At Gastrells our children start their phonics journey in Reception.

As a school we follow the ‘Little Wandle – Letters and Sounds’ scheme, this ensures that there is consistency in the teaching of Phonics throughout the school. As a result, our Systematic, Synthetic Phonics Program (SSP) is high quality and robust in its purpose. With a clear structured route it allows all our pupils to meet or exceed the expected standard.

We whole-heartedly believe that our rigorous program is the key that unlocks our children’s success in early reading.

During the year, we ensure that parents are fully involved in their child’s phonics journey and this is achieved through various means. In Owls, children’s phonics learning is often shared on Tapestry to keep parents up to date with the sounds they are learning. In Peregrines, children receive weekly spelling activities to practice at home. We also organise and deliver an interactive parents’ session to engage parents in our SSP and give them strategies to support the children at home with their phonics.

Correct pronunciation of the sounds is vital to ensure consistent phonics teaching. Below are videos and links to documents demonstrating the correct pronunciation of our sounds.

In addition to the phonics scheme, we also use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds. All of our reading books are fully decodable, meaning that when children are reading their books either at home or in school, the sounds that they meet, will have already been taught within their phonics session, giving each child every chance of success in their reading. When children practice reading decodable books at the right level (at 90% fluency) they experience reading success from the outset. The books are underpinned by rigorous phonics progression to build our pupils’ reading confidence. Alongside the decoding and blending of the phonics sounds, the Little Wandle books also encourage the children to talk, develop a rich vocabulary and ultimately build a strong foundation for learning to read. See more on the link below:

Children at Gastrells should be reading their books at least three times, this way we can ensure that the children are practicing each of these skills:

· Decoding (Reading phonically regular words and recognising common exception words).

· Understanding.

· Fluency and Expression.

We want all children to develop a love of reading, and enjoy hearing about the children’s favourite story books in which they are reading outside of school too. Children can then recommend a book to their peers and develop a wide variety of fiction, non-fiction and poems in which the whole class can enjoy.