“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

— Dr. Seuss, ‘I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!’

Our approach to Reading and Phonics:

Reading is at the heart of our curriculum. At Dorothy Barley Junior Academy, we truly believe that reading provides a ticket to access an enriching curriculum and a bright and successful future.

Within the Reading National Curriculum there are two main foci; ‘decoding’ words and being able to comprehend and understand what is being read.

Programmes used to support phonics at Dorothy Barley Junior Academy are:

Destination Reader

Little Wandle Phonics Intervention

At DBJA we are a Destination Reader school

The principles of Destination Reader
Enable quality experience
Promote enjoyment
Increase reading mileage
Build firm foundations
Develop thinking and understanding
Make talk central

Why we use Destination Reader

To foster a life-long love of reading.
To develop a consistent approach to the teaching of reading across KS2.
To read for purpose across the curriculum
To have a consistent approach to developing vocabulary
To provide a curriculum in line with the requirements of the revised National Curriculum
To provide a robust assessment approach, centred on formative assessment.

Word reading and comprehension

At DBJA, children access 45 minute whole class daily guided reading sessions using a whole class and group books/texts.
Monday to Thursday the children will read either a class age- appropriate book or an individual age appropriate book. During these sessions, teachers will read with the children completing a running reading record for each child. Pupils will be given opportunities to listen to, read and discuss a wide range of fiction, poetry, plays and non-fiction.

Throughout these lessons, there is a focus on a key reading strand (inferring, clarifying, questioning, summarising, predicting, evaluating or making connections). When they are secure with these strands, the children will combine the reading strands.

On Fridays, the children will complete a Big Picture lesson, which focuses on comprehension skills with seen or unseen books and texts. The teacher will model answering the four question types using the CLEAR (Code, Clues, Locate, Explore, Answer, Re-read) code.

Assessment of Reading

Children are assessed weekly through Big Picture lessons and termly with PiXL tests or past SATs papers.
We also test the children’s reading speed termly to assess and improve their reading pace, stamina and fluency. Teacher assessment is used to provide a colour band for each child to ensure they are reading ability levelled books.


What is Little Wandle?

Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised is a programme designed to support children in their phonic knowledge. Structured lessons secure children’s phonic knowledge, focussing on their blending and segmenting skills and providing finely-levelled 100% decodable readers for children to practice and apply their new skills

Little Wandle Letters and Sounds 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. The Rapid Catch-up programme is for children in Year 2 and above who are not reading at the expected level for their age. It mirrors the main phonics programme but has been created to help children catch up quickly, so has a faster pace. By the end of the Rapid Catch-up programme, children should be reading with enough fluency and accuracy to access the curriculum in class, and to read with enjoyment and understanding.

Example of order of sounds taught and the sounds mat:


When children have been assessed as ready to exit the Little Wandle Phonics Scheme, we bridge the gap to whole class Destination Reader lessons through smaller focus groups. During these sessions, the children will be introduced to the principles of Destination Reader and given the opportunity to embed the required skills while accessing an ability appropriate book before returning back to whole class teaching.

Parent Workshop 24th January 2023:

Thank you to all the parents that attended the Phonics Workshop. If you were unable to attend or you would like to see a copy of the slides please see link below:

Dorothy Barley Junior Academy Phonics & Reading Workshop

Here are the handouts that were provided at the meeting:

Grapheme_Mats_Phase_2_3_and_5_Spread (1)




Supporting reading at home and throughout KS2 for parents

Here is the link to videos on The Little Wandle website that supports parents with Phonics:

For parents

There are the following videos to support with the pronunciation of different sounds:
  • Phase 2 sounds
  • Phase 2 sounds
  • Phase 3 sounds
  • Phase 5 sounds

There are also downloadable resources to support with children’s pronunciation of words and a video explaining how to support children with their reading at home.