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What does Phonics look like at OWPS?

At Orton Wistow all children in EYFS and Year 1 have daily timetabled phonics lessons. In the Foundation Stage phonics sessions last between 15-25 minutes, and this increases to 30 minutes per day in Year 1 and 2. Children in Year 2 start the year with phonics lessons, but quickly move onto grammar, punctuation and spelling lessons as soon as they can read all the sounds and the different ways they are represented in the English language.

We follow a whole class teaching approach in both EYFS and KS1. This allows all children to be exposed to the targeted sounds being taught by an experienced class teacher. Any children as identified as struggling within the main class teaching will be included in a ‘Keep up not catch up’ phonics intervention run by a phonics trained TA.

Teachers assess the children’s learning and track and review children’s progress each half-term. A consistent tracking document is used across both EYFS and KS1, which follows the children as they move through the year groups. This identifies any specific gaps in the children’s knowledge. Assessments also inform teachers of targeted intervention sessions which may be required for those children who struggle with phonics.

We currently follow the six phases of Letters and Sounds: Principles and Practice of High Quality Phonics across the EYFS and Key Stage One phases. This guidance is supported with the use of selected resources from Jolly Phonics, Phonics Play and RWInc. In April 2021 the government revised its core criteria for effective phonics teaching, and as a result of this we are evaluating a new phonics programme with the aim to roll it out to EYFS and Year 1 in September 2021.