St Bernadette's Catholic Primary

With Jesus in our Hearts, we have:

The passion to learn,

The courage to fail,

The strength to love


Phonics and early reading
Phonics plays an important role in the development of early reading. In Years R and 1, we use a complete systematic synthetic phonics programme called Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised. All teaching staff are trained to deliver this programme, using resources specifically provide for the scheme. Find out more here

In Years R and 1, children have daily phonics sessions during which they learn and practice a clearly sequenced progression of letters and sounds. Their progress is assessed every six weeks. Focused interventions are used to enable children to keep up and catch up with the pace of the scheme. In June of Year 1, children undertake a Phonics Screening Check to ensure they are secure in Phase 5 Phonics. In Year 2 and thereafter, children move on to learn word spellings and patterns following the National Curriculum, using the No Nonsense Spelling Scheme. 

As part of the Little Wandle programme, children read books with a trained adult three times a week. These books are matched to the child’s phonic understanding, so that they encounter words containing the letters and sounds they are secure with. As the children progress through the programme, the books they encounter will increase in phonic complexity to reflect the range of letters and sounds they have been taught.

Once children have successfully completed the Little Wandle phonics programme, they will read a variety of books that are grouped into ability bands (KS1 Big Cat and KS2 Oxford Reading Tree). All children will have access to a banded reading book throughout their time at St Bernadette’s.

Early readers in KS2 will continue to develop their phonics and reading knowledge using the Little Wandle Rapid Catch-Up programme.