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Merryhills Primary School


Phonics at Merryhills

At Merryhills, we are following the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme.  Below you will find some information about the importance of phonics teaching, and what phonics lessons and early reading will look like for your child. 

The seven features of effective phonics practice

When teaching phonics in school, there are seven key features we include. These are: 

  • direct teaching in frequent, short bursts 
  • consistency of approach 
  • secure, systematic progression in phonics learning (the order in which the sounds are taught)
  • maintaining pace of learning 
  • providing repeated practice 
  • application of phonics using matched decodable books 
  • early identification of children at risk of falling behind, linked to the provision of effective keep-up support

Children are at an advantage if they are taught phonics efficiently and as early as possible in their learning journey. In the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme, all lessons involve direct teaching and follow the progression outlined in our phonics overviews. Each lesson generally takes 15–30 minutes, depending on the age and stage of the children being taught. Phonics will take place everyday, and the 5th session of the week allows the children to review the content taught in the week.

High expectations of progress for all children

The progression of Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised has been devised so that children are taught a cumulative progression of GPCs (Grapheme Phoneme Correspondence) that they immediately practise through oral blending, reading and spelling words and sentences, and, later on, reading fully decodable books. Children review and revise GPCs and words daily, weekly and across terms and years in order to move this knowledge into their long-term memory. The curriculum includes periods of review, and ensures that all children have adequate time to learn new GPCs, then practise, retrieve and apply their learning so it moves into the long-term memory and reading becomes automatic and fluent. At Merryhills, continuous assessment is taking place, so if we notice your child needs any further support with anything that has been taught, keep up sessions will be put in place. In addition to this, half termly assessments are also carried out to assess and review where each child is working at. 

Matched Decodable Books

When learning to read, it is important that children get the opportunity to apply this knowledge within the books they are reading. Each week, your child will have the opportunity to read with an adult three times a week where key skills such as decoding, prosody and comprehension will be focused on. Your child will then bring home a reading book matched to their reading level which they should be able to read fluently and independently.









Parental Involvement

Parental involvement is extremely valued at Merryhills and we recognise the impact it has. Although children are taught to read in school, parental input has a significant impact on childrens’ reading journey. For any further advice about how you can support your child at home, please see your child’s class teacher. 

Support for Parents

Click the link below to be taken to the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds website where you can find out more information such as how to pronounce letter sounds, a glossary of terms and downloadable guidance.

Little Wandle

Phonics Knowledge and Progression