At St Augustine’s, we are fully committed to ensuring that each and every child is supported to become fluent readers, willing and able writers and confident speakers. Underpinning children’s success as early readers and writers is their knowledge and understanding of letters and sounds within the English Language- which is taught to them through Phonics.
The Government strongly recommend the use of synthetic phonics when teaching early literacy skills to children. Synthetic phonics is simply the ability to convert a letter or letter group into sounds that are then blended together into a word.
Phonics at St Augustine’s begins in Nursery and continues throughout the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. In Nursery children begin by exploring different sounds and developing their speaking and listening skills before beginning the RWI programme in the Summer term. When children reach Reception they are grouped according to their developing Phonetical knowledge and confidence and continue with the RWI programme. This continues into Year 1, Year 2 and into KS2 if necessary.
Read Write Inc. – Our Phonics Scheme
Here at St Augustine’s, we follow the Read Write Inc. phonics programme. The programme provides a structured and systematic approach to teaching literacy. Read Write Inc. is a literacy programme developed by Ruth Miskin and is taught in over 5000 schools in the United Kingdom.
We use the Read Write Inc. (RWI) phonics programme to get children off to a flying start with their English. RWI is a method of learning based upon letter sounds and phonics, and we use it to aid children in their communication and language, reading and writing.
The RWI programme is structured into different developmental phases which teach children the skills of segmenting and blending (to read) and word recognition to promote accurate spelling. Lessons are delivered in groups by a RWI trained teacher or a RWI trained teaching assistant, in a multisensory and lively manner- promoting high engagement and enjoyment in the children’s learning.
The Read Write Inc. programme meets the high expectations of the curriculum, including the new EYFS Framework, and uses effective assessment to accelerate every child’s progress.
Regular use of assessments ensures that children’s Phonics lessons are tailored to their specific needs and are appropriately challenging. This also allows teachers to plan timely intervention groups- for any children who require extra support.
Our Read Write Inc. ‘Reading Leader’ is Mrs Fox (EYFS and Year 1 Standards Leader)
When using RWI to read the children will:
- Learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple prompts
- Learn to read words using sound blending (Fred talk)
- Read engaging, high-quality stories featuring words they have learnt or can effectively sound out
- Show that they comprehend the stories by answering ‘Find It’ and ‘Prove It’ questions
When using RWI to write the children will:
- Learn to write the letter/letter groups which represent the 44 sounds
- Learn to write words by saying the sounds and graphemes (Fred fingers)
- Use their growing phonological awareness to write sentences, linked to a shared storybook, using strategies such as ‘Complete a sentence’ and ‘Hold a sentence’ which provide an important bridge between the writing of single words and whole sentences. They record their work in their ‘Get Writing’ books.
When using RWI the children work with a reading partner:
- To answer questions
- To take turns talking and listening to each other
- To give positive praise to each other
Reading opens the door to learning. A child who reads a lot will become a good reader. A good reader will be able to read more challenging material. A child who can read more challenging material is a child who will learn. The more a child learns, the more he or she will want to find out.
Expectations of Progress
Through our Phonics teaching we strive to ensure that all children achieve their full potential, and by the end of Key Stage 1 are fluent and confident readers with a strong understanding of spelling.
|New Speed Sounds||Review Speed Sounds||Storybooks|
|Autumn and Spring Terms||Letters and Sounds Phase 1- children begin developing their listening skills so that they are tuned into the different sounds in words.||
Rhymes, games and songs
Simple age-appropriate texts
RWI Set 1 single sounds – say the sounds of letters with the help of mnemonics, blend the sounds into words and read simple ‘blending books’. This gives them a flying start before going into the Reception class.
Set 1 Speed Sounds: these are sounds written with one letter: m a s d t i n p g o c k u b f e l h r j v
y w z x
|End of Autumn Term||
RWI Set 1 single sounds and ‘Special Friends’
Words containing these sounds, by sound-blending, e.g. m–a–t mat, c–a–t cat, g–o–t got, f–i–sh fish, s–p–o–t spot, b–e–s–t best, s–p–l–a–sh splash
Set 1 Speed Sounds: these are sounds written with one letter:
m a s d t i n p g o c k u b f e l h r j v
y w z x and sounds written with two letters
(your child will call ‘special friends’): sh th ch qu ng nk ck
|End of Spring Term||RWI Set 1 single sounds and ‘Special Friends’||Set 1 and blending||Red Storybooks|
|End of Summer Term||
RWI Set 2 and blending
Set 2 Speed Sounds: ay ee igh ow oo oo ar or air ir ou oy
|Set 1 and blending||Green/Purple Storybooks|
|End of Autumn Term||
Teach letter names
RWI Set 3
Set 3 Speed Sounds: ea oi a-e i-e o-e u-e aw are ur er ow ai oa ew ire ear ure
|Sets 1 and 2||Pink/Orange Storybooks|
|End of Spring Term||RWI Set 3||Sets 1 and 2||Yellow Storybooks|
|End of Summer Term||RWI Set 3||Sets 1 and 2||Blue Storybooks|
Letters and Sounds – Letters_and_Sounds_-_DFES-00281-2007.pdf (publishing.service.gov.uk)
Phonic Screening Check
In Year 1 all children sit the Governments Phonics Screening Check in the Summer Term. The Phonics Screening Check shows how well your child can use the phonics skills they’ve learned up to the end of Year 1, and identifies pupils who have not yet reached the expected reading level and need extra phonic support. During the check, children are asked to read aloud 40 words. These words are all phonetically decodable and are a mix of real and nonsense, (alien), words. This allows teachers to identify any children
What happens if my child doesn’t meet the expected standards?
If your child doesn’t meet the expectations, then they will:
- continue to receive daily phonic sessions in Year 2.
- receive additional focused phonic intervention, (1-1 or in a small group)
- These children are re-assessed in Year 2
How can parents support at home?
Reading Books Sent Home
Children in Reception who are learning the first 44 letter sounds will bring home RWI sound sheets, a decodable Book Banded Reading book and a library book for you to read with them.
Once children can blend fluently and know the first 44 sounds they will bring home Ditty sheets or a RWI ‘Show-off’ storybook.
Read Write Inc. ‘Show-off’ Books
Please encourage your child to read though the speed sounds page first, then the green and red words page and then check your child understands the meaning of words on the vocabulary check page, before they start reading the book. Your child will have read this book at least three times before they bring it home. 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.
We would also urge you to try and read stories to your child before they go to bed. This will help develop a wider vocabulary which makes a vast difference to their quality of writing but it will also encourage them to enjoy a good story.
Please click below for parent guidance: