Children in the EYFS and Key Stage 1 follow the synthetic phonics and reading approach using the ‘Read, Write INC’ programme.
How to pronounce the letters for early readers – click here to watch the short video
It is an approach to teaching phonics in which individual letters or letter sounds are blended to form groups of letters or sounds and those groups are blended to form complete words. Daily phonics sessions in the EYFS are fun, involving a great deal of speaking and listening, using senses and playing games. the emphasis is on active participation. Children learn to use their phonic knowledge for reading and writing activities and in their independent play.
The Read, Write Inc programme aims to support all children with learning to read accurately and fluently and with good comprehension. Children learn to recognise and then form each letter, spell words correctly and compose their ideas step-by-step. Each child is assessed regularly and grouped according to their phonic knowledge. All children in the EYFS and Key Stage 1 are put into ability groups for daily sessions which take place between 9.30am and 10.40am.
Throughout the programme, children learn the English alphabetic code: the 150+ graphemes that represent 44 speech sounds. They rapidly learn sounds and the letter, or groups of letters, they need to represent them in three sets of speed sounds lessons. Simple and enjoyable mnemonics help the children understand the letter-sound correspondences quickly. High frequency words that are not phonetically regular such as ‘the’, ‘said, ‘was’ and ‘to’ are taught as tricky (red) words and are practiced regularly. You cannot really break the sounds down for such words so it is better just to ‘recognise’ them.
We have phonics books in School that are closely matched to the children’s increasing knowledge of phonics and ‘tricky’ words. Repeated readings of the text support the children to become increasingly expert at decoding.
The children write every day, rehearsing out loud what they want to write, and composing sentence by sentence until they are confident enough to write independently. They write at their level of spelling knowledge: that is they use their knowledge of alphabetical code and the ‘tricky’ words they have learnt. The children also practice handwriting every day; sitting at a table comfortably, learning the correct letter formation and joining letters speedily and legibly.
At the end of Year 1 children undertake a statutory phonics screening check and the results are reported to parents. If a child does not meet the expected standard, extra support is put in place and the children may take part in an intervention programme or receive 1:1 support. This may continue in Key Stage 2 if children are still not working at expected levels.
Teachers send ‘tricky’ (red words) home for children to practice each week. Spellings are also sent home on a weekly basis for children in years 1 – 6. All children in School are given a reading book to take home, we ask parents to support their child’s education by hearing them read for about 10 minutes each night. Once a book is finished it is returned to School along with their reading record and changed for another book.
We use a combination of reading schemes throughout the School. These include Read, Write Inc, Oxford Reading Tree, Floppy Phonics, Storyworld and Ginn. These give a variety of fiction, non-fiction and poetry books to develop the children’s reading range. Children learn to read at different rates. Once they finish the reading scheme (usually in upper Key Stage 2), they become ‘free readers’ and can select their own books from class and school libraries.