What do we teach?
At English Martyrs we follow The Read, Write Inc (RWI) Phonics programme.
Children are taught phonics daily throughout EYFS, Year 1 and 2.
RWI is a phonic based approach to teaching reading. It involves children learning to read sounds and how to blend them together to read words. RWI is a successful reading programme that enables every child to become a confident and fluent reader at the first attempt. It aims to teach all children to read at a pace that they are comfortable with. The children learn 44 sounds (speed sounds). These are the letter sounds and not letter names. The speed sounds are divided into small groups. Once your child has learned all of the sounds in one group, they can move on to sound blending the letters in that group to read words.
How do we teach it?
Within Early Years and KS1 classes, phonics is taught discreetly in a daily session that lasts between 30 to 40 minutes.
Within their daily phonics lesson, children have time to practise and rapidly expand their ability to read and spell words. They are also taught to read and spell ‘red words’.
Red words are those words which contain spelling patterns that cannot be sounded out. Some of the most frequently used words in the English language have an uncommon spelling pattern and don’t sound like they look, for example, said sounds like ‘sed’.
Red words have to be learned by sight. These words are printed in red in the story books. Learning to read the red words is a very important part of reading and one which you can help with at home.
The teachers read to the children, too, so the children get to know all sorts of stories, poetry and information books. They learn many more words this way and it also helps their writing.
Teachers regularly assess children’s progress to check where they are and what they need to learn next. In the summer term, the government asks us to carry out a phonics screening check of all the Year 1 children. That gives us extra information about their progress. We will talk to you about how well your child has done, and especially if we have any concerns.
Any children beginning Key Stage 2 who are yet to pass the Phonics Screening Check, or who are not deemed sufficiently fluent, receive additional support in Year 3 to help them keep up with their peers. These children will continue to take home a Read, Write Inc book monitored by the class teacher in addition to their Oxford Reading Tree book. Additional interventions will continue beyond Year 3 for specific SEND pupils who need support with fluency and stamina for reading.
The main reading scheme we use in Early Years Foundation and Key Stage 1 is Read, Write Inc but we also supplement the scheme with other books such as Oxford Reading Tree and Project X. We feel this enables all our children to have a wide choice of books in different styles when learning to read. There are regular opportunities for the children to read on a 1:1 basis with a member of staff in school.
Children have regular opportunities to choose library books and change their reading books. Our library is well stocked with a fantastic range of books for all ages and interests.
How can you support your child’s reading at home?
Children in all year groups are expected to read daily at home and log their reading in their reading diaries. We would also encourage the children to read anything that they are interested in, as well as their reading books.
Read to your child as much as possible. Reading aloud to your child helps to develop their range of vocabulary and enhance their enjoyment of books which in turn helps them develop their writing skills. It can be helpful to talk about the characters in the books, perhaps stop and ask your child what he/she thinks may happen next, how a character may be feeling and why or ask their opinion on the story.