Charlton Church of EnglandPrimary School ‘Transforming lives through God’s embrace'

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Welcome toCharlton Church of EnglandPrimary School ‘Transforming lives through God’s embrace'

Early Reading

Early Reading Intent


At Charlton CE Primary School, we support all children, regardless of their background or social disadvantage, to become confident, fluent readers. Teachers foster a love of reading and children demonstrate an understanding of what they have read as well as showing enthusiasm and excitement for it. The curriculum is planned considering the local context of the Academy and provides opportunities to become familiar with and enjoy listening to a wide range of stories, poems, rhymes and non-fiction texts. Teachers deliver engaging phonics lessons, to support the National Curriculum, that are planned and sequenced to develop children’s knowledge and skills around word decoding, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. These lessons are pitched to a child’s individual needs through the use of regular assessment. We use Little Wandle Letters and Sounds to ensure a truly consistent approach for the whole school. All children have access to appropriately pitched, decodable books to build their confidence in the application of reading skills. Children are then able to share these books, and their progress, with their parents or carers through home reading too. Teachers ensure the learning environment across Charlton CE Primary School is language rich thus giving opportunities for children to develop their cultural capital and access it through the early reading skills they have learnt.



Little Wandle Letters and Sounds and Early Reading



Direct, focused phonics is taught every day in Reception and Key Stage 1 

  • Phonics is taught in Reception and Year 1 daily using Little Wandle
  • Children in Year 2 begin the year completing the Little Wandle core programme or by completing a phase 5 review. They then progress on to the Little Wandle Bridge to Spelling units before beginning the Little Wandle Year 2 spelling programme. This progression provides a seamless link from the Little Wandle core programme to teaching spelling in Year 2 and above.
  • Children are taught phonics as a whole class, thus reflecting our 'keep up not catch up' approach. 
  • Some children may benefit from working in small groups if they have been identified through termly assessments as working significantly below Age Related Expectation.
  • Children are reassessed at the end of each term to ensure that keep-up and reading groups are constantly adjusted. This ensures the best progress for each child,


The sequence of reading books shows a cumulative progression in phonics knowledge meaning that pupils have sufficient practice in reading and re-reading books that match the grapheme-phoneme correspondences they know, both at school and at home.

  • Books read during reading practice sessions match the sounds taught.
  • Children complete 3x reading practice sessions in school before sharing the same book at home with adult. 
  • Accelerated Reader in KS2 and Little Wandle fluency books for those children in Year 2 who have completed the Little Wandle Programme


Targeted support is given immediately for those who do fall behind.

  • In Reception and KS1, if required, children take part in either 1:1 or small group phonics keep-up sessions in order to plug the gaps in their knowledge. This happens on a daily basis in response to the learning during the morning session and termly assessments. Keep up not catch up!
  • Children who are not yet at the expected standard are read with at least 3 times per week. 
  • In KS2, children who need it continue to receive phonics teaching through the Little Wandle Rapid Catch-up Programme until they are phonetically secure and have passed a Little Wandle fluency assessment. If they finish the programme but are not yet at the expected standard for their year group, they will continue to have additional reading interventions using PiXL. 


Teachers instill in children a love of literature: the best stories and poems

  • High quality class readers
  • Reading Spine to map high quality texts
  • Library times to share stories and discuss children’s opinions of the books they have read.
  • Listening to an adult read daily during planned story times.


The school is determined that every pupil will learn to read, regardless of their background, needs or abilities. All pupils, including the weakest readers, make sufficient progress to meet or exceed age-related expectations

  • Tracking those who didn’t pass phonics screening and those still on Little Wandle into KS2
  • Interventions for anyone who is not at the expected standard for their year group. 
  • Speech and language screening to assess children’s listening, attention, expressive and receptive vocabulary. Small group interventions then follow to help develop a child’s speech and language skills if required.


Stories, poems, rhymes and non-fiction texts are chosen for reading to develop pupils’ vocabulary, language comprehension and love of reading. Pupils are familiar with and enjoy listening to a wide range of stories, poems, rhymes and non-fiction

  • Reading spine provides high quality texts
  • English curriculum allows equal teaching of all genres
  • During English lessons, children have daily sessions on spoken language and vocabulary. 


Reading, including the teaching of systematic, synthetic phonics, is taught from the beginning of Reception.

  • Reception pupils start whole class phonics lessons in week 2 and are identified for additional support within 3 weeks of starting in Reception. 
  • Regular reading checks take place in order to assess appropriate reading levels.
  • The English team complete reading spot checks – hearing children read and determining if the level of books match their current reading level.


The ongoing assessment of pupils’ phonics progress is sufficiently frequent and detailed to identify any pupil who is falling behind the programme’s pace. If they do fall behind, targeted support is given immediately

  • Phonics assessments carried out at least once a term and more frequently if needed.
  • Assessments provide staff with specific gaps that pupils need to work on in order to progress.


The school has developed sufficient expertise in the teaching of phonics and reading.

  • Official Little Wandle training completed with all staff who deliver these sessions alongside the use of in-school and Trust best practice role models.
  • CPD delivered to staff on new reading curriculum and reading for pleasure
  • Phonics CPD for those new to phonics/taking interventions – discussing the principles of Little Wandle and how to deliver a lesson.
  • Phonics refresher CPD delivered – recap on the importance of pace and the routines during a phonics lesson.
  • Regular lesson drop ins from the reading leader and English team to provide models and support.



Through regular formative assessment and, as needed, summative assessments, pupils’ progress is closely monitored to ensure they progress to be able to read to at least an age appropriate level. By developing these skills at an early age, pupils have the confidence and skills to access all elements of the broad and balanced curriculum open to them.