At Woodlands Primary school we aim for all children to become fluent, confident readers who are passionate about reading. Children who read regularly, or are read to regularly, have the opportunity to open the doors to so many different worlds! More importantly, reading will give your child the tools to become independent life-long learners.We can achieve this together through:
Our pupils learn to read and write effectively using the Read Write Inc. (RWI) Phonics Programme which is a systematic programme for the teaching of phonics, reading, spelling and writing. We want all pupils to begin their journey to read with confidence, develop a love of reading and apply their skills competently to writing. This programme is designed for children from 4-7 years. However, at Woodlands we begin the programme in Nursery and will continue teaching RWI to children beyond the age of 7 if they still require support in their reading.
What is Phonics?
Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skilfully. They are taught how to:
Children can then use this knowledge to ‘de-code’ (Fred Talk) new words that they hear or see. This is the first important step in learning to read.
How will RWI be taught?
All children are assessed regularly by our RWI teachers so they work with children at the same level. This allows complete participation in lessons.
learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letters/letter groups using simple picture prompts – see below
learn to read words using Fred talk and sound blending
read from a range of storybooks and non-fictions books matched to their phonic knowledge
work well with partners
develop comprehension skills in stories by answering 'Find It' and 'Prove It' discussion questions.
learn to write and form the letters/letter groups which represent the 44 sounds with the help of fun phrases
learn to write words by using Fred Talk
learn to build sentences by practising sentences out loud before they write
Five key principles underpin the teaching in all Read Write Inc. sessions:
Purpose – know the purpose of every activity and share it with the children, so they know the one thing they should be thinking about
Participation – ensure every child participates throughout the lesson. Partnership work is fundamental to learning
Praise – ensure children are praised for effort and learning, not ability
Pace – teach at an effective pace and devote every moment to teaching and learning
Passion – be passionate about teaching so children can be engaged emotionally.
Children learn the correct letter formation as part of their daily Speed Sounds Lesson. We use the mnemonics to help children visualise the letter before they write it down. In the ‘Write the letters’ activity in the lesson, children practise saying the handwriting phrase and the sound as they form the letter in the air and then write the sound on paper.
Fred the Frog puppet plays an important role in our Read Write Inc lessons. Fred is only able to speak in sounds, not whole words. We call this Fred Talk.
For example, Fred would say m-a – t we would say mat. Fred talk helps children read unfamiliar words by pronouncing each sound in the word one at a time. Children can start blending sounds into words as soon as they know a small group of letters well. During lessons children are taught to hear sounds and blend them together in sequence to make a word. We start with blending oral sounds, then progress to reading the letters and blending them together to read the word.
Order of teaching sounds
In Read Write Inc phonics the individual sounds are called ‘speed sounds’ – because we want your child to read them effortlessly. Set 1 sounds are the initial letter sounds. They are taught in the following order.
m, a, s, d, t, i, n, p, g, o, c, k, u, b, f, e, l, h, sh, r, j, v, y, w, th, z, ch, qu, x, ng, nk
There are 12 Set 2 ‘speed sounds’ that are made up of two or three letters which represent just one sound, e.g. ay as in play, ee as in tree and igh as in high.
When children learn their Set 2 sounds they will learn:
the letters that represent a speed sound e.g. ay
a simple picture prompt linked to the ‘speed sound’ and a short phrase to
say e.g. may I play
Every speed sound has a list of green words linked to it, so your child can ‘sound out’ and ‘sound blend’ words containing the new speed sound they have just learnt, for example s-p-r-ay = spray.
When learning their Set 3 speed sounds they will be taught that there are more ways in which the same sounds are written, e.g. ee as in tree and ea as in tea.
The table below shows the sound, the associated phrase and example green words.
During phonics children also learn to read common exception words (red words) these are words that cannot be read by applying phonics, so the children learn to read them on sight.
Spelling with your Fred Fingers
Children are taught to use their fingers to help them write words. The children say the word out loud and break it down into its individual sounds. If a word has 3 sounds children hold up 3 fingers, 4 sounds 4 fingers etc. Children then pinch each finger as they say the sounds needed in the word then they write the letters that represent each sound.
How can I help my child at home?
Your child will bring home a Phonics reading book, the book is carefully matched to your child’s reading ability and includes only sounds that they have been taught.
Children should apply their phonics to read the book at home. Encourage your children to read as much as possible. As well as reading their phonics book children may also be encouraged to read other texts at home.
When reading with your child use the phonics sounds to segment the words and blend them back together (e.g. sh-i-p = ship, s-l-ee-p = sleep). Read to your child at home, explore different types of texts together, and make reading a fun and enjoyable experience full of adventure.
Ask your children questions about the text to develop their understanding.
Practice reading ‘red words’ at home.
For more information please follow the links below