READ WRITE INC EARLY PHONICS AND READING SCHEME
Phonics is a way of teaching children to read and write by blending and segmenting individual sounds. Every letter and different combinations of letters makes particular sounds. Learning these is key for children to become confident, fluent readers and spellers.
At Cavendish phonics is taught using the Ruth Miskin Read, Write Inc (RWI) programme, a resource which integrates phonics with comprehension, spelling and handwriting.
All staff in EYFS and Key Stage 1 have received extensive training and support using this resource to maximise progress and develop confident readers and writers. RWI sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting by the age of five, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven.
We teach children how to break down and decode words into their separate sounds components, known as phonemes. There are 44 phonemes taught throughout the programme, all of which are embedded in a range of fiction and non-fiction books. The words are taught prior to reading a book to ensure children are equipped at decoding them; we call this 'Fred Talk'. Fred is a Read, Write Inc character that only speaks and understands pure sounds (sounds in a words before they are blended), 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.
Children will also use pictures for each sound to help recognise the sound and then form the shape of the sound.
Pupils take part in a range of book activities during the week including:
- Story introductions and discussions
- Jump-in and vocabulary games
- Think about the story time
- Questions to talk and answer
Children read the text at least three times over the week. On the first read, children focus on accurate word reading; the second, on developing fluency; and on the third, comprehension. Fluency and comprehension increase with each repeated read. They undertake a range of activities including: ‘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.
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 Statutory Phonics Screening check in the summer term to confirm whether individual children have learnt phonic decoding to an appropriate standard. It will identify the children who need extra help so they are given support by the school to improve their phonic and reading skills. They will then be able to retake the check so that we can track pupils until they are able to decode and apply these skills in their reading.
In Foundation stage and Key Stage One, phonics is encouraged across the entire curriculum. Afternoon sessions provide opportunities for phonics skills to be consolidated and enhanced each day. These are often embedded into the curriculum or incorporated into stand online activities and provision areas.