At Oaks Primary Academy, we use systematic synthetic phonics throughout EYFS, KS1 and beyond to enable our pupils to become confident readers and writers. We do not use a specific scheme, but take the best aspects from a range of schemes and this has been proven to have impact.
We use Letters and Sounds to track coverage and progression, and we use the visuals from Read Write Inc because there is a picture for each grapheme. This helps the children to quickly differentiate and choose the correct spelling. As soon as the children are familiar with the visual, this is replaced by presenting the grapheme as text and cursive writing.
Tricky words are an essential part of any systematic synthetic phonics teaching. Words are introduced and/or revisited in every session to ensure that children are able to read and spell the words correctly.
Incidental teaching (in the moment) is at the centre of our ethos. Children are exposed to all of the phonemes/graphemes and are taught how to use them when they are needed.They are modelled correctly by all adults and the children are encouraged to use the skills of segmenting and blending in their own work.
In Year One, the children undertake the Phonics Screening Check in term six. The Department for Education defines the checks as “short, light-touch assessments” that take about four to nine minutes to complete. The child reads 40 decodable words which are a mixture of real and pseudo words. The check is taken again in Year Two for any children that did not meet the threshold in Year One.
When teaching phonics, it is important to pronounce the phonemes correctly. This video shows how to create the correct mouth shape:
In each phase there are tricky words for the children to learn. We use a range of strategies, including songs and rhymes to help children remember them.
I, no, the, to, go, into Phase 3
he, she, we, me, be, you, are, her, was, all, they, my Phase 4
said, have, like, so, do, some, come, little, one, were, there, what, when, out Phase 5
oh, Mrs, Mr, people, their , called, looked, asked, could