Here at Westlea phonics is taught daily to all children in Reception and Key Stage One. We use a scheme of work called Read Write Inc. (RWI) which was developed by Ruth Miskin. It is a synthetic phonics programme that aims to build children’s speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. The programme sets out a detailed and systematic scheme for teaching phonic skills with the aim of children becoming fluent readers by age seven.
What is phonics?
Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skillfully. They are taught how to:
* Recognise the sounds that individual letters make
* Identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make-such as ‘sh’ or ‘oo’
* Blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word
Children can then use this knowledge to ‘decode’ new words that they hear or see. This is the first important step in learning to read.
The children are taught to read words by blending, which means pushing all the sounds together to make a word. The children are taught to spell words by segmenting, which means sounding out words and writing down the sounds they can hear.
By the end of Reception children are expected to be secure all single letter sounds and know some sounds which can be identified with two letters e.g. sh, ch, ee, ng. When finishing Key Stage One, most children at Westlea should be secure in all sounds and be fluent readers.
Research shows that when phonics is taught in a structured way-starting with the easiest sounds and progressing to the most complex-it is the most effective way of teaching young children to read. It is particularly helpful for children aged 5 to 7 years old. Almost all children who receive good teaching of phonics will learn the skills that they need to tackle new words. Children can go on to read any kind of text fluently and confidently, and read for enjoyment. (Department for Education)
Here are some links to information and websites that you may find useful to help you support your child in their early reading and writing skills.
Articulation of Phonemes:
At the end of Year One all the children in the country take a test called a Phonics Screening. They have to read 40 real and nonsense words. We call the nonsense words ‘Alien words’ and the children practice reading them every day.
If you want to see an example of a previous years test click here.
Phonics help at home: Principles and Practice
Here are some useful websites to help you support your child with their early reading and writing. If you are unsure of which phase your child is working within then please speak to your child’s class teacher.
Reading is happening all the time in a classroom and in school. It is taught in specific reading and English lessons, but children are practising and using their ‘reading’ constantly across all subjects as well.
Guided Reading sessions take place on a daily basis and children are encouraged to read for pleasure throughout the day. Each class also has a class reader which they enjoy reading together daily. We expect and encourage the children to read at home every night whether that be school books or personal reading.
In KS1 with our young readers, we encourage friends and family to come into school to share in library sessions and read books together. As a school we promote reading across the year and each class has chosen authors to discuss and share with the children.
There are many different methods of teaching and practising reading such as:
- Shared reading
- Guided reading
- Group reading
- Individual reading
- Quiet reading
- Story time
- Read at Home/Take Home books
You can help at home by encouraging your child to read as much, and as widely as possible. A variety of texts develop a love of reading so anything from School reading books, newspapers, articles on websites to leaflets, maps and books you have at home.
Click here for a list of recommended reading books for primary school children
Here is a suggested reading list by Year group.
Here are some hints and tips on becoming a becoming a better reader.
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