Berwood Road, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B72 1BS



At Penns Primary School, we believe that phonics must be taught through a systematic and structured phonics programme in order for all of our children to become fluent readers and writers.

We use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme in order to plan and provide daily engaging and active phonics lessons. In phonics, we teach children that the letters of the alphabet represent a different sound, that these can be used in a variety of ways and are put together to make words. The children learn to recognise all of the different sounds and combinations that they might see when they are reading or writing. Our phonics teaching starts in Reception and follows a very specific sequence that allows our children to build on their previous phonic knowledge and master specific phonic strategies as they move through school. As a result, our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words that they might discover.

At Penns, we also model these strategies in shared reading and writing in phonics lessons and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on the development of language and language skills because we know that this is crucial to ensure the development of reading and writing in all subjects.

Following the Little Wandle programme, we:

  • teach children that phonics helps us to read and write
  • follow a specific four-part lesson structure and teaching sequence (review, teach, practise, apply) which promotes independence, resilience and success for all learners
  • ensure that all phonics teaching is delivered with pace and expression
  • include an active element in all lessons which ensures participation for all learners
  • use decodable books in phonics lessons so that children can directly apply their new knowledge and phonics skills at an appropriate level
  • ensure that children take home a book that matches their phonic ability – this is a book for them to read independently
  • invite parents to attend phonics workshops to support them with the development of their child’s phonics skills

Our Phonics and Early Reading Policy is completely based on the Little Wandle programme content, in order to ensure consistency, and can be read if you click on the following link:





Supporting your child with reading

Although your child will be taught to read at school, you can have a huge impact on their reading journey by continuing their practice at home.

There are two types of reading book that your child may bring home:

A reading practice book. This will be at the correct phonic stage for your child. They should be able to read this fluently and independently.

A sharing book or 'reading for pleasure'. Your child will not be able to read this on their own. This book is for you both to read and enjoy together.

Reading practice book

This book has been carefully matched to your child’s current reading level. If your child is reading it with little help, please don’t worry that it’s too easy – your child needs to develop fluency and confidence in reading.

Listen to them read the book. Remember to give them lots of praise – celebrate their success! If they can’t read a word, read it to them. After they have finished, talk about the book together.

Sharing books

In order to encourage your child to become a lifelong reader, it is important that they learn to read for pleasure. The sharing book is a book they have chosen for you to enjoy together.

Please remember that you shouldn’t expect your child to read this alone. Read it to or with them. Discuss the pictures, enjoy the story, predict what might happen next, use different voices for the characters, explore the facts in a non-fiction book. The main thing is that you have fun!

Activities and Ideas to Encourage Pre Reading