Swinton Fitzwilliam Primary School

Swinton Fitzwilliam Primary School

Part of White Woods Primary Academy Trust

Rookery Road, Mexborough, South Yorkshire, S64 8HP


01709 874418

Phonics and Early Reading at swinton fitzwilliam

At Swinton Fitzwilliam we believe that all of our pupils must become fluent readers and writers; therefore phonics must be taught through a systematic and structured phonics programme.

We use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised to plan and provide daily engaging phonics lessons. In phonics, we teach children that the letters of the alphabet represent a different sound, that these can be used in a variety of combinations and are put together to make words. The children learn to recognise all of the different sounds and combinations that they might see when they are reading or writing. Our phonics teaching follows a very specific sequence that allows our children to build on their previous phonic knowledge and master specific phonic strategies as they move through school. As a result, all our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words that they might discover.

phonics lessons

  • We start teaching phonics in FS1 and follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised expectations and scheme of work.
  • In FS1 we use Little Wandle’s foundation for phonics to prepare children to begin learning GPCs and blending skills in FS2. This is part of our language-rich provision.
  • We teach phonics daily in FS2 for 30 minutes and 45 minutes in Year 1.
  • Each Friday, we review the week’s teaching to help children become fluent readers.
  • Children make a strong start in Reception and teaching begins in Week 2 of the autumn term.
  • Children in FS2 are taught to read and spell words using Phase 2 and Phase 3 GPCs and words with adjacent consonants (Phase 4) with fluency and accuracy.
  • Children in Year 1 review Phase 3 and 4 and are taught to read and spell words using phase 5 GPCs with fluency and accuracy.
  • Daily keep-up sessions ensure every child learns to read. This is taught by a fully trained adult and they match the structure of the class teaching.
  • Daily rapid catch up scheme is used for any child beyond year 2 who is not fully fluent at reading.

Reading Practice sessions

  • We teach children to read through reading practice sessions three times a week. These are taught by fully trained adults to small groups of children, approximately 6 children.
  • Books are matched to children's phonics knowledge using Little Wandle Letters and Sounds revised assessments.
  • Books are then taken home to ensure the success is shared with the family. 
  • The reading practice sessions have been designed to focus on three key reading skills:
    • Decoding
    • Prosody
    • Comprehension
  • In FS2, any child not yet decoding has daily additional blending practice in small groups so they quickly learn to blend and can begin reading books. 
  • The practice sessions continue as part of the rapid catch up scheme for any children who are not fully fluent at reading. 

Further information

For more information on the Little Wandle phonics scheme please follow this link: