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At Shepherd Primary School we are passionate about reading and are determined that every child will leave our school being able to read.


Phonics is taught daily, from Nursery through to Year 2. We follow 'Little Wandle Letters and Sounds' scheme - a systematic approach to teaching phonics and to driving forward the children’s reading skills.


Every year we run a parent workshop for Phonics and Early Reading, to provide parents with an insight to how we teach phonics at Shepherd Primary School.

What is Phonics?

Phonics is all about using:

  • Skills for reading and spelling
  • Knowledge of the alphabet

Learning phonics will help your child to become a good reader and writer.

Little Wandle Phonics

It is vital that children learn the correct pronunciation as they learn phonics.


Little Wandle, the synthetic phonics programme that we follow here at Shepherd, has a great resource page for parents that includes four short videos that show you how to pronounce the different phonics sounds:


If your child is in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 or Year 2, please do take a look at the resources page and find a few minutes to watch the videos.

3 quick things you can do a home to help with phonics

  • Matching initial sounds to objects – what does banana start with?
  • Letter hunts around Tesco (or any other supermarket!) – can we find this week's sounds?
  • Play Robot I Spy – I spy with my little eye a b-u-s

The Journey


In Nursery Children begin their Phonics journey with a variety of listening games, activities and songs with a focus on environmental sounds, rhyme, alliteration, instrumental sounds, body percussion, voice sounds and oral blending and segmenting. Teaching is fun, fast paced and interactive and the children love their Phonics sessions. Lessons are taught using our Phonics scheme Little Wandle Letters and Sounds with supporting activities from Supersonic Phonics.



Phonics learning becomes a little more formal in Reception with the introduction of letter symbols. Children will learn letter symbols, sounds and names of individual letters and letter groups and will learn how to blend these together to read simple words, and how to segment words into parts to write them. Throughout the year learning progresses to reading and writing sentences and high frequency words used in the English language. Sessions are daily, fast paced and interactive, allowing the children to rehearse the skills that they have acquired. Our Phonics learning is reflected in our continuous provision in Reception to offer the children opportunities to practise what they have learnt.


Year One

Lessons continue to be daily and interactive with an emphasis on more complex letter groups, capital letters, polysyllabic words and reading and writing more complex sentences. Phonics is linked to English lessons, allowing the children to incorporate their Phonics learning into their English work. Teachers insure that children are well prepared for the Phonics screening test with a rich variety of games and activities.


Year Two

Phonics learning continues to be integrated into the curriculum with a revisit of sounds learnt so far. Provision is planned for children who still need discreet Phonics teaching. Phonics moves into our spelling curriculum ‘Essentials for Spelling’ in Year Two where children are taught the rules for spelling.


Beyond Year Two

Phonics continues to be integrated into the curriculum where appropriate. Provision for children who still require the teaching of Phonics is carefully planned to enhance their in class learning.