Phonics and Early Reading
Helping your child to read in Reception.
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.
Here at the Cherry Orchard School, we are using the Read Write Inc (RWI) programme to get children off to a flying start with their Reading. RWI is a method of learning based upon letter sounds and phonics, and we use it to empower children to become independent readers.
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.
The children are assessed regularly and grouped according to their ability. They will work with a RWI trained teacher or teaching assistant.
Our Read Write Inc Reading Leader is Mrs Davies.
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 lively stories featuring words they have learnt to sound out
- Show that they comprehend the stories by answering 'Find It' and 'Prove It'
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)
When using RWI the children will also work in pairs:
- To answer questions
- To take turns talking and listening to each other
- To give positive praise to each other
Year 1 and 2.
Children follow the same format as Reception, but will work on complex sounds and read books appropriate to their reading level. There will be daily sessions of RWI phonics – speed sounds and storybooks.
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 children are taught the sounds in 3 sets:
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.
Start on the line, Maisie, mountain, mountain.
Start on the line, round the apple and down the leaf
Start on the line, slither down the snake and sss
Start on the line, round his bottom, up his tall neck and down to his feet
Start on the line, up to the top, down the tower and across the tower
Start on the line, down the body and dot for the head
Start on the line, down Nobby and over his net
Start on the line, down the pirate’s plait, up and over the pirate’s face
Start on the line, round her face, down her hair and give her a curl
Start on the line, all around the orange and peel
Start on the line, curl around the caterpillar
Start on the line, up to his head, down the kangaroo’s body, around his tail and down his leg
Start on the line, down and under, up to the top and draw the puddle
Start on the line, up the boot, down the laces to the heel, round the toe and kick
Start on the line, up to the petals, down the stem and across the leaves
Start on the line, lift off the top, and scoop out the egg
Start on the line, up to the shorts and down the long leg
Start on the line, up to the head, down to the hooves and over his back
Start on the line, down his back, then up and curl over his arm
Start on the line, down his body, curl and dot
Start on the line, down a wing, up a wing
Start on the line, down a horn, up a horn and under his head and draw his tail
Start on the line, down, up, down, up
Start on the line, zig-zag-zig
Start on the line, round her head, up past her earrings and down her hair
Start on the line, down the arm and leg and repeat on the other side
A thing on a string
I think I stink
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.
Long vowel sound
Set 2 Speed Sound cards
Set 3 Speed Sound cards
ay: may I play
a-e: make a cake
ai: snail in the rain
ee: what can you see
ea: cup of tea
e: he me we she be
e-e: go Pete and Steve
igh: fly high
i-e: nice smile
ow: blow the snow
o-e: phone home
ao: goat in a boat
oo: poo at the zoo
u-e: huge brute
ew: chew the stew
oo: look at a book
ar: start the car
or: shut the door
aw: yawn at dawn
air: that’s not fair
are: share and care
ir: whirl and twirl
ur: nurse for a purse
er: a better letter
ou: shout it out
ow: brown cow
oy: toy for a boy
oi: spoil the boy
ire: fire fire!
ear: hear with your ear
ure: sure it’s pure?
tion: pay attention it’s a celebration
Come to the rescue
Paul the astronaut
Knock, knock, who’s there?
Tick, tock, clock
Take a photo
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 by reading ‘Nonsense words’. These words will also feature heavily in the Year One Phonics Screening check in the summer term. b-r-a-nk sh-u-d c-l-ai-t
Dots and dashes represent the sound each letter makes.
Reading Books Sent Home
Children in Reception who are learning the first 44 letter sounds and are not blending fluently will bring home sound sheets, sound blending books, picture books 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 red Ditty book, an Oxford Reading Tree Songbirds book, Big Cat Phonics Book or a Floppy’s Phonics Book.
Read Write Inc Books
Please encourage your child to read though the speed sounds page first, then the green and red words pages to practise these words and help with fluency. 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 at school 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.
Finally, don't worry if your child is struggling at first with their sounds and words, they will get there in their own time. If you have time (we know it is very precious!), we would 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
Phonics Screening Check
What is the Year 1 phonics screening check?
The Year 1 phonics screening check is a short, light-touch assessment to confirm whether individual pupils have learnt phonic decoding to an age - appropriate standard. It will identify the children who need extra help so they are given some extra support in Year 2 to improve their reading skills.