Phonics and Early Reading


How we teach Phonics


Phonics is a way of teaching children to read and write by segmenting and blending individual sounds. Every letter and different combinations of letters make particular sounds.  Currently, we follow The Little Wandle Programme.  We use the Letter Join Programme to help develop letter formation. In Reception we use non cursive handwriting to begin with and leading up to Summer term we begin to teach the children how to lead out to prepare them for Year 1. From Year 1 children use lead in and lead out. EYFS and KS1 letter formation examples can be found at the bottom of the page. 


Children in Reception and Year 1 take part in daily phonics sessions and from Year 2 upwards children access Pathways to Spell. Any child in Year 2 upwards who would benefit from additional Phonics teaching will receve this support called 'Rapid Catch-up' which is part of The Little Wandle Programme. Phonics sessions are roughly 20 minute sessions which focus on key reading skills such as decoding, segmenting and blending to read words and segmenting the sounds in words to spell. 


Key vocabularly adults and children use in Phonics, Reading and Writing

Phoneme – smallest unit of sound/single letters (eg - s, a, t, p, i, n)

Digraph – two letters make one sound (eg - sh, ch, th, ng)

Trigraph – three letters make one sound (eg -  igh, ear, air, ure).

Split digraph – two letters make one sound but the letters have been split apart by another letter (eg - a - e sound in tape)

Grapheme – a written letter or group of letters that represent a sound eg how you form/write the letter/s

Consonants – b, c, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, q, r, s, t, v, w, x, y, z

Segment – to break down the word into its individual sounds to spell (eg - cat can be split into the sounds c-a-t.)

Blend – to put the sounds together to make a word (eg - the sounds s-a-t are blended to the word ‘sat')

Sound buttons – We use a dot under letters where one letter makes one sound and a line understand digraphs or trigraphs.

DE47AB5C-BFDE-41F7-946F-70243AEB296F.jpeg Take a look at some of our fantastic new reading books. 

Our Classroom Enivornments

Each class has a designated reading area which we believe should be a mini library for the children to browse and enjoy high quality texts that the children should be able to access easily and enjoy in a relaxing space. 


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Take a look at some of the reading resources and opportunties we provide for the children 

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Story baskets  Children vote for their favourite story  Recommended texts  Pie Corbett's reading spine books

All children in Reception and Year 1 have received a Phonics folder containing sound mats, tricky words and phonemes taught so far. Each week the children bring their folder in and new phonemes and tricky words are added to match what is being taught in school. 


It was great to be able to deliver a Year 1 Phonics meeting to share how Phonics is taught and to share information about the Year 1 Screening Check. 

The parents in Reception were invited in to take part in a Phonics lesson with their child/ren to see how Phonics is taught and how to support at home with reading and writing. 


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Parent Videos


Please click on the link on the below to access the Parent section of The Little Wandle website 


Files to Download

Hale CEPrimary School

Contact Us

Hesketh Road, Hale, Liverpool L24 4AN


Suzanne Mullarkey | School Office Manager

0151 425 3023


Yvonne Buckley


Mrs Emma Fenton