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Phonics at Osbaldwick Primary Academy

Please also see our Phonics and Early Reading Policy for more details:

OPA Phonics and Early Reading Policy .docx

At Osbaldwick Primary Academy, we see being able to read as essential for full access to all curriculum subjects and a skill that improves a child’s life chances. We understand that having a positive attitude to reading and choosing to read hace academic, social and emotional benefits for children of all ages. 

Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised – Systematic, Synthetic Phonics Programme

We fully believe that phonics is the only route to decoding and the only way that children can successfully learn to read. Our children are taught phonics and reading through the application of Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised. This is a systematic, synthetic phonics programme that was validated by the Department for Education in July 2021. All teachers and teaching assistants have completed training modules provided by Little Wandle to ensure a whole school understanding of the approach. As a result, the programme is followed with consistency and fidelity across the school with our Phonics and Early Reading Lead, Mrs Mould, supporting staff across the school with the implementation of the programme. 

Daily Phonics Lessons

Phonics is the learning of individual sounds and then applying this to blending sounds to read words. Through daily lessons and repeated practice, a child’s phonic knowledge and skills become more automatic, leading them to become, over time, fluency and competent readers. 

Fully Decodable Books

In conjunction with daily lessons, children must read books that are consistent with their phonic knowledge. These books are carefully and precisely matched to the child’s secure phonic level to ensure a reading fluency level of 90%. This automaticity allows the child to then focus on what they are reading, reading to increase memory and understanding of what they have read. These books are read in school on a regular basis and are also shared at home with parents and carers. 

Parental Engagement

At Osbaldwick Primary Academy, we understand the importance and the positive impact that parents and carers can have on their child’s reading and how this can improve the child’s confidence and fluency. 

Each child is able to practise a decodable book at home as well as a sharing book. Sharing books will be of a higher level than the child’s reading ability. Suggestions are shared with parents and carers on how they can best and most effectively support their child’s reading at home. Alongside this, we encourage parents and carers to read to their child, even as they grow older, to encourage a love of books as well as developing vocabulary and discussion. 

Parents and carers are also encouraged to complete the Home Reading Diary with positive comments about their child’s reading at home. 

We do, however, understand that parents and carers are busy and cannot always commit to reading regularly with their child at home. We also encourage our children to read with other people at home – an older sibling, reading to a younger sibling, a grandparent or relative. 

Additional Support

We know that some children may need extra support with their reading. These children are prioritised for sessions with reading volunteers, teaching assistants or reading buddies from Upper Key Stage 2 on a regular basis. 

At Osbaldwick Primary Academy, we are fully committed to ensuring that all our children receive the best possible phonics and reading teaching and support to enable them to access, succeed in and enjoy our  broad and ambitious curriculum and to develop a love of reading that will be lifelong. 

Resources for Parents 

On the Little Wandle website, there are some excellent resources for parents and carers in the “For Parents” section. 

By following the first link, you will be able to see the full progression grid from Reception to the end of Year 1. You will see which sounds and words your child will be learning at which point of their phonics and reading journey. 

In the second link, you will find videos of how to correctly pronounce the sounds that each letter makes, the correct formation of each letter and how to write capital letters. These resources are aimed at current Reception parents and carers, but are useful to watch for Year 1 parents. More specific information for Year 1 parents will be uploaded shortly. 

In addition, there are short videos explaining how Little Wandle is taught within our school and also a section on how you can most effectively support your child at home with their reading. 

Please do take the time to have a look at these resources following the link below:

https://www.littlewandlelettersandsounds.org.uk/resources/for-parents/

Programme-Overview_Reception-1