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Here at Balksbury Federation, we use Little Wandle Letters and Sounds to teach phonics.  This is a complete systematic synthetic phonics programme (SSP) developed by schools for schools.  Direct teaching is frequent and consistent in its approach both across Year R, Key Stage 1, and where necessary, into Key Stage 2.

The federation recognises that phonics is powerful knowledge and opens the door to a world of reading so our approach is backed by:

  • Engaging high quality resources that provide repeated practise to build working memory

  • Decodable reading books that match the phonic programme



How are phonics sessions structured?

In Year R and 1, children will take part in a 20 minute phonics session every day

During the phonics sessions, children revise sounds already learned, learn a new sound, practice reading and writing the new sound, and apply their new learning. 


Alongside their phonics sessions, children also take part in Reading Practice Sessions 3 times a week. During these sessions they will read with an adult in a small group. The sessions follow the below format;


Session 1- Phonics and Decoding

During this session, children will break down words containing new sounds. With support, they will decode new words and build fluency when reading. 


Session 2 - Prosody

In this session, children will focus on developing prosody and expression when reading. Adults will model this to the children to support. 


Session 3 - Comprehension

During session 3, children will then focus on developing their comprehension skills. They might answer questions on the text, or discuss new word meanings.