School Logo

Alderbury and West Grimstead Church of England Primary School

"Foundations for Life"

Get in touch

Social Media

How to help with Reading & Writing at Home

We hope that you will find the following information useful regarding how your child will learn to read.


Children will be taught to read using a ‘systematic synthetic phonics approach’. We will be following the ‘Little Wandle’ phonics scheme. This scheme teaches the letter sounds which are then blended to build words.


Learning Letter Sounds

Each phoneme (sound) that the children learn will incorporate a mnemonic (picture or phrase), which will help the children to remember the sound the letter/s make. The letters are not introduced in alphabetical order but in a carefully selected sequence that teaches groups of letters that can be used to make simple words. Sounds will be introduced at a rate of 4 a week. Ask your child to point out the sounds they have learnt using the grapheme mat.


Letter Formation

In Year R, we will be focussing on correct letter formantion, based on the "LetterJoin" font, in order to prepare the children for fully joined writing as they progress through the school. We use the LetterJoin handwriting scheme across the school (see letter formation sheet below). You can access a range of resources from the LetterJoin Website, here.

The School’s Username is: eg1773 Password: home 

If accessing from a tablet the username is the same: eg1773 and the password is an “L” shaped finger swipe!  



Blending is the process of saying the sounds in a word and then running them together to make the word, e.g. c-a-t is cat. It is a technique that your child will need to practise. To start with you should sound out the word and see if your child can hear the word. The sounds must be said quickly in order for the word to be heard. Sound buttons are under the word, we point to them separately to sound out and then ‘sweep’ across more quickly to blend the sounds. It is easier if the first sound is said slightly louder e.g. m-a-t. Please see ‘Pronunciaton Guide’ sheet which show how to pronounce the sounds that we will initially learn in Owls Class.


Reading Books

The reading scheme that we will be using (Collins Big Cat) links in closely to the children’s progression in phonics. When books with words do begin to come home, please help your child to sound out and blend the words using the method explained previously. Pupils will read with an adult in school times during the week, before they bring home thier book, to celebrate their success with you. Please see our supporting video for further details.



This all probably sounds like a great deal of work, but please do not feel overwhelmed. ‘Little Wandle’ is taught in phases and each phase builds upon prior learning. The best approach with your child will be ‘little and often’. Your child may be extremely tired after a busy day at school and may not always feel like doing more, but don’t worry, this is normal! There is no doubt that the effort on your part is well worth it.


If there is anything that you are unsure about, please contact us.