Phonics and Reading
Phonics is an important tool to develop reading fluency. The Department for Education National Curriculum for England states that reading helps pupils to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually and socially. An important goal of the curriculum is therefore to enable young learners to become fluent readers. Phonics is an approach to teaching reading, and some aspects of writing, by developing learners’ phonemic awareness. This involves the skills of hearing, identifying and using phonemes or sound patterns in English. The aim is to systematically teach learners the relationship between these sounds and the written spelling patterns, or graphemes, which represent them. Phonics emphasises the skills of decoding new words by sounding them out and combining or ‘blending’ the sound-spelling patterns.

Our aim is for all children to leave West Ashton:

  • having made the best possible progress as a result of consistent, Quality First Teaching and (where appropriate) additional interventions to narrow the gaps in children’s learning.
  • confident to try new things, experiment with their writing, take risks, and continue to expand their experience of reading.
  • reading fluently, with confidence in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education.

Phonics is taught using the structure of our systematic synthetic programme ‘Little Wandle Letters & Sounds’. This comprehensive programme provides a multisensory approach, using letter frames, flash cards, phonic games and listening activities.

Using the Little Wandle Letters & Sounds lesson structure, each session will follow the same format of introduce, revisit and review, teach, practise and apply. This ensures that children learn new sounds whilst applying taught sounds to their reading of new words. Children work on decoding, segmenting and blending in every lesson. Children are exposed and use the correct subject specific technical vocabulary (such as phoneme, digraph, trigraph). Our lessons are designed to meet the children’s needs based on our on-going phonic assessments. This informs planning and streaming within year groups.

During daily direct teaching sessions, the teacher will provide clear model and pronunciation of sounds, observing and assessing children to ensure those who have a secure understanding are able to move on as well as be aware of those children who need to revisit certain sounds. They will also be addressing misconceptions during the lesson. Children will be active participants in every lesson.

Phonics resources are consistent throughout the school, allowing children to apply their phonic knowledge in all areas of the curriculum. Phonics and word mats support spelling and writing across the curriculum and having access to Phonics displays enables children to apply taught knowledge and skills to decode unfamiliar words in the classroom.

Reading scheme books provide decodable reading material to ensure that, as children move through the early stages of acquiring phonic knowledge and skills, they can practice by reading texts closely matched to their level of phonic attainment. Texts from a range of genres and publishers are matched by phonics phases and colour reading band to ensure children are reading at 90% fluency.


See our Phonics and Early Reading Policies under the Policies Tab.

Our Reading Intent.



  • To enable pupils to become readers for life, with the understanding that reading is the key to future success.
  • To provide pupils with the reading competencies to access and explore texts; a language rich environment to support reading and writing skills, and a culture which promotes a love of reading to engage and inspire pupils to want to succeed in those 2 areas.
  • The three areas link to produce readers for life who: Are encouraged to have an interest in and an enjoyment of language; are then able to access vocabulary in order to understand and appreciate texts; and who enjoy sharing considered opinions and can explain ideas in texts in an articulate way.
See our Reading Policy under the Policies tab.


 Our Writing Intent:

To inspire learners and support the children ‘to be the best that they can be’ in writing, our intention is to enable children:


  • to show high levels of achievement and exhibit very positive attitudes towards writing
  • to coherently communicate their thoughts, ideas and experiences through the written word
  • to develop into proficient writers who spell accurately
  • to develop a legible, fluent and neat handwriting style, progressing to a cursive style
  • to use a range of punctuation accurately and for effect in their writing
  • to use correct grammatical terminology when composing and discussing their writing
  • to write effectively for a range of purposes and audiences in all areas of the curriculum
  • to be creative in their use of language as they are introduced to an ever-widening and rich vocabulary
  • to be able to work collaboratively on shared pieces of work as well as individually.


At West Ashton, we aim to give our children a writing curriculum which enables them to become confident, creative and independent writers who are well able to articulate their own ideas. We are passionate about giving the children the very best opportunities to develop their basic skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening.


The ability to write fluently and confidently, for a range of audiences and purposes, is essential for effective communication in our society.  We believe that our children should develop competence and skills in the two main strands of writing: 


Transcription:  accurate spelling and legible, neat handwriting; and


Composition: the way in which we coherently articulate and structure our ideas, both in speech as well as in writing. 

With our strong emphasis on reading and communication, we aim to broaden our children’s vocabulary to develop how they articulate in both spoken language and writing; by making writing clear, precise and interesting to the listener and reader.


See our Writing Policy under the Policies tab.

For more in depth information on our teaching of phonics,  reading and writing, please have a look at our Curriculum Overview 2021 - 2022