Phonics widgetAt Barton Hill Academy, we aspire to develop our learners as authors by equipping them with a strong command of the spoken and written word. In our readers, we inspire a love of books through promoting reading both for pleasure and the pursuit of knowledge. It is our intention to engage pupils through high quality texts, which instil a love of reading, a passion for discovery and the confidence to explore their own imagination.Little W

Phonics is the route to teaching children to read quickly and skilfully. Research shows that when phonics is taught in a structured way – starting with the easiest sounds and progressing through to the most complex – it is the most effective method of teaching young children to read (being particularly helpful for children aged 5-7).

  • Phonics teaching at Barton Hill Academy follows Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised.
  • Phonics is taught systematically and consistently.
  • Phonics is underpinned by a synthetic approach: letters and the sounds they represent.
  • Phonics is delivered in daily 25 minute sessions from the start of reception and throughout Year 1.
  • Recap phonics sessions are given to children who require them in Years 2-6.
  • All staff are trained in delivering phonics using Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised.
  • Observations of phonics teaching are regularly undertaken to ensure consistency.
  • Blending and segmenting is taught as a reversible process, and both are taught daily.
  • Tricky words (words which are not decodable yet) are taught alongside fully decodable words. We explain to the children why they are tricky.
  • Children’s progress is constantly monitored to ensure that children are working in line with age related expectations. Some children may receive further 1:1 or small group phonics interventions to ensure that all children become confident and independent readers and do not fall behind their peers.

Phonics screening check

The statutory phonics screening check was introduced in 2012 in order to give teachers and parents information on how children are progressing in phonics. It helps to identify whether children need additional support at this stage so that they do not fall behind in this vital early reading skill. It is taken individually by all children in

Year 1 in England, and is usually taken in June. Further information on this is given to parents in our yearly phonics meeting.


early reading books

Our reading book system is matched to Little Wandle’s sound progression. Children are tested termly in order to accurately match them to the level they are currently reading at. All books are fully decodable to make them achievable for the child. The aim is to grow each child’s confidence by placing them on a book level they can read fluently. Each week in class children will read a book 3 times, to help them develop accuracy, prosody, and comprehension skills. This book is then sent home for the child to read independently to a family member. Children also choose a library book to take home alongside this. Library books should be used to enhance children’s understanding of books and encourage a passion for reading.

Subject Documents Date  
BHA Phonics and Early Reading Policy 12th Sep 2023 Download