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St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School

Great Hadham Road, Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire CM23 2NL

Phonics and Reading Information

Phonics and Reading Information

In Nursery, the children are introduced to Phase One phonics, where they develop their listening, vocabulary and speaking skills. Activities include, ‘listening’ walks, playing and identifying instruments, action songs and learning rhymes.  

Early Years and Key Stage One following the Little Wandle Synthetics Phonics and Early Reading programme. The programme is divided into 5 Phases, starting in Reception into Year One (and Year 2 if required).  

For more information on Little Wandle, please visit 



At St. Joseph's School we use a wide range of reading books, both progressive schemes and 'real' books to teach and support reading.

Children choose books to take home to share with parents to develop a love of reading and pre-reading skills, particularly focussing on discussion, using the illustrations  and  emerging phonic knowledge. 

Reception and Key Stage 1
When the children begin the Little Wandle Phonics Scheme in Reception, they will receive a decodable reading book from the ‘Big Cats Little Wandle’ reading scheme to read at home. Their home reading book will support their fluency and application of phonics. The children will also have the opportunity to pick a library book every week to share and enjoy at home.  

When the children have finished the Little Wandle Phonics scheme and are ready to move on, the children will continue their reading journey on the Cambridge University Press reading scheme, where they will focus on developing their comprehension skills.   

In Key Stage 2 
By Key Stage Two, most of the children will be confident readers and will be a ‘free reader.’ Where appropriate, the children continue though the Cambridge University Press banded books to continue to support their phonetic knowledge and comprehension skills.