Phonics and Reading
"Reading is when we use our eyes to see pictures, letters and words. Then we use our brain to change them into words that communicate something to us."
Southtown Primary pupils.
Our aim is for all children to read as soon as possible and to develop a love of reading from an early age. We provide children with the phonic skills they need to develop reading fluency and stamina. Read Write Inc. also develops children’s comprehension and understanding of what they have read and subsequently builds a child’s confidence. Through the Read Write Inc. scheme, all children are taught the sounds and skills necessary to blend words. They engage with a variety of interesting books, which they not only decode phonically but unpick and discuss through thoughtful comprehension questions to develop a pleasure for reading. As they progress through the scheme, they are able to read with fluency, intonation, expression and a storyteller’s voice. A range of exciting writing opportunities supplement the story books which allow the children to begin to write effectively drawing upon the skills taught such as ‘Fred talk’ and ‘hold and write a sentence.’
The Read Write Inc. scheme is taught to children in Reception and Key Stage One, with the opportunity for Key Stage Two children to continue to access the scheme should they still have gaps in their phonological understanding. Read Write Inc. lessons are taught daily for 45 minutes and all group leaders are fully Read Write Inc. trained. Since we have many group leaders, this allows for the scheme to be taught in smaller group sizes. All children are grouped according to their phonic ability and are assessed every half term to ensure they remain in the correct group. Children are first taught to read by assisted blending with the help of Fred the Frog (Fred Talk). Children then move on to independently blending sounds into words. Read Write Inc. home reading books complement the scheme and a new book is given to each child weekly, which matches their phonic ability and Read Write Inc. group to ensure that they can phonically decode all of the letters and sounds within the colour banded book. Children’s reading is listened to daily during phonic sessions. These books are then taken home to be shared with family members to continue to support our children's learning outside of school.
In Phonics teaching, like all other subjects, we recognise the importance of the methods and practice of teaching to enable children to learn more, remember more and do more.
The following approaches will be used:
- Direct teacher instruction; modelling of skills and techniques; demonstration in line with the Read Write inc. teaching scheme.
- Modelling use of appropriate vocabulary.
- Paired work.
- Regular reinforcement of sounds already learned.
Children who are making progress at a slower than expected rate are given daily ‘one to one’ phonics sessions alongside their daily Read Write Inc. sessions.
The majority of children complete the Read Write Inc. Phonics programme during Year 2. They then begin the Literacy and Language programme. This is a complete literacy programme for fluent readers and is totally aligned to the National Curriculum in a fun and meaningful way.
Children become confident to tackle a variety of texts, both fiction and non-fiction, with greater reading fluency and understanding. The children use their phonics knowledge to support their writing, which is clear in both their Read Write Inc. books and English books.