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Bishops Canning CofE Primary School & Pre School

Phonics and Early Reading


Our Phonics and Early Reading Policy

Synthetic Phonics is a way of teaching reading. Children are taught to read letters or groups of letters by saying the sound(s) they represent. Children can then start to read words by blending (synthesising) the sounds together to make a word.

At Bishops Cannings School we follow a systematic approach where each grapheme is introduced clearly; a focus is placed on blending to read and segmenting to spell. We use the Little Wandle Revised Letters and Sounds Scheme. This focus provides children with the skills they need to begin to read words, captions and whole sentences as soon as possible.From September 2022, we have been using the government validated systematic synthetic phonics programme (SSP) called ‘Little Wandle: Letters & Sounds Revised’. The programme is designed to teach children to read from Reception to Year 2, using the skill of decoding and blending sounds together to form words. “The Little Wandle programme provides a full progression through all commonly occurring GPCs* (sounds), working from simple to more complex, and taking into account the frequency of their occurrence in the most commonly encountered words.” 

Please access the Little Wandle website (link below) to find more information. The 'For parents' section provides videos of how to pronounce the Phase 2 and Phase 3 sounds and how we teach the reading of words. 



Our Whole School Reading Strategy

Our School Reading Spine

We give children the best start we can by teaching them to read as soon as possible so that they can develop a love of reading that will provide them with the skills they need for the future.

Right from the beginning of their time at Bishops Cannings School, whether it be in the Pre School or in the main school, children access a range of high quality engaging texts across a range of genres.

We have a dedicated library area in our school as well as class reading spaces from which children can access books.

Our Whole School Reading Challenge focuses on developing children's enjoyment of reading as well as giving the children a broad range of texts to enjoy and read. 

Within each year group we have set texts we cover. We also have a list of recommended reads. Please see below. 

Recommended Texts

Pre-schoolReceptionYear 1Year 2Year 3Year 4Year 5Year 6

Year one phonics screening check

The phonics screening check was introduced in 2011-12; it is a short, light-touch assessment to confirm whether individual children have learnt phonic decoding to an appropriate standard.  It consists of a list of 40 words, half real words and half non-words, which all Year 1 children read to a teacher. It takes place at the end of Year 1 and is a statutory requirement. If children do not pass the phonics screening check in Year 1, they will retake it in Year 2.

We follow the National Curriculum 2014 across KS1 & KS2. To find out more about the Curriculum followed in our school please visit our Curriculum & SEN page.