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Reading & Phonics

 

Reading & Phonics

At De Havilland, we strive to teach children to read effectively and quickly using the Read Write Inc. Phonics programme (RWI) which includes teaching synthetic phonics, sight vocabulary, decoding and encoding words as well as spelling and accurate letter formation.

We passionately believe that teaching children to read and write independently, as quickly as possible, is one of the core purposes of a primary school. These fundamental skills not only hold the keys to the rest of the curriculum but also have a huge impact on children’s self-esteem and future life chances. Using the RWI phonics programme we teach children to:

  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information

In practice, children learn the 44 common sounds in the English language and are taught how to blend these sounds to decode (read) words. We start by teaching children to read and blend the first thirty Set 1 sounds. Once they have conquered this skill, they start reading stories and texts that have words made up of the sounds they know. This means that they can embed and apply their phonic knowledge and start to build their reading fluency. Once secure, children learn Set 2 and Set 3 sounds and then read texts with increasingly more complex sounds and graphemes. Throughout this process there is a focus on comprehension, reading with expression and reading for enjoyment.

Children are taught in small groups, which reflect their phonic knowledge and reading fluency. We regularly assess children so that they are taught in a RWI group, which matches their phonic knowledge. We make sure that pupils read books that are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and ability to read ‘tricky words’; so they experience early reading success and gain confidence that they are readers.

How you can help at home!

  • Read to them and always discuss the story you are reading to try to build your child’s comprehension skills, inference and understanding.
  • Practice the sounds they know at home. These are the sounds in the Speed Sound Chart at the start of the storybooks.
  • Listen to your child read, both their RWI storybook and other storybooks, every day. Make sure that your child brings their RWI Storybook into school every day!
  • Talk to them! The most important thing you can do is to talk to your child and listen to them when they are talking to you. Try to extend their vocabulary range and their skill at talking in increasingly more complex sentences. For example, try to teach them alternative words for ideas, or nouns they already know.
  • Make sure that they attend school every day, and that they are on time, as this will help your child to make the most progress.
  • Visit the Parents section of the RWI website: RWI – Parents’ Portal for more tips, techniques and helpful hints
  • Visit the Oxford Owl Reading at home pages: Oxford Owl Reading at home for super additional information.

If you need further advice or help with how best to help, please contact the class teacher who will be happy to meet with you.

Extra Details about RWI

You might hear your child using key phrases while they are on their journey and we have tried to explain these 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. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEzfpod5w_Q

The children are taught the sounds in 3 sets.

Step 1:

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.

 

Set 1

Sound

Rhyme

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 girls face, down her hair and give her a curl

o

All around the orange

c

Curl around the caterpillar

k

Down the kangaroos 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 into 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

sh

Slither down the snake, then 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.

th

Down the tower, across the tower, then down the horse’s head to the hooves and over his back

z

Zig-zag-zig, down the zip.

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

x

Cross down the arm and leg and cross the other way

ng

A thing on a string

nk

I think I stink

 

Children will also use pictures for each sound to help recognise the sound and then form the shape of the sound.

 

Step 2:

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 (the same sounds made with different letters).

 

Long  vowel sound

Set 2 Speed Sound cards

Teach these first

Set 3 Speed Sound cards

ay

ay: may I play

a-e: make a cake

ai: snail in the rain

ee

ee: what can you see

ea: cup of tea

e: he me we she be

igh

igh: fly high

i-e: nice smile

ow

ow: blow the snow

o-e: phone home

ao: goat in a boat

oo

oo: poo at the zoo

u-e: huge brute

ew: chew the stew

oo

oo: look at a book

 

 

ar

ar: start the car

 

 

or

or: shut the door

aw: yawn at dawn

 

air

air: that’s not fair

are: share and care

 

ir

ir: whirl and twirl

ur: nurse for a purse

er: a better letter

ou

ou: shout it out

ow: brown cow

 

oy

oy: toy for a boy

oi: spoil the boy

 

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 reading ‘Nonsense words’. These words will also feature heavily in the Year One Phonics Screening check in the summer term. 

 

Order of Story books: Children will hopefully follow the order listed below. The expectation is that all children will leave Year One as confident speedy readers, ready to take on the challenges of Year Two.  However, some children may need extra support and your teacher will talk to you about this. 

Books

Year Group Expectations

Green Words in Books

Red Ditty 1-10

Reception

Click here to help your child

Green 1-10

Reception

Click here to help your child

Purple 1-10

Reception

Click here to help your child

Pink 1-10

Reception/Year One

Click here to help your child

Orange 1-12

Year One

Click here to help your child

Yellow 1-10

Year One

Click here to help your child

Blue 1-10

Year One

Click here to help your child

Grey 1-13

Year One

Click here to help your child

 

Ditty Books:

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. They will bring these home once they have read and discussed the book in class.

 

Red and Green Words

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 words to extend children’s vocabulary. Green words are linked to the sounds they have been learning and are easily decodable.

 

Dots and dashes represent the sound each letter makes.

 

Taking Books Home

Across the daily RWI sessions, 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.  They will be then sent home with a book they feel confident reading to help them develop their fluency and speed of reading.  In addition to this they will also take home a ‘Book Bag Book’, which will match the new sounds learnt but they will not have read this in as much detail allowing them to practise their new sounds and words within a new reading book.