Phonics and Early Reading

At Applegarth Primary School, we believe that for all our children to become fluent readers and writers, 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 and writing.

Our phonics teaching begins in Reception and 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 may discover.

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

All teaching staff, learning support assistants and senior leaders at Applegarth Primary have been fully trained in the delivery of Letters and Sounds:

Phonics and Early Reading Policies & DocumentsDownload
Glossary of TermsDownload
Programme and Progression OverviewDownload
Certificate of Completed TrainingDownload
Phonics and Early Reading PolicyDownload

At Applegarth School, we are passionate about ensuring all our pupils are given plenty of opportunity to read for pleasure and develop a lifelong love of reading. It is for this reason that all our early readers will bring home a Read to Me book which is a text chosen by the child for sharing, enjoyment, engagement and togetherness. Our Read to Me books have been carefully curated by staff in order to promote a love of literature and embed a rich literary base within school. Pupils are free to change these books as many times as they want.

Supporting Your Child at Home

The Little Wandle Parent Support Page This page provides a wealth of up-to-date information accessible to all parents for supporting your child or children with phonics. The page includes a range of very useful videos and downloads for use at home. Please note that when Little Wandle states ‘sharing book’, this the same as our ‘Read to Me’ books used for home reading.

Supporting your Child with their Reading at Home

Although your child will be taught to read at school, you can have a huge impact on their reading journey by continuing their practice at home.

There are two types of reading book that your child may bring home:

A decodable reading practice book (or eBook version). This will be at the correct phonic stage for your child. They should be able to read this fluently and independently. We ask you to simply celebrate their successes with this book and enjoy listening to the progress your child has made.

A read to me (sharing) book. Your child will not be able to read this on their own. This book is for you both to read and enjoy together.

Reading Practice Book 

Prior to this book being sent home (or released on the eBook library platform), your child will have read the printed version three times in school. This reading practice will have taken place in a small group led by a highly-trained adult. When the reading practice book is released to you at home, your child will already be very familiar with it and should be able to read it to you with 95% – 100% fluency. All we ask is that you celebrate this milestone with them and enjoy listening to the progress they have made. This is a significant change to how we have used the decodable books in previous years – please ask if you have any questions about this process.

This book has been carefully matched to your child’s current reading level. If your child is reading it with little help, please don’t worry that it’s too easy – your child needs to develop fluency and confidence in reading.

Listen to them read the book. Remember to give them lots of praise – celebrate their success! If they can’t read a word, read it to them. After they have finished, talk about the book together.

If you are having trouble accessing the eBook, please speak with your child’s class teacher. We are able to offer alternative, closely matched printed reading practice books in some circumstances.

Read to Me Book (Sharing book)

In order to encourage your child to become a lifelong reader, it is important that they learn to read for pleasure. The Read to Me book is a printed book your child has chosen for you to enjoy together. Read to Me books have been carefully curated by our staff and children’s books’ experts to include a wide range of genres, topics and authors. Your child will bring a Read to Me book home regularly; they may choose to change it regularly, or may hold onto a title they have loved for a little bit longer.

Please remember that you shouldn’t expect your child to read this alone. Read it to or with them. Discuss the pictures, enjoy the story, predict what might happen next, use different voices for the characters, explore the facts in a non-fiction book. The main thing is that you have fun!

Remote learning

If your child is accessing remote learning, please speak with your child’s class teacher, they will support you with accessing the correct resources.


Refer to the School Performance page.

Adobe Reader 
You may need a product like Adobe Reader (free download) to view our PDF documents on our website.

Privacy Policy

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