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Phonics

Learning to Read

 

Reading is probably the most important skill that a child will learn in primary school.  It opens up a whole new world of learning and imagination and gives them the opportunity to become fluent, enthusiastic readers.

 

At St Mary's, we are very excited to have just launched a new Phonics and early reading scheme called Read Write Inc (RWI). The teaching of this scheme along with your help as parents, sharing books at home with your children and encouraging them to read and share their new knowledge, will help your children become independent, life long readers.

 

What is Read Write Inc?

 

Read Write Inc. Phonics teaches children to read accurately and fluently with good comprehension. It enables all children to learn to read fluently and at speed so they can focus on developing their skills in comprehension, vocabulary and spelling. Children learn to form each letter, spell correctly, and compose their ideas step-by-step.

 

How is Read Write Inc taught?

 

All children are assessed at the beginning of the programme and are put into teaching groups dependant on their needs. This ensures that all children are learning the 'sounds' that they need to know to move them on confidently to the next stage of their reading journey. Children are then taught in these groups, every day, focussing on the different sounds. For the first 4 weeks, these sessions are for 1/2 hour each day and focus on 'speed sounds' (see parents powerpoint for more information) these sessions are then extended to an hour when children share storybooks and develop their writing skills. Your children will bring books home to share with you focussing on the sound that they have been learning. In addition, they will bring home a picture book from the library to share together.

 

The children are then assessed every half term to ensure they are in the correct group.

 

Reading

The children:

  • 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

 

Writing

The children:

  • 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 

 

Talking

The children

  • They work in pairs so that they:
  • answer every question
  • practise every activity with their partner
  • take turns in talking and reading to each other
  • develop ambitious vocabulary

 

Fred Talk

 

We use pure sounds (‘m’ not’ muh’,’s’ not ‘suh’, etc.) so that your child will be able to blend the sounds into words more easily.

At school we use a frog puppet called Fred who is an expert on sounding out words! we call it, ‘Fred Talk’. E.g. m-o-p, c-a-t, m-a-n, sh-o-p, b-l-a-ck.

 

The following video is an example of blending sounds with Fred. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEzfpod5w_Q

 

The children are taught the sounds in 3 sets.

 

Step 1:

Set 1 Sounds are taught in the following order together with rhymes to help children form the letters correctly and instantly recognise sounds ready for blending.

 

Set 1

Sound

Rhyme

m

Down Maisie then over the two mountains. Maisie, mountain, mountain.

a

Round the apple, down the leaf.

s

Slide around the snake

d

Round the dinosaur's back, up his neck and down to his feet.

t

Down the tower, across the tower,

i

Down the insects body, dot for the head.

n

Down Nobby and over the net.

p

Down the plait, up and over the pirates face.

g

Round the girls face, down her hair and give her a curl

o

All around the orange

c

Curl around the caterpillar

k

Down the kangaroos body, tail and leg

u

Down and under the umbrella, up to the top and down to the puddle

b

Down the laces, over the toe and touch the heel

f

Down the stem and draw the leaves

e

Slice into the egg, go over the top, then under the egg

l

Down the long leg

h

Down the horse's head to the hooves and over his back

sh

Slither down the snake, then down the horse's head to the hooves and over his back

r

Down the robot's back, then up and curl

j

Down his body, curl and dot

v

Down a wing, up a wing

y

Down a horn, up a horn and under the yak's head.

w

Down, up, down, up the worm.

th

Down the tower, across the tower, then down the horse’s head to the hooves and over his back

z

Zig-zag-zig, down the zip.

ch

Curl around the caterpillar, , then down the horse's head to the hooves and over his back

qu

Round the queen’s head, up to her crown, down her hair and curl

x

Cross down the arm and leg and cross the other way

ng

A thing on a string

nk

I think I stink

 

For further information about Read Write Inc, please view the Parent's information powerpoint on this page (this is the one that was shared at the recent meeting), there are also parent information brochures available in the information stand in the front lobby of the school.

 

If you have any further questions please contact Debbie Bartlett (Phonics Leader) through the school office email address (admin@stmarys565.herts.sch.uk)

 
 

 

Helping your child at home:

 

In addition to the suggestions in the powerpoint of how to support your child with their reading at home, please find below some further guidance when sharing a book with your child:-

 

 

  • Encourage the child to use Fred talk to sound out the word before blending.
  • Encourage the child to find clues in the pictures as to the meanings of words.
  • If the child gets really stuck on a word, you could give him/her the first sounds to help them. Break the word down into smaller parts (syllables) if that helps.
  • Read the word for him/her if that helps the flow.
  • Read along with the child if he/she is nervous
  • Re-read familiar books to increase the child’s confidence
  • Praise the child for getting a word right
  • Aim to make the reading experience fun, cosy and time together you enjoy.
  • If a child reads a book easily, ask them to tell the story in their own words or to think of a different ending.
  • For children with longer texts – read part of the book and ask child to tell the rest of the story in their own words.
  • Write a constructive comment in reading diary – eg X was able to recognise words at random today, X was able to recognise initial sounds.
  • Some children may only be looking at picture books – so encourage them to talk about what is happening in the pictures.
  • If sharing a familiar story e.g. Goldilocks and the Three Bears, encourage children to join in repeated phrases.

 

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