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Reading and Phonics

What is phonics?

Phonics is a way of teaching children how to read and write, helping children to hear, identify and use different sounds to read and write. The English language has: 26 letters, 44 sounds and over 100 different ways to spell these sounds. Phonics sessions teach the children all of these.

How do we teach phonics and reading at Kender?

At Kender we use ‘Little Wandle: Letters and Sounds’ to teach the children. This programme is validated by the Department for Education.

In Nursery children are taught the skills they will need to start reading and writing in Reception throughout the day through games, songs, music and stories. There are 7 aspects covered:

  1. General sound discrimination: Environmental sounds
  2. General sound discrimination: Instrumental sounds
  3. General sound discrimination: Body percussion
  4. Rhythm and rhyme
  5. Alliteration
  6. Voice Sounds
  7. Oral blending and segmenting.

Children do not learn letter- sound correspondences in Nursery. Instead we set the foundations so that they can fly when they reach Reception!

Phonics is taught daily from Reception- Year 2 through daily sessions, starting at 10 minutes at the start of Reception and going up to 30 minutes in Year 1 and 2.



At the start of Reception children will be given wordless books whilst they learn sound-letter correspondences. They will learn how to handle books appropriately and begin developing their speech and ability to discuss books. They will read with an adult either 1:1 or 1:2.

In Year 1 and Year 2 children read in small groups. They will read their book twice before taking the book home.

Children are assessed termly and their books are levelled to ensure they are reading at the appropriate level. They will read their book first at school and then take it home- they should be able to read almost independently when they take the books home, so please don’t worry if it seems too easy!

Families are expected to read with their child daily for a short period of time. The child should read their phonics book to the adult for 5-10 minutes, depending on their ability, and the adult should read a sharing story book with them to develop their ability to discuss books and build a love of reading. Children will be given a reading record which a family member should write in once per week to give the school feedback.

For further information on phonics please download the presentation below.

Access this link for how to say the sounds your child is being taught and further guidance on how we teach through the Little Wandle scheme:

Please also see resources attached to support your child at home. Phonics mat’s can be printed out and will help your child find a sound they need if they are unsure of how to write it. The sounds on the year groups mat’s are all the sounds they will have covered by the end of the year.