Phonics

At St Catherine’s we aim for all children to become fluent, confident readers so they develop a love of 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:

  • Read Write Inc, a program to help to your child read at school
  • Encouraging children to develop a love of books by reading to them daily, at home and at school
  • Giving children access to a wide range of books at school and at home

 At St Catherine`s we teach Read Write Inc Phonics (RWI) daily to give your child the best possible start with their literacy. We have put together a guide to how the RWI program works together with some useful links.

 

What is Read Write Inc?

Read Write Inc (RWI) is a phonics program which helps all children learn to read fluently and at speed, so they can focus on developing their skills in comprehension, vocabulary and spelling.  The program is designed for children aged 4-7. However, at St Catherine’s we will continue teaching RWI to children beyond the age of 7, if they still need support in their reading.

RWI was developed by Ruth Miskin and more information on this can be found at https://ruthmiskin.com/en/find-out-more/parents/.

 

How will RWI be taught?

All children are assessed regularly by our RWI lead teachers so they work with children at a similar level. This allows complete participation in lessons. Children will be grouped appropriately across the 2 classes.

 

Reception

In Reception all children will learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down.

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

 

Year One & Year Two

Children follow the same format as Reception, but will work on complex sounds and read books appropriate to their reading level. Daily sessions of RWI phonics last for 40 mins (20 minutes speed sounds and 20 minutes for Reading).  Once children become fluent speedy readers they will move on to Guided Reading comprehension activities within Year 1 and Year 2.

 

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.

 

 

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 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.

 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.

As well as learning to read and blend real words children will have plenty of opportunities to apply their sound recognition skills on reading ‘Nonsense words’. These words will also feature heavily in the Year One Phonics Screening check in the summer term. 

 

Applying Phonics

Children will be introduced to ‘Ditty books’ when they successfully begin to read single words.

 Children use sound-blending (Fred Talk) to read short ditties. They will bring these home once they have read and discussed the book in class. Children will then be challenged to use their developing phonic knowledge to write short sentences.

 Within all the books children will have red and green words to learn, to help them to become speedy readers. Red words are words that are not easily decodable and challenge words to extend children’s vocabulary. Green words are linked to the sounds they have been learning and are easily decodable.

 Once your child has been introduced and taught these words in school we will send these home for you to continue practising with your child.

During the RWI session children will read a selected book three times and at each new reading they will have plenty of opportunities to practise using their developing comprehension skills. You will hear your child talking about ‘hold, edit or build a sentence’.

 Hold a sentence is an activity that encourages children to remember a whole sentence while focusing on spelling and punctuation.

 Build a sentence is to give children the opportunity to create their own sentence to that shows the meaning of a word and edit a sentence allows the children to critique a sentence using their knowledge of spelling punctuation and grammar. Children complete a longer piece of independent writing, which gives them the opportunity to show off their creativity and to practice their spelling, grammar and punctuation.

 

Using phonics to record spoken words

 Children will use ‘Fred fingers’ to first sound out a word before they write it down. This method allows children to confidentially identify the spoken sounds within words an enable them to record those sounds to form legible words to eventually build sentences. This method links to the “Fred Talk” applied within their daily phonics sessions.

 

Phonics Screening Check Year One

What is the Year 1 phonics screening check?

The Year 1 phonics screening check is a short, light-touch assessment to confirm whether individual pupils have learnt phonic decoding to an appropriate standard.

It will identify the children who need extra help so they are given support by their school to improve their reading skills. They will then be able to retake the check so that schools can track pupils until they are able to decode.

 

Useful websites for Parents

Please find a list of websites that you may find useful in helping you and your child  learn about phonics. Games and fun activity websites are also included.

http://jollylearning.co.uk/ - Games and information for parents

http://www.phonicsplay.co.uk/ - many games to play

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks1/literacy/phonics/play/ - fun games for the children to play

http://www.ictgames.com/literacy.html  - fun games for the children to play

http://www.kenttrustweb.org.uk/kentict/kentict_home.cfm  - fun games for the children to play and information for parents

http://www.ngfl-cymru.org.uk/  - fun games for the children to play

http://www.starfall.com/  - fun games for the children to play

http://www.firstschoolyears.com/  - fun games for the children to play

BBC Bitesize - many games to play covering all areas of the curriculum