Phonics and Early Reading
We are a Read, Write, Inc School
At the BAWB Federation we follow Read Write Inc (RWI) which is a systematic and dynamic Literacy programme rooted in Phonics. It was developed by Ruth Miskin and is designed to create fluent readers, confident speakers and willing writers.
Our children take part in 30 minute RWI sessions at the start of every school day. Children from EYFS, Year 1, 2 and 3 are working from this programme. The children are assessed every 6 weeks to ensure they are working within the correct level group to match their knowledge. This means we are frequently monitoring our children to ensure they are making the progress required to push through the different levelled groups. They continue to learn Phonics until they reach the end of the RWI programme.
All Teachers and teaching assistants are fully trained by RWI specialists and are supported by reading leaders based in school. This ensures teaching of reading is rigorous and of high quality.
We have also invested in extensive resources to support learning at home and school.
Strategies used through Read, Write, Inc
We begin by teaching the children simple speed sounds.
The children then move onto complex sounds. Complex sounds have more than one phoneme and grapheme which are shown in the chart below.
Fred Talk and Fred in Your Head
Children are taught to ‘Fred Talk’ their words by sounding out and blending to read words. For example, ‘s, a, t- sat’.
Once the children can sound out a word, we teach them to say the sounds in their heads. We hold up the word card to give the children time to mime the sounds and then push the word card forward as a signal to say the word altogether.
Children are taught to spell by hearing and saying sounds in a word before writing it down. In RWI, this process is called ‘Fred Fingers’.
The children begin by saying the word and they hold up the correct amount of fingers for the sounds on their non-writing hand. For example, the word ‘mat’ has three sounds, so they would hold up three fingers. Similarly, the word ‘fish’ has three sounds, ‘f, i, sh’, so again they would hold up three fingers. Then the children say the sounds as they pinch each sound onto the corresponding finger. Once they have done this, the children can then write the word as they say the sounds again, underlining any ‘special friends’.
Hold a Sentence
Hold a sentence is a process used in RWI to support writing. It teaches children to remember a whole sentence in their head before they write it down with the correct punctuation and spelling. The sentences we ask the children to write include words that they have already been taught how to spell.
Pupils begin by saying a sentence out loud, which has been modelled by the teacher. When they can remember the order of the words and say them out loud confidently, actions for the punctuation can be introduced. They continue to say the sentence out loud, including the actions. The teacher will then model the writing process by regularly re-reading the sentence with the punctuation actions and using spelling strategies already taught. The completed sentence is hidden and the children use the same process to write the same sentence independently.
How to support your child in Read, Write, Inc
You can use the RWI strategies that are explained above to help your child with their reading and writing at home. This will reinforce your child’s learning from school and help to make them more confident.
Letters and Sounds
Alongside the RWI programme we plan and deliver a great many fun activities from DfE’s Letters and Sounds program. This is started in nursery and continued throughout Reception.
Here children focus on developing their speaking and listening skills. They focus on listening to the sounds around them and also begin building on their segmenting and blending skills.
Examples of the Phase 1 Phonics Program:
- Environmental Sound Discrimination
- Instrumental Sound Discrimination
- Body Percussion Sound Discrimination
- Rhythm and Rhyme
- Voice Sounds
- Oral Blending and Segmenting
The purpose of these different aspects is to develop language abilities in the following ways:
- Learning to listen attentively
- Enlarging their vocabulary
- Speaking confidently to adults and other children
- Discriminating between different phonemes
- Reproducing audibly the phonemes they hear
Using sound-talk to segment words into phonemes