Dulverton Primary School



At Dulverton Primary School we believe that a broad and balanced curriculum should develop children’s love of reading. We provide children with quality literature designed to engage and inspire them. We strive to teach quality first English and phonics lessons from Reception and continue to build on the children’s knowledge until they are fluent readers and inquisitive learners.

English planning is differentiated and focused around a quality text allowing opportunities for a range of reading activities. Cross- curricular links are made where possible and reading permeates the entire curriculum. We also have weeks that are based around wellbeing, drama workshops and we celebrate ‘World Book Day’ with a whole school theme.

Reading is at the core of our English teaching and children are given the chance to explore a wide range of texts through their English lessons, guided reading sessions, library sessions, author focus, being read to daily, reading ambassadors and reading challenges.

At Dulverton we work hard to independently match reading books to the children’s reading ability. Classrooms have a range of books which include wellbeing, gender equality, diversity, family set up and disability.

The National Curriculum for English aims to ensure that by the end of Key Stage 2 all pupils:

  • -read with fluency, accuracy and understanding using a range of skills
  • -develop an understanding and appreciation of a range of literary texts (fiction, non-fiction & non-literary)
  • -develop an understanding and appreciation of non-fiction and non-literary texts
  • -comment on features of English at word, sentence and text level using appropriate terminology

At the end of their time at Dulverton Primary School, children will have experienced a broad and balanced English curriculum and leave us with a love of reading. The children will have had experience of a range of vibrant and engaging texts throughout their time at Dulverton Primary School.

Reading Overview





Writing Overview

Recommended Reading List




What is Phonics?


Phonics is a systematic synthetic approach to teaching children to read and write. It is an approach which teaches children to recognise letters (graphemes) and their associated sounds (phonemes).  Children are taught the sounds instead of letter names so that they can blend and segment from an early age. For example: the first six letters that they learn are s, a, t, p, i and n. Once these sounds are learnt, children can then practise reading various cvc (consonant - vowel - consonant) words, e.g. sat, pit, pin, sit etc.

 The main objectives of phonics are to:

  • recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes;
  • identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make - such as /ch/ or /ng/; 
  • blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word and
  • give children the confidence to apply their phonetic knowledge to decode unknown words

Phonics is split into 5 phases and during the Summer Term of Year 1 children sit a phonics screening test to give teachers and parents/carers information regarding how a child’s reading is progressing (please see below for more information).


At Dulverton Primary School, we follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds revised scheme which is split into five phases:


Phase 1 (Nursery)

Prior to children learning to read and write children need to develop a phonological awareness. This means that children learn the skill to distinguish between word endings e.g the difference between ‘sit’ and ‘sip’ and the visual skills to recognise letter formation. This usually occurs through natural interaction between child and parent/care-givers or listening and responding to the environment around them. The child’s Nursery and teacher will help to strengthen this understanding before moving to a more formal approach to reading.


Phase 2 and Phase 3 (Reception)

Once children are secure in Phase 1 they are taught the initial sounds or digraphs on the Phase 2 and 3 grapheme mat below. The children are taught the graphemes/phonemes in this order and encouraged to blend cvc words as soon as they have learnt enough sounds to blend - we aim for Christmas of Reception year. Children are introduced to digraphs (two letters together that make one sound like ‘qu’)  and trigraphs (three letters together that make one sound like ‘air’). 


Phase 5 (Year 1)

In Phase 5, children learn a variety of ways to make the same sound. For example ‘ow’ and ‘ou’ make the same sound in the words clown and cloud. Children are exposed to different graphemes to write the same phonemes. This Phase also teaches them different phonemes for the same grapheme like in the words sea and head. Little Wandle has a ‘Grow the Code’ grapheme mat (pictured below) to aid the children at this stage.



In Reception and Year 1, Phonics is taught daily for 20 - 25 minutes and is the foundation of all English learning. Teachers use their professional judgement to teach either as a whole class or in small groups or individually. This may vary throughout the year and between year groups but always has the children’s accelerated progress at the forefront. 


High Frequency words

There are some words that are frequently used in early reading and writing that can not be read or spelt phonetically, for example ‘said’ and ‘the’. These words are called High Frequency words, of which there are 91 of them. These are taught by sight and at Dulverton are practised and tested frequently both formally (via a reading and spelling test) and informally (through Phonics and English lessons). 


The Phonics Screening Test

The phonics test is a national test and consists of 40 words that are a mixture of pseudo words and real words. Pseudo words are alien words - sounds that are put together to purely test the child’s phonetic ability. Its sole purpose is to determine whether a child can phonetically decode single words to an annually predetermined national standard.  Children are able to re-sit the assessment in Year 2 if required.  Below is an example of some words from a previous screening test. 



Reading books

At Dulverton Primary School, staff work hard to match the children’s reading book to their ability. With Little Wandle, there are ongoing assessments every six weeks and then an assessment program which matches the children to their correct book level. The idea is that the child should be able to read 90-95% fluently by the end of the week so that their understanding is developed.

Please share reading with your children daily through a mixture of; them reading to you; you reading to them; picking out certain High Frequency words; you read a page and then they repeat the page and look at the pictures or answer comprehension questions about the text. This will help to build the children’s confidence and exposure to reading. 


Common terminology used in Phonics teaching at Dulverton Primary School:

  • Phoneme - smallest unit of sound e.g. igh = light. In the English language there are 44 phonics sounds.
  • Grapheme - smallest representation of a phoneme.
  • Segment - break up a word into its individual sounds. Sound buttons. E.g. b - oa - t  = 3 sounds.
  • Blend - listen to the individual sounds and be able to blend them together to say the full word e.g b - ar - k = bark.
  • Digraph - two letters together that make one sound e.g ch like in children, chips, such and butcher.
  • Trigraph - three letters together that make one sound e.g. ear like in dear, fear, hear and earring.
  • Split Digraph - means that a vowel sound has been split - by a consonant. E.g. space, race, face. The a and e are joined so that the e doesn’t make a sound but makes the previous vowel say its letter name rather than sound.


Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised provide a fully supportive website and can be found here.