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Early Reading and Phonics

At Wordsworth, we use the Little Wandle programme to teach early reading skills in Year R  and 1 and for any children who need further support from Year 2 onwards.

What is Little Wandle? It is a complete systematic synthetic phonics programme (SSP) developed for schools by schools.   

The Little Wandle had a very useful page for parents on their website. There are videos to help with the pronunciation of the phonemes and documents to support parents with helping children to form their letters (graphemes) when writing.

Little Wandle Website

What you will see in classrooms:

  • High quality phonics sessions following a 4 part lesson revisit/recap, Teach, Practise and Apply
  • Children reading books at an appropriate level for them
  • Comprehension skills being explicitly taught
  • Teacher modelling of fluent reading and expert comprehension

Phonics is taught every day of the week in Year R and 1. These lessons usually take place at the beginning of the day and children usually learn four new GPCs (sounds) a week – this means that it is important that your child is in school every day, and on time.

On top of Phonics lessons, children are taught to read through group reading sessions three times a week. During these sessions they read their book with a trained adult with the following focus:

Session 1 – Decoding (sounding out & blending)

Session 2 – Prosody (expression and fluency)

Session 3 – Comprehension (understanding what they have read)

Children then take this same book home to continue to practice developing fluency and confidence with their reading. We ask that families read this book three times at home before returning it to school the following week.

Phonics Glossary

We hope the following glossary is useful to you when using our Little Wandle pages. Always feel free to come in and talk to us if you require any further support.


Blending is the skill of joining sounds together to read words. Children are taught to say the separate sounds in a word and to then blend them together to decode the word.


 A digraph is a sound that is represented by two letters e.g. the sound 'a' in rain is represented by the digraph 'ai'.


A grapheme is a visual representation of a sound e.g. a letter or a group of letters.

Some sounds are represented by a single letter whilst others are represented by more than one letter.


 A phoneme is a unit of sound e.g. the word 'cat' contains three phonemes; c - a - t.


 Segmenting is the opposite of blending. Children are taught to segment a word into its separate sounds in order to spell it.

 split digraph

 A split digraph is a digraph that is separated by other letters e.g. the sound 'a' in the word take is represented by the split digraph a-e.

Collins e-books

All of our reading books are fully decodable and are from the Collins Big Cat Reading Scheme.

These books are directly linked to the Little Wandle programme and teachers are able to identify exactly which level book your child should be reading from their phonics assessment.

Although children will bring home a physical copy of the book, you will also have access to the e-book system on the Collins e-books website.

If you have not received your child’s login information, or wish for another copy, please speak to their class teacher.

You will be able to access all of the books that your child has been allocated.

There is a function on the website that will read the book aloud, which may be helpful if your child is feeling unsure about any of the words.