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English Reading and Phonics


At Hollingbourne we use Little Wandle Letters and Sounds.  It is a synthetic phonics programme which is taught in the same way across school (where needed) ensuring consistency and fidelity of approach. This ensures all children are gaining access to high quality resources and high quality teaching.  

Maintaining consistency, pace of learning, the application of phonics using decodable books and of course, direct, high quality teaching are just a few of the cornerstones needed to teach children how to read effectively, giving them access to a whole host of different subjects and opportunities throughout their time at primary school and beyond.

We believe, after extensive research, that the Little Wandle scheme provides all of the above and more.  All staff have been involved in high quality professional development to ensure they feel confident in delivering the phonics curriculum and have a good understanding of planning and delivering high quality phonics lessons.  Additionally, children have phonics lessons regularly and are encouraged to use this learning in all areas of the curriculum.  They are also given ample opportunity within each phonics session to use and apply what they have learnt to ensure regular consolidation.   Children in Year R and 1 also take part in small group reading skills sessions, where they are taught skills to aid reading comprehension.

At the end of Year 1, children complete the phonics screening check. If the pass mark is not reached, then children are retested at the end of Year 2. A guide to the check can be found in the document list below. 

'Leaders have made improvements to the approaches used to teach phonics. They have made sure that staff are well trained and know how to help pupils learn to read. Children in Reception Year make a strong start because staff make learning to read a top priority. Teachers check that pupils are keeping up with the pace of the phonics programme.  Pupils who need extra help receive well-targetted support.' 

 Ofsted (March, 2022)

Children from Year 2 to Year 6 complete daily reading skills lessons where they are taught skills such as retrieval, inference, prediction and explanation as well as new vocabulary and how to understand words in context.  This gives them access to a wide range of texts and genres and ensures they are well-placed to comprehend texts in a meaningful way.

'Leaders have made sure that the school has a wide range of interesting books. Pupils enjoy having these read to them and taking them home to read themselves. Older pupils speak confidently about their favourite authors and genres.'

Ofsted (March, 2022)