Read Write Inc. Phonics
With over 44 different sounds but only 26 letters to make them with, English has one of the most complex spelling codes in the world. This can cause confusion for anyone learning to read and spell as letters combine together in different words to make different sounds. For example, the letter ‘e’ sometimes makes the sound /e/ (e-g-g). It could, however, also make the sound /ea/ (t-ea) or /ey/ (th-ey). And this is only the begging.
To best support our pupils to learn to read each sound, we teach them systematically, using the system based programme, Read Write Inc.
We begin by teaching children Set 1 Sounds, the first thirty sounds that will enable them to blend sounds to read words (e.g. s/a/t blended together read as ‘sat’).
Children are first introduced to the sounds with images with a rhyme to support recall and letter formation. The children then begin reading stories and texts that have these thirty sounds within them so that they are able to apply their phonic knowledge and develop reading fluency.
Whilst teaching the children to read the sounds, we are simultaneously teaching them to write and spell words that include these sounds, and then use them within short sentences.
As children conquer their sounds, we introduce Set 2 and then Set 3 sounds and the children read complimentary texts to these with increasingly more complex sounds and graphemes (different ways of spelling the same sound /ae/ or /ay/). The children are shown that a sound can be written using 2, 3 or sometimes even 4 letters and they use these rules to spell words.
Read Write Inc believes that by reading the sounds, you can read the words, and therefore the story.
For more information on Read Write Inc., how it is taught in school and how you can support your child at home, please visit this page.
Other resources to help at home:
Free e-books for home reading:
The Phonics Screening Check
Children complete a word reading check at the end of Year 1 so that parents can be confident that their children are being taught to read successfully. This is known as the Phonics Screening Check. Children read 40 words and the entire check takes between 2-5 minutes. If they don’t manage to read 32 of the words, they are given extra support and will repeat the check at the end of Year 2. This means that all children will be able to read accurately before they begin Year 3.
Half of the words in the check are real words and half are nonsense words. There is a picture of an ‘alien’/’monster’ to show children that they are not real words. Children who are able to read nonsense words will soon be able to read any new word that they come across.
A short video explaining the check can be found here.
Practising the sounds on a speed sound chart can be a useful thing to do at home to prepare for the check. An A4 copy of the speed sounds chart can be collected from the school office. A video guide for how to say the sounds is linked here.
Reading words, including nonsense words, can also be helpful.
Children are being prepared for the check at school in addition to their daily phonics lesson so that they can achieve their best outcome. However, past papers can be downloaded below should you wish to practice further at home.