Leigh CE Primary School

Spelling & Phonics

What does Phonics and Spelling look like at Leigh CE Primary?


Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised has been developed by Wandle and Little Sutton English Hubs. This complete Systematic Synthetic Phonics Programme is now being used across England and internationally. Built around the update (Letters and Sounds improving rates of progress 2021). Little Wandle draws on the latest research into how children learn best; how to ensure learning stays in children’s long-term memory and how best to enable children to apply their learning to become highly competent readers. 

At Leigh CE we teach Phonics daily, following the Little Wandle programme with fidelity and carry out 'Daily Keep Up' sessions and a 'Rapid Catch Up' programme. We also have fully decodable books exactly matched to the Little Wandle progression, plus a full range of teaching resources featuring the Little Wandle joyful illustrations

Below is a useful link that will tell you all about Little Wandle. Here you will be able to find useful information and helpful videos to support you at home.



We also hold Parent Workshops at the beginning of each year to provide more information and support for you about Phonics. 

Common Exception Words
There are some words which are tricky to sound out. We call these Key Words in KS1. We practise recognising these as whole words. A list of tricky words is available on the Little Wandle website (link above).  From Year 1 to Year 6 children have to know common exception words. These can be found at the top of the page. Common exception words are sent home half termly for children to practice.  The words are practiced on a daily basis within school (in addition to spelling curriculum rules). The children are tested on these words on a half-termly basis so that leaders can monitor progress.


Year 1 & 2 Common Exception Words

Year 3 & 4 Common Exception Words

Year 5 & 6 Common Exception Words



Spelling in Years 2-6 follow the statutory requirements for spelling as set out in the National Curriculum.

In Year 2, children follow the Little Wandle spelling scheme, with all lessons following the familiar structure of Little Wandle phonics. These lessons support children to make links to their phonics learning and build on prior knowledge to ensure they always start from a point of secure understanding.

In Years 3-6, spelling is taught daily using the Spelling Shed teaching scheme, which involves studying the relationship between sounds and written symbols as well as using morphology to help spell through meaning. Each lesson sequence is planned to systematically build upon acquired knowledge. Within the lesson sequence are 'challenge weeks' which are lists of words made up from the statutory word lists found in the National Curriculum English Programme of Study Spelling Appendix 2. These weeks offer an opportunity for children to put their learning into practise on words which may have unfamiliar or unusual spelling patterns.

Children do not sit weekly 'spelling tests' as we believe that it is more beneficial for this time to be spent on understanding and exploring the spelling rule and not learning how to spell words for the sake of a test.