The aim of the Project READ website is to support collaboration between schools in our joint endeavour to improve reading outcomes for Derbyshire pupils. A huge 'Thank you!' to all who have contributed case studies. Use the case studies as a starting point to reflect on practice in your school with colleagues. Explore the 'Useful Links' tab for research, resources and continuous professional development (CPD) opportunities. The password to view the video clips is projectread

Phase 3 phonics session in Reception at St Oswald's C of E Primary School

About our school

At St Oswald’s we nurture every child to reach their full potential within a calm, caring environment. We provide a setting in which parents, staff, governors and friends of the school work in partnership to improve outcomes for all our children though the 6 core values of ‘friendship, forgiveness, perseverance, hope, respect and honesty’. We support our children to develop skills to become independent lifelong learners and responsible citizens who are respectful, resilient and compassionate. We strive to encourage initiative within a happy, healthy and safe environment where all achievement is valued and celebrated.

St Oswald's C of E Primary School is a member of Ashbourne Dove Valley Teaching School Alliance (ADVTSA).


In this session, my aim was to consolidate learning of familiar graphemes and 'tricky' words and to teach the digraph 'ar' which was unfamiliar to most of the children.


We teach phonics in daily, discrete sessions in the EYFS and in KS1 and reinforce application throughout the day in all learning. This session was filmed in January 2019.


1. Revisit The children revisit familiar single graphemes, then digraphs, then high-frequency 'tricky' words.

2. Teach and Practise The children learn the digraph 'ar'. I use a Jolly Phonics 'big book' to introduce the phoneme, the grapheme. the action and the formation of each letter. Then, we practise reading four words together: I model reading the graphemes and the children blend to read the word.

3. Apply The full apply session was 13 minutes and has been edited down to a shorter version here. First, we play a fishing game. The children 'fish' for a word then read it independently. I support and model the correct version where necessary. In particular, I encourage the children to use pure sounds. Next, we make sure we know what the words mean: I ask the children put their words into sentences. Finally, I give the children a sentence to read which contains high frequency words, tricky words and two words containing 'ar'. To finish, we read it together.

At the end of the session, I leave the fishing game out so the children can access it during the morning.


Our children get off to a strong start in phonics. In 2016-2018, our Year 1 phonics outcomes have been over 90% each year.

Next steps

We will continue to teach phonics systematically and thoroughly, with a strong focus on application in daily reading and writing activities.


Di Mansfield, lead teacher in the EYFS, Deputy Head teacher and SENCo.

Additional information

Would you like to take part in a phonics project in your school? Project Phonics EYFS - Year 2 is a collaborative CPD opportunity for primary school clusters in Derbyshire. This opportunity builds on the robust foundations of Project READ to enable schools not involved in the original project to participate in similar, collaborative school improvement projects. Participating schools work in partnership with Derbyshire's Teaching, Learning and Assessment Consultants and with Specialist Leaders of Education from Derbyshire's Teaching Schools. Contact for more information.

Specialist Leaders of Education (SLEs) from ADVTSA may be available to provide school-to-school support to improve phonics teaching in your school. For more information, see

1.Revisit. Password for all clips: projectread
2.Teach and Practise
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