St Mark's CE Primary School

Spelling & Phonics

What does Phonics and Spelling look like at St Mark’s 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 St Mark's 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


Year 2-Year 6 follow the national curriculum statutory spelling rules. A daily spelling session is built in to the timetable in which children focus on the spelling rule, definition of the word/etymology and its meaning within a sentence. Children also have the opportunity to practice the spelling rule using handwriting skills and dictation.  In Year 1, aspects of the spelling curriculum not covered within phonics are taught via SPAG sessions.