We use the highly successful Read Write Inc. phonics programme to teach our children to read, write and spell.
Learning to read is the most important thing your child will learn at our school. Everything else depends 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.
We start by teaching phonics to the children in the Nursery class once they are settled and ready. 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. Ask them to show you what these are.
The children also practise reading (and spelling) what we call ‘tricky words/red words’, such as ‘once,’ ‘have,’ ‘said’ and ‘where’. These are words where one part of the word is trying to trick the children. We teach them to sound the word out (without looking at it) then look at the word and spot the part that is trying to trick us.
The children practise their reading with books that match their phonics ability 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.
We will always let you know how well your child is doing. Please attend "Learner Review" meetings to keep up to date with your child's progress.
We use various ways to find out how the children are getting on in reading. We assess all the children each half term in RWI, changing groups as needed and assess termly in reading. Your child will have one-to-one support if we think he or she needs some extra help to keep up.
In the summer term, the government asks us to do a phonics check of all the Year 1 children. This 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.
Our aim is for most children to be finished RWI by the end of year 1 or shortly after they start year 2.
Your child will bring home phoneme cards to support simple learning of the letter sounds and hints on how to blend simple 3 letter words with them. A copy of a book suited to their phonic ability will follow when we feel their phonic recognition is growing. Please practise for at least 10 minutes every day at home. Make sure you record this practise in your child’s reading record.
It matters a lot if your child misses school. RWI happens every single day. Teaching is very systematic, so even one missed lesson means that your child has not learnt something that they need to know to be a good reader.
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, on their own. These adults are specially trained to support these children. 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’.
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; "tttssh" for the s-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.