to build on their previous phonic knowledge and master specific phonic strategies as they move through school. As a result, our children become confident readers who are able to tackle any unfamiliar words that they might discover. At Millbrook Infant School we model these strategies inside and outside of phonics lessons, for example through group reading practice sessions, as well as during shared writing and other lessons across our curriculum.

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 and there is a review session on a Friday.
  • In Reception, children begin learning phonics in week 2 of the Autumn term to ensure they make a strong start. We also have a key focus on language development alongside this with lots of opportunities for oral blending and listening to high quality stories and rhymes.
  • 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 daily to children where appropriate – following the model of Little Wandle but plugging specific gaps identified through assessment.
  • We regularly assess children and to ensure all children are making progress, we provide sufficient additional support to ensure children can keep up.
  • Support is given as soon as possible through teaching carefully planned ‘keep up’ sessions to address the gaps in children's knowledge, and continuous assessment to keep track of children’s progress.



Children across Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 apply their phonic knowledge by using a fully matched decodable reading book in a reading practice session. During these sessions, we use Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised reading scheme. In Year 2, after children have completed the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised phonic programme, they move onto reading books from the Rising Stars Reading Planet reading scheme.

Children take home a book, a ‘home - school reading book’ that is securely matched to their phonic knowledge. This is a book that children can read independently. This allows them to practice their reading skills at home and ensures their success is shared with their family. When reading a home-school reading book, children should:

  • Know all of the sounds and tricky words well
  • Read many of the words with silent blending (in their head); their reading will be automatic
  • Only need to stop and sound out about 5% of the words and they should be able to do this independently.

At Millbrook Infant School we believe it is essential that children are encouraged to read for pleasure. The desire of wanting to read will help with the skill of reading. To help foster a love of reading, children take a book home that they can share and enjoy with their grownups. Children can choose a ‘sharing book’ to take home once a week.

  • This is a book to talk about and enjoy at home. It provides opportunities for children to talk about the story and pictures as well as what the book is about.
  • Children will have a choice of which book they take home. It might be a fiction or a non-fiction book so children can enjoy a range of different types of books.

If you would like more information about how to support your child with phonics and reading at home, please follow this link to find the Reception and Year 1 overview as well as videos of the sound pronunciations, letter formation sheets and other helpful resources.


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