At Edward Worlledge Ormiston Academy we follow a ‘phonics first’ approach to reading, where children learn to decode (read) and encode (spell) printed words quickly and fluently by blending and segmenting letter sounds. Our teaching and learning follows the progression of ‘Little Wandle’. 

This is a systematic synthetic phonics programme approved by the DfE and based on the original Letters and Sounds phonics programme- which we taught prior to Sep 2021.  Little Wandle 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 programme includes the seven key features of effective phonics teaching:

  • direct teaching in frequent, short bursts
  • consistency of approach
  • secure, systematic progression in phonics learning
  • maintaining pace of learning
  • providing repeated practice
  • application of phonics using matched decodable books
  • early identification of children at risk of falling behind, linked to the provision of effective keep-up support 

Phonic teaching involves showing children the sounds of letters (not the letter names) and how these sounds can be blended together to make words. E.g. the word ‘cat’ is a decodable word because the letter sounds can be blended together. 

c – a – t → cat 

At the end of Year 1, all children must participate in the Government’s ‘Phonics Screening Check’. This is to see if they are working at, or towards, the required national standard in terms of phonics skills. It enables schools to identify children who need additional help, so ensure they are given support to improve their reading skills.   

It is a Statutory Requirement to carry out the screening check. The check is a short, simple screening check which consists of a list of 40 words and pseudo words (non-words), which the child reads one-to-one with their class teacher. The Phonics Screening Check takes place in June. 

If pupils are absent for the Phonics Screening Check in Year 1, or if they do not quite meet the “pass” mark they may be able to re-sit the check in Year 2.

Parent and carers guide to pronouncing phonemes.
How we teach blending.