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Holly Grove Primary Academy


Here at Holly Grove we follow 'Little Wandle Letters and Sounds' phonics scheme. 

Phonics is taught in a highly structured programme of daily lessons across Nursery/ Reception and KS1. Little Wandle programme is followed, providing a synthetic approach to the teaching of phonics. This is supplemented by supporting children to read using Big cat Collins reading books, ebooks at home. Along with ICT games such as topmarks and phonicsplay.

Each session gives an opportunity for children to revisit their previous experience, be taught new skills, practise together and apply what they have learned.

Phases of the Phonics Programme

Children in Nursery begin with Foundations to phonics which concentrates on developing children's speaking and listening skills and lays the foundations for the phonic work which starts in Phase 2. The emphasis during the foundation stage is to get children attuned to the sounds around them and ready to begin developing oral blending and segmenting skills.

As children move into Reception they continue to build upon the listening activities and are introduced to Phase 2 which marks the start of systematic phonic work. Grapheme-phoneme correspondence is introduced. The process of segmenting whole words and selecting letters to represent those phonemes is taught writing the letters to encode words. Phase 3 completes the teaching of the alphabet and then moves on to cover sounds represented by more than one letter, learning one representation for each of the 44 phonemes. At this stage just one spelling is given for each phoneme. When children become secure they continue onto Phase 4 where they start to read and spell words containing adjacent consonants. No new phonemes are introduced at this phase.

It is expected that children will enter Phase 5 as they begin year 1, broadening their knowledge of graphemes and phonemes for use in reading and spelling. They will learn new graphemes and alternative pronunciations for these and graphemes they already know, where relevant. It is expected that children entering Year 2 will recap phase 5 and then move onto different spelling strategies including word specific spellings eg see/ sea, spelling of words with prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters where necessary. Also the accurate spelling of words containing unusual GPC's eg laughs, two.

The school spelling programs complement the phonics learning from Reception through to the end of KS2. The spelling of high frequency and tricky words are taught continuously throughout the phases.

How Phonics is taught 

From EYFS to Year 2, Phonics is taught in a whole class,  discrete, 30 minute, daily sessions. Little Wandle Letters and Sounds is used as a scheme for planning and delivery. Children's phonics knowledge is tracked from Nursery on a school pro forma. 

Children access reading books which complement the phonics they are learning and are encouraged to use a range of decoding strategies from an Early age. These reading books follow Big Cat Collins. Reading books are sent home each week via children's ebook accounts.

Decoding Strategies:

1. Phonics- blending and segmenting 

2.- Word recognition- breaking up the word, looking for words within words

3.- context- using pictures/ diagrams: using understanding about the topic

4.- Grammatical- using punctuation; known prefixes and suffixes

Phonics Assessment

Children’s progress is continually reviewed to allow for teachers to see any gaps in knowledge.  Children are formally assessed at the end of each half term.

The National Phonics screening check is performed in June of Year 1. The purpose of the screening check is to confirm that all children have learned phonic decoding to an age-appropriate standard. The children who did not meet the required standard for the check in year 1 enter again in year 2 with additional support. As children enter KS2 provision is made for those children still requiring daily phonics, through interventions.

To have a consistency approach throughout Phonics at Holly Grove we follow the same scheme throughout the school, ensuring spellings are taught through decoding the phonemes in each word. 

Last Year 83% of Year 1 children achieve the phonics check (June 2022)

Parents Information

For videos on how to pronounce phonemes correctly please see the following website 

How to pronounce phonemes

Programme Progressions Reception- Year 1

Reception Grapheme Information

Pronunciation_guide_Autumn_1 (1).pdf



Year 1 Grapheme information


Nursery rhymes

 Nursery Rhyme Videos