Whiston Worrygoose J&I School

Whiston Worrygoose J&I School

Part of White Woods Primary Academy Trust

Hall Close Avenue, Whiston, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, S60 4AG


01709 541878

Little Wandle Champion School

Little Wandle Champion Schools is an initiative, developing a network of schools across the country to model exemplary practice, and provide information and support for Little Wandle members. Whiston Worrygoose have become a Little Wandle Champion School! This means we have met 16 Standards of Excellence in the teaching of early reading and phonics.

Being a Champion School involves sharing the work we are doing in the teaching of early reading and phonics to children with SEND and having other schools come to see Little Wandle in action at Whiston Worrygoose. We are very proud to be part of this fantastic network of Champion Schools across the country, and to be the first special Champion School.

We love the way that Little Wandle fits with our established approach to teaching early reading and phonics to children working from the earliest developmental levels to text-literate decoders. The clear structured and sequenced approach, which Little Wandle provides in planning and assessing, allows us to target well-matched teaching to individuals and groups to support their progress. The pedagogy of the programme is very well-suited to our learners.

There is so much that works about the Little Wandle approach to teaching reading, but we have also had many unanticipated gains from using the Little Wandle programme. These include:

  • Children becoming more confident to vocalise and explore voice sounds
  • Children who are non-verbal communicators and high-tech AAC users starting to say phonemes and even whole words, as they learn individual sounds and understand how these are blended to produce words
  • Children developing their vocabulary, background knowledge, attention, through the application of phonics and reading practice sessions
  • A structured focus on comprehension skills for children who are proficient decoders, but need to develop their reading-for-meaning skills, which in turn develops other aspects of reading fluency, such as prosody, vocabulary knowledge and verbal reasoning
  • Staff passion and aspirations for the use of high-quality texts to support early reading for all children and enthusiasm for the Little Wandle programme to teach children to decode as they see the possibilities and successes it supports
  • As well as, of course, many children learning to apply their phonic knowledge to start to read words and books for the first time

We love working with Little Wandle because of their commitment to getting the programme right for all children and their specific consideration of the needs of children with SEND, their ongoing development of the programme to add content and features, and the way they support, listen to, and work with their community of users.

We were very excited to support the filming of ‘How to…’ videos for the Little Wandle SEND Programme to exemplify aspects of the Graduated approach and are looking forward to continuing to contribute to the dialogue about teaching early reading and phonics as part of the Little Wandle Champion School network.