We teach children to read using systematic synthetic phonics. We follow the sound progression in the synthetic phonics programme ‘Read Write Inc.’
Children take part in a phonics and guided reading session every day, using the Read Write Inc ditty and story books. Children are taught to ‘Fred-talk’ (say the sounds) then say the word (blend the sounds together to read the word). They are also taught to read ‘Red’ words, where one of more letters do not make the expected sound. Once words become familiar, children move to blending the sounds in them using ‘Fred-in-their-head,’ and, at this point, they no longer need to sound each word out loud. Children are also taught to spell by using ‘Fred fingers’ to split up words into their component sounds.
Children are assessed in their phonics learning every half term, and this is used to inform planning. Children who need further practise in phonics are given additional time with a TA to support them to catch up.
The Government requires us to deliver the phonics screening check in the Summer term of Year 1. Information from this is provided to parents and carers so that they may support their child’s learning.
Once children have completed the Read Write Inc Programme, they continue to take part in a daily guided reading session. Teachers use the Herts for Learning (HfL) planning resources to identify the learning foci of lessons and sessions. A wide range of texts are used. Teachers assess progress termly using the HfL assessment criteria.
Reading schemes and take home books
While on the Read Write Inc. programme, children take home each week:
- the Read Write Inc. book they have been reading in their guided reading group at school
- at least 1 Read Write Inc. book bag book linked to that guided reading text
- a book from another phonics-based reading scheme that has been closely matched to their developing phonics knowledge.
Children are expected to re-read these books several times over the week in order to develop their reading fluency.
Once children finish the Read Write Inc. programme, they move onto our banded books, which follow the Oxford Reading Tree Book Band colours from Purple level, and become free readers when they are ready to. Books are from reading scheme including Collins Big Cat, Project X and others. Children enjoy using the library to choose their books on a regular basis.
How can you support your child in reading?
- We expect your child to read at home every day. This will be reading to you while they are still learning to read, and may be reading to themselves once they are fluent readers.
- We expect you to sign in the reading diary when you have read with your child. The reading diary is a good way to communicate with your child’s teacher about their reading.
- Read to your child every day, at bed times and other times. Talk with them about the story. This is the best way to support your child’s reading comprehension and understanding, and build their vocabulary.
- Allow your child to see you reading for pleasure – books, magazines and websites are all text!
- Point out words and print in the environment around you when you are out, and around the house
How will we support you?
We will run parent information sessions to explain how we teach phonics for reading, and to show you how to support your child with their reading at home.
Please also ask us! We know that many of you won’t have learned to read in exactly the same way as your child, and that you may be stuck with how to support them. We can point you in the direction of websites, make book recommendations, help with sound pronunciation and much more.