Phonics and Early Reading
Phonics (reading and spelling)
At King’s Meadow Academy, we aim for all our children to become fluent and confident readers and writers. We use Read, Write Inc, which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme. We start teaching phonics in Reception until Year 2 (or up to Year 4 where necessary), which ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they prepare for KS2.
Mrs Armitage is our Read Write Inc lead teacher and champions reading within Early Years and KS1.
What is Read Write Inc?
Read Write Inc (RWI) is a phonics complete literacy programme which helps all children learn to read fluently and at speed so they can focus on developing their skills in comprehension, vocabulary and spelling. RWI was developed by Ruth Miskin and more information on this can be found here.
Daily phonics lessons in Reception and Year 1
Our Reception children begin learning how to read from day one, following the ‘Making a Strong Start to Reception’ document.
In Read Write Inc. Phonics pupils:
*Decode letter-sound correspondences quickly and effortlessly, using their phonic
knowledge and skills
*Read common exception words on sight
*Understand what they read
*Read aloud with fluency and expression
*Spell quickly and easily by segmenting the sounds in words
*Acquire good handwriting.
We group pupils homogeneously, according to their progress in reading rather than their
In Year R we emphasise the alphabetic code. The pupils rapidly learn sounds and the letter
or groups of letters they need to represent them.
We make sure that pupils read books that are closely matched to their increasing knowledge
of phonics and the common exception words.
Daily Keep-up lessons ensure every child learns to read
- Any child who needs additional practice has daily ‘Keep-up’ support, taught by a fully trained adult. Keep-up lessons match the structure of class teaching, and use the same procedures, resources and mantras, but in smaller steps with more repetition, so that every child secures their learning.
- We timetable daily phonics lessons for any child in Year 2 who is not fully fluent at reading or has not passed the Phonics Screening Check. These children urgently need to catch up, so the gap between themselves and their peers does not widen. We use RWI to identify the gaps in their phonic knowledge and teach to these – at pace. This continues into Year 3 and 4 for those children who are still not fully fluent in reading.
- The decodable reading practice book is taken home to ensure success is shared with the family.
- Children also take home the ‘Book Bag books’ alongside their reading practice book to consolidate the phonemes they have learnt in school
- Reading for pleasure books also go home for parents to share and read to children.
- We use the RWI parent resources to engage our families and share information about phonics, the benefits of sharing books, how children learn to blend and other aspects of our provision, both online and through workshops.
Assessment is used to monitor progress and to identify any child needing additional support as soon as they need it.
- Assessment for learning is used:
- daily within class to identify children needing Keep-up support
- Summative assessment is used:
- every six weeks to assess progress, to identify gaps in learning that need to be addressed, to identify any children needing additional support and to plan the Keep-up support that they need.
- by SLT and scrutinised through the RWI assessment tracker, to narrow attainment gaps between different groups of children and so that any additional support for teachers can be put into place.
- Children in Year 1 sit the Phonics Screening Check. Any child not passing the check re-sits it in Year 2.
Your child will start to bring books home when they are confident readers, relating to their reading stage. They will bring home a phonics based book, this will aid application, speed and fluency – developing speedy reading! Following on from this, they will bring home a comprehension based book which will begin to enrich their reading, which will require application of decoding skills. Children are also able to borrow books from the class libraries for you to share and enjoy at home. We also carefully monitor the children’s reading at home and encourage parents to be fully active and engaged with us in this, in order to support their children’s ongoing development.
Working in Partnership with Parents
At King’s Meadow Academy we want to encourage every child to read with a grown up at home every night. Children who read with their families grow in confidence much more quickly and develop a love of reading that can last a lifetime. In recognition of the important role parents have we hope our home/school reading initiatives will motivate children to read at home whilst earning ‘rewards’ for their efforts.
We send out information and links that will support you in helping your child read, as well as holding sessions within school.
Hints for listening to your child read
- When reading together at home try to make the time relaxed, enjoyable and positive.
- Vary it. Read together, read to your child and take turns or have them read to you.
- Before reading, talk about the cover, the title and the pictures, and discuss what the book may be about.
- During reading, discuss what has been read up to that point and predict what might happen next.
Useful Resources and Links
To support the children to learn to read at King’s Meadow Academy we use the following:
Use the link below to find out more about how to support your child to learn to read: