At St Mary’s Infant School, we aim for all our children to become fluent, confident readers who are passionate about 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 Mary’s Infant School we use Read Write Inc Phonics (RWI) to give your child the best possible start with their literacy. We have put together a guide to how the RWI programme works together with some useful links.
Mrs McGrath is our Read Write Inc lead teacher, so if you have questions about RWI, contact school who can refer you to her. Please take the time to read the information as it will provide invaluable information as to how you can help and support your child in reading.
What is Read Write Inc?
Read Write Inc (RWI) is a phonics complete literacy programme 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 programme is designed for children aged 4-7.
How will RWI be taught?
All children are assessed regularly by our Reading leader, so they work with children at the same level. This allows complete participation in lessons.
In Reception all children will learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down.
- 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
- 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
Daily handwriting practice
Children practise correct letter formation as soon as they come into school every morning and as part of their daily Speed Sounds Lesson. We use the mnemonics to help children visualise the letter before they write it down. In the ‘Write the letters’ activity in the lesson, children practise saying the handwriting phrase and the sound as they form the letter in the air and then write the sound on paper. Children need to practise handwriting under the guidance of a teacher so they do not develop habits that will be difficult to undo later.
The children 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
Read Write Inc. Phonics through the day: Fred Talk and pinny time
The teaching of sounds is kept to the phonics lessons to let children enjoy the integrity of each experience. However, there are two important things to do throughout the day to help teach all children to read sounds and learn to blend quickly:
- Use Fred Talk and play Fred Talk games
- Pinny time
Fred Talk + Speedy Sounds = reading
Use Fred Talk and play Fred Talk games
Speaking like Fred helps children to understand that words are made up of sounds. Teachers and teaching assistants will use Fred Talk throughout the day to help children practise blending sounds together. Fred Talk follows a consistent routine:
- Say the word in sounds as Fred, e.g. c-a-t. Ask children to repeat. Pause to allow children to ‘jump-in’ with the whole word.
- Say the word in sounds followed by the whole word, e.g. c-a-t, cat. Ask children to repeat.
- Use Fred Talk for single-syllable words at the end of sentences throughout the day e.g. it is time for l-u-n-ch…lunch, come and sit on the f-l-oor…floor.
- Fred Talk words at the end of the sentence and keep the words short and simple.
- Organise 5-minute Fred Talk game group sessions with those children learning to blend.
Pinny time helps children practise reading the sounds taught so far speedily. It is quick and easy to get going, to make sure children ‘keep up, not catch up’.
- Each teacher/TA should have their own apron or ‘pinny’ with pockets containing a set of Speed Sounds Cards.
- Timetable 5-minute pinny time sessions throughout the day. Target the children who need to increase their speed.
- Assign small groups of children for pinny time to YR/P1 staff.
- Decide on ‘Speed minute’ sessions throughout the day – children go to their pinny time adult when a bell rings. See how many sounds the group of children can read in one minute.
- Play ‘Partner practice’ – give the children a set of Speed Sounds cards to practise reading together quickly.
- Have set times every day for pinny time: before break, while waiting for the midday supervisors, waiting to go into assembly, as children go home (so parents can see what you’re doing). Make this a habit.
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 30 minutes and is supported by an additional reading session.
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.
Children will be taught how to read as follows:
Before you start to teach your child, practise saying the sounds below. These are the sounds we use to speak in English.
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 puppet 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 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. Please do not use letter names at this early stage. Children will also use pictures for each sound to help recognise the sound and then form the shape of the sound.
The children are then taught Set 2 Sounds – the long vowels. When they are very confident with all of set 1 and 2 they are taught Set 3 Sounds.
Nonsense words (Alien words)
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.
Children will be introduced to ‘Ditty books’ when they successfully begin to read single words. The short vowels should be kept short and sharp:
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.
Dots and dashes represent the sound each letter makes.
Once your child has been introduced and taught these words in school we will send them home for you to continue practising with your child.
During the RWI session children will read the book three times and at each new reading they will have plenty of opportunities to practise using their developing comprehension skills.
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.
Our children love their phonics sessions and the quality of their reading and writing shows that they use and implement sounds learnt in their work.
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://www.phonicsplay.co.uk/ – many games to play
http://www.ictgames.com/literacy.html – fun games for the children to play
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
Please click here to see a PowerPoint show regarding Year 2 SATs Parent Meeting
Please click here to see a guide for parents Parent guide to Read Write Inc. Phonics | Oxford Owl
Please see our ‘Policies’ page to view our literacy policy.
We have sent you the following information about our move to Read, Write Inc.