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Phonics ​​​


Our school provides a high quality Phonics curriculum that is accessible by all. We believe that all children should get the best teaching possible in this crucial area. The important skills and knowledge of Phonics are taught through high quality, discrete Phonics lessons to ensure all children achieve and succeed to their highest potential.

At Kirkdale St Lawrence, we want our children to 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 Nursery/Reception and follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised progression, which ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school. As a result, all our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words as they read. 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.


Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised is divided into phases 2, 3, 4 and 5, with each phase building on the skills and knowledge of previous learning. Children have time to practise and rapidly expand their ability to read and spell words. They are also taught to read and spell ‘tricky words’, which are words with spellings that are unusual and cannot be segmented or blended (sounded out).

All children are assessed every 6-8 weeks and gaps are analysed to inform Phonics Keep Up sessions. This allows complete participation in lessons.

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.

Excellent attendance and punctuality are essential to ensure children access lessons which build on prior learning and promote rapid progress. 


Our school is an inclusive school and in each class there are children with a range of additional needs including ADHD, Dyslexia, Speech and Language, ASD and moderate learning difficulties. Our school recognises that children, with these different needs, benefit from an adapted lesson to allow all children to be successful and access activities at a level appropriate to their skills and needs. Resources are used to cater to the needs of individuals and support provided by staff as necessary. Any pupils with special educational needs are identified and teachers ensure lessons are catered to suit to every pupil’s needs through adapting tasks, using resources and staff as necessary. We want all our pupils to apply what they know with increasing fluency and independence.


Phonics is given a high priority at Kirkdale St Lawrence.  Due to the rigorous teaching of Phonics and taking into consideration the low starting points of many of our children, 70% of our Year 1 children achieved the expected standard in the Phonics Screening Check (2022).