Phonics & Reading 

At Dronfield Infant School, we teach phonics through the Little Wandle Letter and Sounds Scheme. This is a complete systematic synthetic phonics programme (SSP) developed for schools by schools.  The scheme is based on the original Letters and Sounds, but has been extensively revised to provide a teaching programme that meets all of the expectations of the National Curriculum and makes explicit links to early reading and the teaching of early reading.

Please see our presentation for Year 1 Parents for the Phonics Screening Check: 

Please Note: The Phonics Screening Check for 2023-24 will take place throughout the week beginning 10th June 2024. 


Sounds That we Teach

How we Teach Blending 

A Quick Guide to Alien Words

How we Teach Tricky Words


Reading in School and at Home

In school the children will read three times a week, with the same book. The first ‘read’ of the week will focus on decoding (sounding out) the words, the second time we work on prosody, which is reading with expression, making the book sound more interesting with our storyteller voice, and the third time we look at comprehension.

We read the books three times at school because we want our children to become fluent readers. The more the children see words, the more they will begin to read them automatically without needing to sound them out.

Every child will bring home a reading book on a Friday, they should be able to read the book almost fluently. They should know all the sounds and tricky words in their phonics books and only need to stop and sound out about 5% of the words. We practise silent blending (in our heads) to encourage automatic reading which your child should demonstrate when reading with you.

Along with their reading book the children will also bring home a book for sharing which they have chosen from our school library. This book is so important as this is where the children can develop the will to read. So the most important thing that you can do to help your child enjoy books and reading is to read with your child as often as possible. Reading a book and chatting about it has a positive impact on a child’s ability to:

  • understand words and sentences,
  • use a wide range of vocabulary,
  • and develop listening and comprehension skills.

Studies have shown that the amount of books that children are exposed to by the age of 6 has a positive impact on their reading ability two years later.