The Read Write Inc. Phonics programme
Learning to read is one of the most important things your child will learn at our school. Many other things depend on it, so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible.
We want your child to love reading – and to want to read for themselves. This is why we put our efforts into making sure they develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read.
How will my child be taught to read?
We start by teaching phonics to the children in the Reception class. This means that they learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down. This is essential for reading, but it also helps children learn to spell well. We teach the children simple ways of remembering these sounds and letters (see the ‘Handwriting Phrases’ sheet). Ask them to show you what these are.
The children also practise reading (and spelling) ‘tricky words’ (in Read Write Inc. they are known as ‘Red Words’), such as ‘once,’ ‘have,’ ‘said’ and ‘where’.
The children practise their reading with books that match the phonics and the ‘tricky words’ they know. They start thinking that they can read and this does wonders for their confidence.
The teachers read to the children, too, so the children get to know all sorts of stories, poetry and information books. They learn many more words this way and it also helps their writing.
How will I know how well my child is doing?
We will let you know how well your child is doing.
We use various ways to find out how the children are getting on in reading. We use the information to decide what reading group they should be in. Your child will work with children who are at the same reading level as him or her. Children may move between groups depending on the progress they are making. Your child will have extra support if we think he or she needs some help to keep up.
We also assess the children to make sure they are reading and taking home books matched to their ability.
In the summer term, the government asks us to do a phonics check of all the Year 1 children. That gives us extra information about their progress. We will talk to you about how well your child has done, and especially if we have any worries at all.
How do I know the teaching will be good?
All the staff have been trained to teach reading in the way we do it in this school. We believe that it is very important that all the teachers and teaching assistants work in the same way.
What can I do to help? Is there anything that I shouldn't do?
Your child will bring different sorts of books home from school. Some books will be books that your child can read on their own and others will be books that you should read to them. Ask your child questions about things that happen or what they think about some of the characters in the story. Please trust your child’s teacher to choose the book(s) that will help your child the most.
Help your child to sound out the letters in words and then to ‘push’ the sounds together to make a whole word. Try not to refer to the letters by their names. Help your child to focus on the sounds. You can hear how to say the sounds correctly by clicking on the images below or searching on YouTube for ‘Read Write Inc. Phonemes Pronunciation Guide’ https://youtu.be/5J2Ddf_0Om8 and ‘RWI Speed Sounds Set 1’ https://youtu.be/h8m6YFr0gig
We know parents and carers are very busy people. But if you can find time to read to your child as much as possible, it helps them to learn about books and stories. They also learn new words and what they mean. Show that you are interested in reading yourself and talk about reading as a family.
What if he or she finds it difficult to learn to read?
We want children to learn to read, however long it takes us to teach them. We will find out very quickly if your child is finding reading difficult. First, we move children to a different group, so that we can make sure that they have learnt what they need to know. If they still struggle, we give them extra time with an adult. Your child will still be in the same group with the other children and won’t miss out on any of the class lessons.
Some children take a bit longer to learn to put sounds together to read a word, e.g. c-a-t to make the word ‘cat’.
My child has difficulty pronouncing some sounds. Will this stop him learning to read through phonics?
This isn’t a problem for learning to read as long as we know what sound the child is trying to say. This is not something to worry about. Many children have a few sounds that they can hear clearly but find it difficult to say, particularly the l-sound, r-sound, w-sound, th-sound, s-sound, sh-sound and j-sound. Often they say a t-sound for the c-sound; "w" for the r-sound and "r" for the l-sound. You can help your child by encouraging him or her to look at your mouth when you say the sound. They can easily learn to read, even if they find one or two sounds difficult to say.
If you would like to purchase Read Write Inc Phonics flash cards, to further support your child, they are available from the Amazon website http://www.amazon.co.uk/Read-Write-Inc-Home-Flashcards