Our School App Stay connected on the go...
Phonics (Early Reading and RWI)
At Valley Invicta Primary School at Leybourne Chase, we use Read Write Inc. (RWI), an inclusive synthetic phonic programme to teach our children to read, to write and to spell. We have adopted this as our whole school approach as the programme facilitates a graduated and tailored approach to learning basic sounds and letter formation before advancing to more complex sounds and reading for comprehension. The programme moves with integrity from learning to read to reading to learn.
RWI sessions occur each day as the continuity and pace of the programme is key to accelerating the progress of children’s reading development. This method of phonics teaching is both systematic and repetitive in order to embed learning; the programme also offers plenty of opportunities for fun based, interactive learning using drama, role play and props to engage with and to enjoy texts and stories. The children work in small groups according to their confidence and competence. These groups are reconfigured on a regular basis in order to match the pace and the progress of each child; this reconfiguration also allows Class Teachers to identify where 1:1 interventions may be required in order to meet the expectations of both the Phonics Check and the end of Key Stage 1.
Aims and Objectives
The overarching objectives of the RWI programme are to teach pupils to:
- apply the skill of blending phonemes in order to read words.
- segment words into their constituent phonemes in order to spell words.
- learn that blending and segmenting words are reversible processes.
- read high frequency words that do not conform to regular phonic patterns.
- read texts and words that are within their phonic capabilities as early as possible.
- decode texts effortlessly so that their focus can be used on reading to learn (comprehension)
- spell effortlessly so that their focus can be directed towards the composition of their writing
Read Write Inc. Phonics
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. Phonics, 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 Valley Invicta Primary School at Leybourne Chase we use Read Write Inc. Phonics (RWI) to give your child the best possible start with their literacy. 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.
You can also access more information on the Ruth Minskin YouTube channel.
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. However, we will continue teaching RWI to children beyond the age of 7 if they still need support in their reading.
RWI was developed by Ruth Miskin and more information on this can be found at https://ruthmiskin.com/en/find-out-more/parents/.
How will RWI be taught?
In Reception, children will be introduced to the initial sounds in short sessions, 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
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
Year 1 and Year 2 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 one hour.
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.
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 following video is an example of blending sounds with Fred
Key Skills - Step 1
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.
Click here for the top ten tips and help with how to pronounce sounds correctly.
Children will also use pictures for each sound to help recognise the sound and then form the shape of the sound.
Key Skills - Step 2
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.
The Year 1 Phonics Screening Check will take place in June.
This check simply identifies 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.
Key Skills - Step 3
Children use sound-blending (Fred Talk) to read short books 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.
What is the Phonics Screening Check?
The national Phonics Screening Check was introduced in 2012 to all Year 1 pupils. It is a short, statutory assessment to ensure that children are making sufficient progress in the phonics skills to read words and are on track to become fluent readers who can enjoy reading for pleasure and for learning.
Useful websites for parents
Your child will start to bring books home when they are confident readers. Please help them to read and give lots of praise! If you have any other questions about RWI, please see your child's class teacher.
Please find a list of websites that you may find useful in helping you and your child to learn about phonics. Games and fun activity websites are also included.
For further information please visit the Read Write Inc website.