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Four Swannes Primary School

Investors in Children

School Logo

Four Swannes Primary School

Investors in Children




At Four Swannes Primary School, we use the Government's agreed phonics programme called 'Little Wandle'

Little Wandle is accessed by mainly children from Nursery-Year 1. However, it is also used children in Year 2 who haven't passed their phonics test and children in Year 3-6 who still need phonics and early reading support. 



At Four Swannes Primary School, we believe that all our children can become fluent readers and writers. This is why we teach reading through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme. We start teaching phonics in Reception and follow the programme overview, which ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school.


We also model the application of the alphabetic code through phonics in shared reading and writing, both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on language development for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects.


 We value reading as a crucial life skill. By the time children leave us, they read confidently for meaning and regularly enjoy reading for pleasure. Our readers are equipped with the tools to tackle unfamiliar vocabulary. We encourage our children to see themselves as readers for both pleasure and purpose.


We teach phonics for 30 minutes a day. In Reception, we build from 10-minute lessons, with additional daily oral blending games, to the full-length lesson as quickly as possible. Each Friday, we review the week’s teaching to help children become fluent readers. Children make a strong start in Reception: teaching begins in Week 2 of the Autumn term. 


Any child who needs additional practice has daily Keep-up support, taught by a fully trained adult. Keep-up lessons match the structure of class teaching, and use the same procedures, resources and mantras, but in smaller steps with more repetition, so that every child secures their learning. We timetable daily phonics lessons for any child in Year 2 and above who is not fully fluent at reading or has not passed the Phonics screening check. These children urgently need to catch up, so the gap between themselves and their peers does not widen.


We teach children to read through reading practice sessions three times a week. These are taught by a fully trained adult to a small group of children. Each reading practice session has a clear focus and are designed to focus on three key reading skills:

  • Decoding
  • prosody: teaching children to read with understanding and expression
  • comprehension: teaching children to understand the text.

The decoable reading practice book is taken home to ensure success is shared at home. Reading for pleasure books also go home for parents to share and read to the children. 


Every adult in our school has been trained to teach phonics and reading, so we have the same expectations of progress. We all use the same language, routines and resources to show consistency when teaching the children. We value reading for pleasure highly and work hard as a school to grow our reading for pleasure pedagogy. 



Assessment is used to monitor progress and to identify any child needing additional support as soon as they need it.


  • Assessment for learning is used:
    • daily within class to identify children needing Keep-up support
    • weekly in the Review lesson to assess gaps, address these immediately and secure fluency of GPCs, words and spellings. 
  • Summative assessment is used:
    • every six weeks to assess progress, to identify gaps in learning that need to be addressed, to identify any children needing additional support and to plan the Keep-up support that they need.
    • Results from assessment are inputted into the assessment tracker.
  • Fluency assessments  measure children’s accuracy and reading speed in short one-minute assessments. They are used:
  • when children are reading the Phase 5 set 3, 4 and 5 books
  • to assess when children are ready to exit their programme. This is when they read the final fluency assessment at 60–70+ words per minute.
  • A placement assessment is used:
  • with any child new to the school in who needs phoonics to quickly identify any gaps in their phonic knowledge and plan and provide appropriate extra teaching.
  • Statutory assessment:
  • Children in Year 1 sit the Phonics screening check. Any child not passing the check re-sits it in Year 2.





Phonics and Early Reading Policy

Phonics Curriculum Overview