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Reading is a vital life skill and at Essa, we prioritise ensuring that every child learns to read well. We use the DfE accredited 'Little Wandle Letters and Sounds' scheme of work.


Phonics can most easily be described as a code, with letters (graphemes) representing sounds (phonemes). Children ‘crack’ the code by learning to identify the corresponding sounds for each letter or group of letters and then blending those sounds together to make words. With expert teaching and lots of practise, children quickly learn to recognise words and build meaning from them. 

Children begin learning phonics from their first week in Reception and have daily lessons that continue in Year One and the first term of Year Two. Any children who find phonics more difficult are given daily 'keep up' additional practice. This may be delivered in groups or 1:1. At the end of Y1, children take a phonics screening check. This is a statutory government check to ensure that children have retained all the phonemes they have been taught and can read words containing these phonemes fluently.

Any children who still require additional phonics work at the end of Year One, access our 'Rapid Catch Up' programme, which aims to fill any phonics gaps and ensure that all children can decode and read words.

For information about when each sound is introduced, please click below:

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