At Ashbury Meadow Primary School, children learn to read through the teaching of systematic, synthetic phonics.      LW-LS-Accredited_Logo_VERT(1).png

In Nursery, Reception, Year 1, and Year 2, children have daily phonics lessons in which they follow the 'Little Wandle, Letters and Sounds' programme. This is an approach to teaching phonics in which individual sounds (phonemes) are blended together to form words.

Our daily phonics lessons are interactive and fun and involve a range of speaking and listening games.

Little Wandle, Letters and Sounds is divided into five stages, known as 'phases'. Each phase builds on knowledge and skills from previous learning. 

It is important that your child learns to pronounce the phonemes (letter sounds) that we teach so they can master the skills of blending to read, and segmenting to spell new words. It is important that your child pronounces the sounds correctly for this process. Below, you will find Little Wandle Videos which demonstrate the pronunciation of phonemes (letter sounds) for each phase as they are taught.  

During each lesson the children also use learn the grapheme (written sound) along with the phoneme (letter sound). As the programme progresses the children also learn diagraphs (two letters making one sound) and trigraphs (three letters making one sound).  

Phase 1 (Nursery)

Phase 1 begins in Nursery. This phase paves the way for the systematic learning of phonics. During this phase, teachers plan activities from Little Wandle Foundations for Phonics. Children listen attentively to sounds around them, such as the sounds of their toys (environmental sounds) and sounds in spoken language. We teach a wide range of nursery rhymes and songs and read engaging books to and with the children. This helps to increase the number of words they know – their vocabulary – and helps them talk confidently about books. The children learn to identify rhyme and alliteration.  These skills continue to be developed throughout KS1 and KS2.

Phase 2 (Reception) 

Little Wandle Letters and Sounds starts with Phase 2. Phonemes and diagraphs are introduced in a systematic way, along with a few 'tricky words' which cannot be read phonetically.

Autumn 1

In weeks 1-2 of lessons, the children learn a new phoneme every day with a weekly revisit session.

In weeks 3-5 of lessons, the children continue to learn new phonemes with a weekly revisit session and are also introduced to tricky words.

Autumn 2

In weeks 1-5 of the programme, the children continue to learn new phonemes, diagraphs and about plurals.

Phase 3 (Reception)

Spring 1 & 2 terms: the children are taught diagraphs, trigraphs and longer words are introduced, along with a few tricky words.

Phase 4 (Reception)

Summer 1 & 2 terms: the children are taught short vowel sounds, long vowel sounds and root word endings, along with a few tricky words.

Phase 3/4 (Year 1)

Autumn 1: During the first Autumn term the children in year 1 revisit and review the graphemes and phonemes taught in phase 3/4. (See above in Reception).

Phase 5 (Year 1)

Throughout the school year from Autumn 2-Summer 2 the children are taught diagraphs, trigraphs and split diagraphs, along with tricky words. The children’s knowledge of phonemes is expanded through the understanding that both phonemes, diagraphs and trigraphs can have alternative sounds e.g.

ee: ea, e, e-e, ie, ey, y, ee


ai: eigh, aigh, ey, ea, eight straight grey break


Year 1 Phonics Screening Check

A national Phonics Screening Check was introduced in 2012. It is designed to show how well your child can use the phonics skills they’ve learned up to the end of Year 1, and to identify students who need extra phonics help.

The check involves reading up to 40 real and pseudo (nonsense) words using their phonic knowledge and takes only a few minutes to complete. The phonics check takes place each June, you will be informed of your child's result and whether or not they have reached the expected standard (this has varied between 32 and 34). If your child does not reach the expected standard they will have some extra help with phonics during Y2 and retake the screen the following June.

If you have any questions about the phonics screen please speak to your child's teacher.


Year 2 

In Year 2 pupils start the Little Wandle Spelling programme. This begins with a five-week review of Phase 5. The Bridge to spelling teaches children how to ‘think about spelling’.

Over five weeks, the children will complete the alphabetic code and learn the underpinning concepts of spelling. Once this learning is secure, children are ready to move on to the Year 2 Spelling units.

The Spelling units follow the familiar structure of Little Wandle phonics lessons, supporting children to make links to their phonics learning.

Little Wandle Spelling teaches children to consider etymology, morphology and grammar when spelling new words. The programme provides full coverage of National Curriculum spelling requirements.


Rapid Catch-up 7+ and Little Wandle Flunecy 

Every child in Year 2 or above who cannot yet read at age-related expectations will receive targeted support so that they can access the curriculum and enjoy reading as soon as possible. Little Wandle Rapid Catch-up is a complete catch-up programme that mirrors the main phonics programme but has a faster pace. It has been created to help children catch up quickly.

Once children have completed this programme, they can join the Little Wandle Fluency Program. Little Wandle Fluency is specifically for children who have completed Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised and are secure at reading the final level of books. Little Wandle Fluency teaches all aspects of reading using vibrant, diverse and engaging chapter books created by contemporary authors and illustrators. Each book has been carefully devised to support children as they progress in reading fluency through Years 2, 3
and beyond; making sure every child can become a confident, fluent and motivated reader. 


Little Wandle SEND programmme

When appropriate some pupils follow the Little Wandle SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) programme. Little Wandle SEND is a complete programme that mirrors the main Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised phonics programme but with adaptations and support in place that make it possible to meet the needs of all learners. It has been created to help children learn to read using the right level of challenge for each child and using the graduated approach if needed. 



In Ashbury Meadow Primary School, we love to read in every class from Nursery up to Year 6. Reading with and to the children is a very important part of their childhood. Not only does this allow the children to grow their vocabulary but also feeds their imagination and creativity.

Children are encouraged to read by their teachers and we also encourage you to read with them to. This begins in Nursery with our parents and children’s Library Loan where parents are given a day of the week in which to come to Nursery and choose a book that they would like to share with their child over the next week.

From Reception to Year 2, children take home two books each week. A ‘sharing book’ and a decodable book matched exactly to their most recentebook.png phonics assessments. Pupils will read their decodable book in a small group, with an adult, 3 times before taking it home. These small group sessions focus on decoding, prosody and comprehension. The decodable books are accessed via the eBooks Collins reading app. Please speak to your class teacher who will be happy to help you gain access or make alternative arrangements. Please make all efforts possible to read with your child at home it really does make a huge difference to their learning.

Useful websites:

Little Wandle Letters and sounds have a very useful website:

On the website you will find useful information about the different aspects of our teaching programme.

Support for Phonics: this allows you to see how the phase 2 and 3 phonemes are pronounced and how the graphemes have their own individual saying to help with formation of the letters.

How we Teach: will allow you to see a short video to give you an idea of the lessons your child will receive.

Support for reading: a guide to why reading with your child is so important.

Also, on the website you will find a progression document to clearly see what your child is learning in each phase. This document can also be found in the files to download at the bottom of the page.

As always if you have any questions about your child’s learning please contact the school office directly, or contact your child’s class teacher on their class email address.

Files to Download

Ashbury Meadow Community Primary School
Rylance St,
Manchester M11 3NA
Mrs Eve Peters: Main Contact