Phonics and Early Reading

Children who read regularly or are read to regularly have the opportunity to open the doors to so many different worlds!  More importantly, reading will give your child the tools they need to become independent life-long learners.
We can achieve this together through:
  • Read Write Inc, a program to help your child read at school
  • Encouraging children to develop a love of books by reading to them daily
  • Giving children access to a wide range of books at school and at home
The children:
  • learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letters/letter groups using simple prompts
  • learn to read words using Fred talk and sound blending
  • read from a range of storybooks and non-fiction books matched to their phonic knowledge
  • work well with partners
  • develop comprehension skills in stories by answering 'Find It' and 'Prove It' discussion questions
The children:
  • learn to write and form letters/letter groups, which represent the 44 sounds with the help of fun phrases
  • learn to spell words using Fred Talk
  • learn to build sentence by practising sentences out loud before they write
The children work in pairs so that they:
  • answer every question
  • practise every activity with their partner
  • take turns in talking and reading to each other
  • develop ambitious vocabulary
Five key principles underpin the teaching of all Read Write Inc. sessions:
Purpose - know the purpose of every activity and share it with the children, so they know the one thing they should be thinking about
Participation - ensure every child participates throughout the lesson. Partnership work is fundamental to learning
Praise - ensure children are praised for effort and learning, not ability
Pace - teach at an effective pace and devote every moment to teaching and learning
Passion - be passionate about teaching so children can be engaged emotionally
Children will be taught to read as follows. Before you start to read with your child, practise saying the sounds below.
Fred Talk
We use pure sounds ('m' not 'muh', 's' not 'suh' etc.) so that your child will be able to blend the sounds into words more easily.  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 following video is an example of blending sounds with Fred -
The children are taught the sounds in three 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.
m Down Maisie then over the two mountains.  Maisie, mountain, mountain
a Round the apple, down the leaf
s Slide around the snake
d Round the dinosaur's back, up his neck and down to his feet
t Down the tower, across the tower
i Down the insects body, dot for the head
n Down Nobby and over the net
p Down the plait, up and over the pirates face
g Round the girl's face, down her hair and give her a curl
o All around the orange
c Curl around the caterpillar
k Down the kangaroo's body, tail and leg
u Down and under the umbrella, up to the top and down to the puddle
b Down the laces, over the toe and touch the heel
f Down the stem and draw the leaves
e Slice the egg, go over the top, then under the egg
l Down the long leg
h Down the horse's head to the hooves and over his back
r Down the robot's back, then up and curl
j Down his body, curl and dot
v Down a wing, up a wing
y Down a horn, up a horn and under the yak's head
w Down, up, down, up the worm
z Zig-zag-zig, down the zip
x Cross down the arm and leg and cross the other way
sh Slither down the snake, then down the horses head to the hooves and over his back
th Down the tower, across the tower, then down the horse's head to the hooves and over his back
ch Curl around the caterpillar, then down the horse's head to the hooves and over his back
qu Round the queen's head, up to her crown, down her hair and curl
ng   A thing on a string
nk I think I stink
ck Curl around the caterpillar then down the kangaroo's body, tail and leg
Please do not use letter names at this early stage
The children are then taught Set 2 sounds - the long vowels. 
ay ay: may I play?
ee ee: what can you see?
igh igh: fly high
ow ow: blow the snow
oo oo: poo at the zoo
oo oo: look at the book
ar ar: start the car
or or: or shut the door
air air: that's not fair
ir ir: whirl and twirl
ou ou: shout it out
oy oy: toy for a boy
Set 3 speed sound cards.  These are taught when children are very confident with all of the Set 1 and Set 2 sounds.
ea cup of tea
oi spoil the boy
a-e make a cake
i-e nice smile
o-e phone home
u-e huge brute
aw yawn at the dawn
are share and care
ur nurse for a purse
er a better letter
ow brown cow
ai snail in the rain
oa goat in a boat
ew chew the stew
ire ire: fire, fire
ear ear: hear with your ear
ure ure: sure it's pure
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 on 'Nonsense words'.  These words will also feature heavily in the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check completed in the summer term.
Step 3
Children will be introduced to 'Ditty books' when they successfully begin to read single words. The short vowels should be kept short and sharp.
Children use sound blending (Fred Talk) to read short ditties.  Within all the books children will have red and green words to learn to help them to become speedy readers. Red words are words that are not easily decodable and challenge children to extend their vocabulary.  Green words are linked to the sounds they have been learning and are easily decodable.
Once your child has been introduced and taught these words in school we may send them home for you to continue practising with your child.
During the RWI session, children will read the book three times and at each new reading they will have plenty of opportunities to practise using their developing comprehension skills.  You may hear your child talking about 'hold, edit or build a sentence'.
Hold a sentence is an activity that encourages children to remember a whole sentence while focusing on spelling and punctuation.
Build a sentence is to give children the opportunity to create their own sentence that shows the meaning of a word.
Edit a sentence allows the children to critique a sentence using their knowledge of spelling, punctuation and grammar.
Sometimes children complete a longer piece of independent writing, which gives them the opportunity to show off their creativity and to practice their spelling, grammar and punctuation.
Children will be taught how to use 'Fred fingers' to first sound out a word before they write it down.  Children count the number of sounds they can hear in a word and then pinch each sound on their fingers before writing the word.  This way of teaching spellings allows children to use Fred fingers whenever they get stuck with spelling a word.
Support for home reading in Key Stage 1
We have developed a support timetable for using the Read Write Inc bag books, based on 10-15 minutes each day.
Day 1 
1. Check the sounds on the back of the book
2. Make a prediction based on the front cover and the title
3. Story green words (inside cover) check understanding of any new words
4. Red words (inside cover)
Day 2 
1. Recap story green words
2. Recap red words
3. First read (accuracy)
4. Discuss the pictures on each page looking at feelings, actions and plot clues
Day 3 
1. Second read (fluency)
2. Adult reads the text (modelling storytelling voice and expression)
Day 4 
1. Third read (fluency and understanding)
2. Retell the story, taking turns with an adult
Day 5   
1. Fourth read (understanding)
2. Questions to chat about (ask the children to find the answer and point to it on the page, or explain how they know)