Langley Mill Academy is part of Djanogly Learning Trust.
Information about the Trust can be found

Langley Mill Academy


At Langley Mill Academy we use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds systematic synthetic phonics programme. We are dedicated to nurturing early literacy skills and preparing children for a lifelong love of reading and writing.  The use of the Little Wandle programme allows us to achieve these goals effectively with pupils who have fallen behind in Key Stage 1. 

Phonics is taught daily to children in school who are not reading at the expected standard for their age.  They will follow a phonics scheme called ‘Little Wandle- Rapid Catch-up Programme’. This is a comprehensive phonics programme designed to help learners acquire and apply phonics skills.  The programme provides a structured and systematic approach to teaching phonics, enabling children to decode words accurately and fluently.

Supporting your child with reading

Although your child will be taught to read at school, you can have a huge impact on their reading journey by continuing their practice at home.

ALL children will be bringing home a reading book each week.

Reading practice book- This will be at the correct stage for your child. 

This book has been carefully matched to your child’s current reading level. If your child is reading it with little help, please don’t worry that it’s too easy – your child needs to develop fluency and confidence in reading.

Listen to them read the book. Remember to give them lots of praise – celebrate their success! If they can’t read a word, read it to them. After they have finished, talk about the book together.

Little Wandle Resources for Parents

Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised is a complete systematic synthetic phonics programme (SSP) developed for schools by schools. Based on the original Letters and Sounds, Little Wandle is extensively revised to provide a complete teaching programme meeting all the expectations of the National Curriculum. 

To be able to read, children need to be taught an efficient strategy to decode words. That strategy is phonics. It is essential that children are actively taught and supported to use phonics as the only approach to decoding. Other strategies must be avoided. Phonic decoding skills must be practised until children become automatic and fluent reading is established. Fluent decoding is only one component of reading.

We know that comprehension skills need to be taught to enable children to make sense of what they read, build on what they already know and give them a desire to want to read. Reading increases children’s vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. Furthermore, children who read widely and frequently also have a more secure general knowledge.

Click on the image above for a link to the Little Wandle website and further information for parents. 


As we are a Key Stage 2 Junior School, we use Little Wandle to ensure children receive the correct, rapid intervention in Year 3 to go beyond the expectations of the Phonics Screening Check and become fluent and confident readers - so that they rapidly catch up. Before we stop using the Big Cat for Little Wandle decodable books, we check that pupils are fully fluent when reading Phase 5 books. 


At Langley Mill we use 'Sound buttons' to help children recognise the separate phonemes in a printed word. Sound buttons can be used as a support in the early stages of learning. For each word, a dot is placed under any single-letter grapheme and a short horizontal line under the group of letters that form a digraph or trigraph, as shown below. This can help support both reading and writing. 

You can view the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised 2021: Programme progression by clicking the image below: 

You can view 120 fully decodable books to support the new SSP programme by clicking the image below.

Featuring an exciting mix of stories and non-fiction to foster a love of reading in all children, the books will be matched perfectly to the Little Wandle progression and will support all the Letters and Sounds phases.

Our systematic synthetic phonics  Lead is Miss Armstrong 

Our English Lead is Mr L Morledge 

If you require any further information regarding how we use phonics to teach your child to read, then please do not hesitate to contact us via the school office.