English - Phonics
At Langdon Academy, we believe that all of our children can become fluent readers and writers. This is why we teach reading through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds.
We start teaching phonics immediately once our children start their Reception journey with us and follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised progression, which ensures children can build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through the school.
As a result all children are able to tackle unfamiliar words they read. At Langdon we also model the application of the alphabetic code through phonics in shared reading and writing, both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. We also 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 Langdon we value reading as a crucial life skill. By the time children leave us they read confidently for meaning and regularly read 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.
The two types of reading book that your child will read at home:
A reading practice book online via your Big Cat accounts or Bug Club accounts and via a sharing book.
The Big Cat book will be at the correct phonic stage for your child. They should be able to read this fluently and independently.
A sharing book will be a book your child might not be able to read on their own. This book is for you to both read and enjoy together.
Daily phonics lessons in EYFS and Year 1
We teach phonics for 30 minutes a day. In Reception, we build from 10-minute lessons, with additional daily oral blending games, to full-length lessons as quickly as possible. Each Friday, we review the week’s teaching to help children become fluent readers.
We follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised expectations of progress: children in Reception are taught to read and spell words using Phase 2 and 3 GPCs, and words with adjacent consonants (Phase 4) with fluency and accuracy. Children in Year 1 review Phases 3 and 4 and are taught to read and spell words using Phase 5 GPCs with fluency and accuracy.
Daily keep-up lessons ensure every child learns to read
Any child who needs additional practice has daily Keep-up support, taught by a fully trained adult. Keep-up lessons match the structure of class teaching, and use the same procedures, resources and mantras, but in smaller steps with more repetition, so that every child secures their learning.
We timetable daily phonics lessons for any child in Year 2 and above who is not fully fluent at reading or has not passed the Phonics screening check. These children urgently need to catch up, so the gap between themselves and their peers does not widen. We use Rapid Catch-up assessments to identify the gaps in their phonic knowledge and teach these using the Rapid Catch-up resources.
Reading practice sessions three times a week
We teach children to read through reading practice sessions three times a week. These are taught by a fully trained adult to small groups of six children. We use books matched to the children’s secure phonic knowledge using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessments and book matching grids. They are monitored by the class teacher, who rotates and works with each group on a regular basis.
Each reading practice session has a clear focus, so that the demands of the session do not overload the children’s working memory. The reading practice sessions have been designed to focus on three key reading skills: decoding, prosody (teaching children to read with understanding and expression) and comprehension: teaching children to understand the text.