The teaching of phonics is a strength of our school.  All schools are required to follow a DfE validated phonics scheme: at Charles Darwin, we follow the Little Wandle programme of study which takes place daily across our Reception and KS1 classes. Children in KS2 who also need phonics support have a lesson three times a week. Effective teaching and learning in this vital area is essential if young children are to read and write well. In this section you will find a range of information about all aspects of phonics together with useful hints and suggestions as to how you can support your child at home. (Phase 4 is a revision programme so we have not included a leaflet.)

Little Wandle is a focussed teaching strategy that teaches children how the alphabet works for reading and spelling.

Phonemes (sounds) and graphemes (letters) are taught through 6 phases.

Phase 1 supports the development of speaking and listening.

Phase 2-5 is a systematic approach to phonics teaching and word recognition skills

Phase 6 - focuses on word- specific spellings and the rules for spelling alternatives.

Phonics lessons are taught as a discrete 20 - 30 minute whole class sessions each day. Each lesson follows the structure of review, teach, practise and apply.  All children having phonics lesson will have a reading book which is closely matched to their phonic knowledge.

When children have secured phase 6, they move into the Support for Spelling programme. 

In school, we assess phonics each lesson and any children identified as needing additional support will receive this on the day of the lesson. Every six weeks there is a formal assessment and the phonics lead alongside class teachers identify any children we feel need an extra boost to catch up. These children will receive daily support in focus group sessions and will bring home a pack of resources so that you can help at home.


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Contact Details

Charles Darwin Community Primary School

Darwin Street
Castle, Northwich

Main Contact: Mr Adam Croft (Headteacher)

Tel: 01606 75194
Fax: 01606 784143

SEND Contact: Miss Joanne Tilley

Governor: Mr Graham Emmett
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