At Oakdene all Early Years children and Key Stage 1 pupils take part in a daily phonics session.

Initially we teach reading through phonics.  At Oakdene we follow the government programme ‘Letters and Sounds’ for teaching phonics and in Foundation Stage we use Jolly Phonics to support the government programme.  Children are taught to split words into sounds (segment) and put sounds together to make words (blend).  In Foundation Stage and and Key Stage One, children are taught phonics daily. 

In Key Stage Two, children who need extra support are taught individually or in intervention groups.  Our phonics lessons follow the same structure across the school, and this structure is also used to teach spelling rules from Year Two upwards.  We also teach ‘tricky’ words which are not phonetically plausible within phonics lessons.  Children are encouraged to use their phonetic knowledge and understanding in reading and writing.  We find that the children are more confident at using a range of engaging vocabulary in their writing thanks to their phonetic skills, knowledge and understanding. Lexia is also used with specific pupils / groups of pupils from Y1 to Y6. Lexia creates a personalised learning model which develops the following skills:-phonological awareness, phonics, structural analysis, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.

Sound Pronunciation Guide  

The impact of successful learning of systematic synthetic phonics is clear to see:

Phonics Performance

In the academic year 2017- 2018, robust plans were put in place and the continued effective use of Pupil Premium enabled 91% of the cohort to meet the standard in their phonics screening check 2018This outcome took the school ahead of the national picture by +9%. Disadvantaged pupils in 2018 were notably +10% above the national average.

“This is an excellent outcome for the school and reflects the quality of provision in place throughout Early Years and Key Stage 1” SIA report Autumn 2018.


In 2019, 86% of the cohort to meet the standard in their phonics screening check 2019This outcome took the school ahead of the national picture by +4%. Disadvantaged pupils in 2019 were notably +3% above the national average. In 2019, 100% of Y2 pupils who resat their phonics screening check met the standard as they transferred to KS2. This outcome took the school ahead of the Local Authority picture by +45%. Disadvantaged pupils in 2019 were also notably +45% above the Local Authority average.

In 2020, the phonic screening check did not take place in June as a result of the pandemic. We assessed the pupils in March and 97% of Y1 pupils met the standard based on previous tests. The current Y2 cohort was screened in the Autumn term. We received new pupils and 91% met the standard. This is +13% above the national average.

Beyond phonics, one of the main ways we teach reading is through Guided Reading in KS1. The children have the opportunity to read a wide variety of texts in small groups and explore them in detail. This is done with adults and then as they grow in independence we encourage the children to lead the groups, with an adult present, asking each other probing questions around the text. Children are taught according to their individual needs and we have a wide variety of texts, fiction and nonfiction for this.

Useful websites to help your child at home are: