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Reading & Phonics


The team at WHHTS aim to create a positive, creative and innovative environment that stimulates children to interact and reflect upon a wide range of literature, to grow in confidence, to become sophisticated authors and to thoroughly enjoy this area of the curriculum under the guidance of subject specialists.

We value support from parents, carers and the home school and baseline our children with their input. At St George’s, our younger students are fully assessed in phonics through our Little Wandle Letters and Sounds scheme, and the children are assigned matched decodable readers from Big Cat. Our older children are assessed for comprehension and fluency with Reading Vipers questions and ‘60 second’ reads.

We aim to read with the children every day and incorporate a three-part approach to the teaching of the subject:
– Decoding – teaching the children to blend sounds.
– Comprehension – teaching children to understand the text.
– Prosody – encouraging children to read with understanding and expression.

At our Springfield site, the young people undertake an NGRT online test and are given daily reading interventions with personalised targets and increasingly complex texts and questioning. The termly units of work explicitly marry assessment objectives for English Language and Literature, so our students can feel confident in the relevance of HHTS English to their home school curriculum.

Reading for pleasure is a vital part of our ethos at WHHTS and the children at St George’s and Springfield are offered a selection of high-quality, free books from our charity partners Read for Good and the BookTrust and access to a diverse reading library at both sites.


All staff are trained in the DfE validated system Little Wandle Letters and Sounds. The structure ensures that phonics is taught systematically in order to build knowledge and skills effectively. Where necessary, we also incorporate home-school schemes. The children have access to phonics games in the classroom environment, and parents and careers are supported to help children recall the learning with a range of engaging activities.

To view the Little Wandle programme overview, please click here.

Resources for Parents

Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Information
Free phonics games from Phonics Play