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Phonics and Early Reading with Little Wandle

At Busbridge Infant School, children learn to read and develop a secure knowledge of the 44 sounds of the alphabet with the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds approach. Further details can be found at:


At Busbridge Infant School we follow the Little Wandle Letters & Sounds Revised phonics programme to teach phonics. This scheme has been validated by the Department for Education and follows current best practice on the teaching of phonics and reading and educational research about the way that children learn best.

Children in Reception and Year 1 have five phonics lessons a week when they learn up to four new phonemes (sounds), and they take part in a review lesson at the end of the week to embed the new learning. There are several useful resources to support parents and carers at home with phonics. These can be found here.

We hold regular parent workshops that provide more information about our Phonics Programme and the teaching of reading at our school. Workshops dates will be included in Newsletters and on the school website calendar.

In order to best support your child at home it is important that you feel confident with the correct pronunciations. Perhaps you weren’t taught phonics at school, or you have a different dialect. The below videos can help you with this correct pronunciation. We greatly value your collaboration on this:

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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 decodable reading practice book. This will be at the correct phonic stage for your child. They should be able to read this fluently and independently. 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 and celebrate their success! If they can’t read a word, read it to them. After they have finished, talk about the book together.

 A ‘Choosy’ book. Your child may not be able to read this on their own. This book is a shared reading 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!

Reading Records

When your child starts school, they will be given a Reading Record. It must remain in your child’s Book bag at all times. Your child’s class teacher will use your child’s reading record to;

  • Stick in their decodable book reading label each week. This is to inform you of which book your child has been practising to read at school in their reading practice sessions. These books are either decodable Little Wandle books, or Collins Big Cat banded books (for Year 2 pupils).
  • Record any relevant comments e.g. strengths of your child’s reading, or areas within the reading practice sessions that your child found challenging.
  • Communicate with you any key information regarding your child’s reading at school, for example, Half Termly assessment information.

In the cover of your child’s reading record, you can find out more information.


At Busbridge Infant School, we are lucky enough to have an exciting, inspiring and well stocked Library. The library is full of a variety of texts that are organised into sections, which make finding and selecting a book easy for our children. From the beginning of the academic school year, Year One and Two children visit the library to have time to browse and select a book that interests them that they can borrow and enjoy at home. The aim of the library is to encourage children to share texts with their families at home, and they return the books once they have finished enjoying them, usually once a fortnight. Reception children begin using the library after the Autumn Half Term. Please have a look at our calendar for the weeks when your child has a scheduled visit to the library or the library lunch club is running.

Here is our wonderful Library:

Our Library is stocked with chapter books, children’s classics, traditional tales, non-fiction texts and poetry. We aim to open our children’s eyes to the issues in the world around them and a brilliant way to do this is through books. It is also our responsibility to support children in developing their understanding of their emotions and we have a range of texts to enable children to learn more about themselves and how to accept others who may be different.

Here is a selection of these texts: