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Kirkleatham Hall School

"Unlocking Potential"

Reading Strategies

At Kirkleatham Hall School we use phonics

PHONICS at Kirkleatham


At Kirkleatham, we use Little Wandle to give your child the best possible start with their reading and writing.

Phonics is a way of teaching children to read and write by blending and segmenting individual sounds. Every letter, and different combinations of letters, make particular sounds. For example, the letter ‘s’ makes a hissing sound, like a snake.

How is Little Wandle taught in school?

Phonics is taught in small groups based on your child’s current ability in Phonics. They are grouped in ability range to ensure the work challenges but does not over stretch your child. Most groups do phonics once per day for up to 30 min although some groups work for slightly less time. Some children also work 1-1 if needed.

What reading does my child do in school?

Your child reads with an adult each week in school. These books are based on their current ability in phonics to ensure they are reading a book that is to their current level. We also promote love of reading throughout the day in our reading areas (where appropriate) your child can ask to share books in their room with an adult. We also have time set aside each day to ensure your child has access to breadth and depth of language through story sessions daily.

What can I do to help my child develop their reading skills?

I’m not sure how to pronounce the sounds myself! - Don’t panic!

These four videos show you how to pronounce the sounds. Notice how the children don’t add an ‘uh’ sound at the end, so they say: ‘t’ not ‘tuh’. Use the downloadable information to help your child remember how to write their letters and say their sounds. The videos also include how to blend.

KEY TERMS AND PHRASES (You might hear these from your child always good to know what they mean)

Phoneme – a single unit of sound

Grapheme – How a sound is written using letters (e.g. ‘u’ in ‘book’ is written using ‘oo’)

Digraph – two letters make one sound (e.g. sh, ch, ai, ea, ou, ow)

Trigraph – three letters make one sound (e.g. igh, ear, air, ure)

Split digraph – two letters make one sound but the letters have been split apart by another letter

Segment – to break down the word into its individual sounds to spell (e.g cat can be split into the sounds c-a-t.)

Blend – to put or merge the sounds together to make a word (e.g. the sounds d-o-g are blended to the word ‘dog’)






What do I do with the books coming home?

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.  Your child will not be able to read this on their own. This book is for you both to read and enjoy together.

We also have a little yellow book for you to note when you have read together. Feel free to add some notes on if they liked the book and anything they are finding tricky.

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 book

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!