Merrow C of E Infant School

Merrow C of E Infant School

Where children matter most

Phonics and Reading


At Merrow Schools Federation, we believe the development of literacy skills underpins all other areas of our curriculum. We recognise that reading and writing are essential life skills and we firmly believe that our approach to teaching phonics and reading is accessible to all learners, regardless of background. We are dedicated to enabling our children to become enthused, engaged and successful lifelong readers and writers.

We teach reading through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised; a systematic and synthetic phonics programme. We start teaching phonics in Reception and follow the Little Wandle progression document, which ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code as they move through the infant and junior schools. We have a strong focus on language development for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects. By the time children transition from Merrow to Bushy Hill, most children can read confidently for meaning and regularly enjoy reading for pleasure. Because we believe teaching every child to read is so important, we have a Phonics leader at Merrow and a Reading Leader at Bushy, who collectively drive the reading programmes in our schools. 

A successful reader at our schools will -

  • recognise, say and write all phonemes taught within each phase
  • have the ability to blend the phonemes together to read words
  • read tricky words and high frequency words
  • recognise words presented in and out of context
  • read with fluency and expression
  • understand the meaning of the words and sentences in a text
  • understand the ideas, information and themes in a text
  • segment to spell words
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and purpose
  • have a passion for reading a range of genres including poetry
  • develop, extend and use a wide range of vocabulary 



Programme progression overview

Reception Phonics overview

Year 1 Phonics overview

Rapid catch-up overview

Little Wandle resources for parents

Phonics and Reading Information for Parents