Reading and Phonics
Our reading journey through Read Write Inc. at St. Andrews
At St Andrew’s, we are passionate about ensuring all our children become fluent. confident readers who develop a great love and passion for 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 to become independent life-long learners.
We can achieve this together through:
- Read Write Inc, a programme to help your child learn to read.
- Encourage children to develop a love for reading books by reading to them at home and school.
- Give children access to a wide range of books at home and school.
Our Reading Curriculum
What is Read Write Inc?
Watch this video to find out more about our Read Write Inc programme.
How will my child be taught to read?
We begin, in Reception, by teaching the children set 1 sounds. Children can start blending sounds into words as soon as they know a small group of letters well. Once the children have been taught the first 5 sounds (m, a, s, d, t), they are then taught assisted blending using the sounds that they know. During lessons children are taught to hear sounds and blend them together in sequence to make a word. We start with blending oral sounds, then progress to reading the letters and blending them together to read the word. In Read Write Inc phonics the individual sounds are called ‘speed sounds’ – because we want children to read them effortlessly. Set 1 sounds are the single letter sounds and set 1 special friend sounds. They are taught in the following order;
m, a, s, d, t, i, n, p, g, o, c, k, u, b, f, e, l, h, sh, r, j, v, y, w, th, z, ch, qu, x, ng, nk.
There are 12 Set 2 ‘speed sounds’ that are made up of two or three letters which represent just one sound, e.g. ay as in play, ee as in tree and igh as in high. These are ‘special friend’ sounds. When children are taught Set 2 sounds they will learn:
- a simple picture prompt linked to the sound
- a short phrase to say e.g. may I play
- the letters that represent a sound (special friends) e.g. ay
Each sound has a list of green words linked to it, so that the children have the opportunity to sound out and blend words containing the new sound they have been taught, for example, s-p-r-ay = spray. Green words are decodable words that children can use their ‘Fred Talk’ to sound out and blend. They feature the sound that the children have been learning that day. In a phonics lesson, children cover up to 5 or 6 new green words to support their reading of a new sound. When learning Set 3 speed sounds the children will be taught alternative sounds/graphemes, e.g. ee as in tree and ea as in tea.
The table below shows the progression of set 1, 2 and 3 sounds that are taught.
Reading at home
Book bag books
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, as well as consolidating the learning that takes place in school. In reception and Year 1, children bring home a Read Write Inc scheme reading book that is matched to their stage of the phonics group.
Each week, children choose a ‘snuggle book’ from the library. This is a book that children choose themselves that can be read at home to ensure children develop a love for reading as well as developing their vocabulary.
Phonics screening Check
In the Summer term of Year 1 all pupils complete the Phonics Screening Check. The screening check comprises a list of 40 words, some of which are real and some which are nonsense-words (pseudo words). Your child will read each word on a one-to-one basis with a teacher who they know. Pseudo words allow the assessment to focus purely on decoding phonic knowledge.
Here is an example of a pseudo word;
The words in the screening incorporate phonics skills acquired by the children in both Year 1 and Reception. It is conducted in a quiet room without distractions. The Standards and Testing Agency (STA) release a new check each academic year.
The National threshold of achievement in the phonics screening check is usually 80% or 32/40, however this can change each year. Those children in Year 1 who do not meet the assessment threshold will receive additional support and then complete the screening again during the Summer term of Year 2.
In order for your child to become comfortable with the process, he/she will take part in practise checks throughout the year and will practise pseudo words daily during his/her Read Write Inc lesson.
If you have any other questions regarding the check please ask your child's class teacher.