Early reading- Phonics
Welcome to our Phonics Curriculum
At Cuddington Croft, we aim to provide children with the skills they need to read fluently, accurately and confidently whilst also developing their understanding and interpretations of texts to support the curriculum.
At Cuddington Croft, we use ‘Read Write Inc’ Phonics (RWI) to give your child the best possible start with their reading and literacy. We have put together a guide to our RWI programme with some useful information and links.
Our Phonics Intent
At Cuddington Croft Primary School, we recognise and understand that fluency in the English language is an essential foundation for success in every subject. We are determined that every pupil in the school will learn to read, regardless of their background, needs or abilities. We aim to develop our children's reading and writing in all subjects to support their acquisition of knowledge. The intent of our phonics programme (Read Write Inc) is to deliver a curriculum which is accessible to all and where children are able to match and also exceed expectations of the National Curriculum and Early Learning Goals. We strive to engage and excite our pupils with books, rhymes and language in order to develop a love for reading, sharing stories and becoming lost in their own imagination.
Implementation - how do we plan and teach Phonics?
At Cuddington Croft Primary school, to ensure high standards of teaching and learning in phonics, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout EYFS and Phase 1. We use a synthetic phonics programme called ‘Read Write Inc’ developed by Ruth Miskin. The staff at Cuddington Croft teach learners the relationship between sounds and the written spelling patterns, or graphemes, which represent them.
During each RWI lesson, children are taught to:
- Decode letter/sounds correspondences
- Read red ‘tricky’ words by sight
- Comprehend and understand what they read
- Read aloud with fluency and expression
- Spell quickly by segmenting sounds in words
Children take part in daily phonics sessions in smaller groups where they participate in speaking, listening, spelling and reading activities that are matched specifically to their ability. Children are taught to work effectively with a partner to explain and consolidate what they are learning. This provides the teacher with continuous observations and assessment to ensure children are challenged and to identify children who may need additional support. In addition, the phonics leader will regularly assess each child to identify children’s progress and ensure children are grouped appropriately. 1:1 intervention is planned for children who are working below expected levels.
Reading at home is widely promoted and encouraged throughout our school. Stories are read daily to children by staff with enthusiasm, confidence and enjoyment. Children are provided with a RWI book that is matched to their phonics knowledge. The RWI books that children take home are decodable, linked to each stage of the children’s phonics knowledge and include specific comprehension questions. Children also choose an additional book that is appropriate for their age to share with their family at home to promote their love for reading.
Impact - how is progress shown?
At Cuddington Croft, we are committed to all children becoming fluent, confident and enthusiastic readers and writers. The impact of phonics teaching is evident through all areas of learning. Children have opportunities to apply their phonetical knowledge to other subjects and develop their fluency and comprehension as they progress through school. Phonics attainment is measured through The Phonics Screening Test, regular spelling assessments, Reading and Writing Early Learning Goal (EYFS) and reading milestones.
What is Read Write Inc?
Read Write Inc (RWI) is a complete phonics programme which helps all children learn to read fluently and at speed so they can focus to develop their skills in comprehension, vocabulary and spelling. At Cuddington, we begin the programme in Nursery and we will continue to teach RWI until the children complete the scheme.
RWI was developed by Ruth Miskin and more information on this can be found at: https://www.ruthmiskin.com/en/parents-copy-2/
How will RWI be taught?
All children will be regularly assessed on their phonics knowledge. Based on these assessments, children are grouped into stages, where they work with peers on the same stage. This identifies children who may need extra support which is provided to these children on a 1:1 basis each week.
There are five key principles which underpin the teaching in all RWI sessions:
- Participation - As children are in smaller groups, children participate in every session. They are able to maintain high levels of concentration and do not miss key elements of the teaching.
- Praise - Children work together and are praised for their effort and learning.
- Pace - Teaching is at an effective pace where every moment is devoted to teaching and learning.
- Purpose - Every instructor has been trained in RWI methods. They know the purpose of each activity, they share it with the children and how it will lead onto the next learning.
- Passion - Every instructor is enthusiastic about their teaching so children are engaged emotionally.
Children are introduced to the initial sounds and sound blending.
Reception all children will learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down. Those who are ready will begin to read and write simple words within books.
- 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
- They 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
Year 1 and above
Children follow the same format as Reception but will work on complex sounds and read books appropriate to their reading level.
What phonic sounds are taught?
We use pure sounds (‘m’ not’ muh’, etc.) so that your child will be able to blend the sounds into words more easily.
The following video is an example of how to correctly pronounce the sounds:
At Cuddington Croft, 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 following video is an example of blending sounds:
The children are taught the sounds in 3 sets.
Red and Green words
Within all the RWI sessions/books children will be exposed to 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.
Nonsense (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 are made up of the sounds the children are learning.
What are RWI books?
During the RWI sessions, children will practise their reading with books that match the phonics and the ‘tricky words’ they know. Children will read the book three times before they bring it home. Please encourage your child to read through the speed sounds page first, then the green and red words page and then check if your child understands the meaning of words on the vocabulary check page, before they start reading the book. They should be able to read this book with fluency and expression by the time they bring it home and they should have a good comprehension of what the book is about. At the back of the book are find it/prove it questions for you to do with your child.
How do I know the teaching will be good?
All staff at Cuddington Croft have been trained by a RWI trainer to teach phonics. We believe that it is very important that all teachers and teaching assistants work in the same way. The phonics leaders watch other teachers teaching phonics to ensure that children are learning in a consistent way.
What is the Phonics Screening Check in Year One?
The Year 1 phonics screening check takes place towards the end of Year One and it is an assessment to confirm whether individual pupils have learnt phonic decoding to an appropriate standard. This assessment happens nationally each year and is designed to assess your children's reading skills via 40 words, split into 2 sections. Each section consists of 10 real words and 10 ‘Nonsense words’.
What can I do to help?
Your child will start to bring books home when they are confident readers, appropriate to their reading stage. They will bring home a RWI book that is matched to their phonics knowledge, this will aid application, speed and fluency. Your child will bring home a book that they know well. Please don’t say, ‘this is too easy’. Instead, encourage your child to tell you the story out loud; ask them lots of questions about what happened or what they think about some of the characters in the story.
The children will also bring home a reading for pleasure book that is appropriate to children’s age, which will require children to use their decoding skills. These are for your child to enjoy and share with you at home. We appreciate and understand that parents and carers are very busy but we would also encourage you to read stories to your child before they go to bed as this will help to develop their vocabulary and enjoyment of stories.
What if my child finds it difficult to learn to read?
At Cuddington Croft, we want children to learn to read, however long it takes us to teach them. We will find out very quickly if a child is finding it difficult with their reading. We will move children to a different group so we can ensure that they have learnt what they need to know. We will give them extra time, on their own with an adult who is trained to support children who are finding it trickier as well as their class lessons. Some children take longer to learn to blend sounds together to read a word. Your child’s class teacher will communicate with you if your child needs additional support.
If you have any other questions about RWI, please contact Miss Perry.