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Phonics

Teaching Our Children to Read at Elm Park Primary

At Elm Park Primary we aim to develop the full potential of all of our pupils as confident, literate readers and writers. We aim to teach the children to read fluently and accurately and develop skills which promote understanding and interpretation of texts to support the curriculum. We use a wide range of material to promote home school reading. The main core of the scheme is Oxford Reading Tree but this is well supplemented with other material to ensure a variety of engaging texts are available to all children.

Phonics Statement

Our school uses Read, Write Inc. for the systematic teaching of phonics. Daily sessions are taught in Reception and Key Stage One classes. Each session gives an opportunity for children to revisit their prior learning, be taught new skills and practise and apply what they have learned.

 

The principles of Read, Write Inc. Phonics

This is a full teaching programme proven to develop:

  • Confident speakers,
  • Fluent and enthusiastic readers,
  • Keen writers

 

Children are taught to:

  • Learn to read and write letter sound correspondences quickly
  • Decode effortlessly
  • Spell and handwrite easily
  • Read with fluency and expression
  • Comprehend what they read
  • Write confidently using oral rehearsal
  • Work effectively with a partner to articulate their learning at every step.

 

All Reception and Key Stage One staff have been trained to deliver this synthetic phonic programme.

Reception

In Reception all children will learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down.

 

Reading

The children:

  • learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letters/letter groups using simple picture prompts – see below
  • learn to read words using Fred talk and sound blending
  • read from a range of storybooks and non-fictions books matched to their phonic knowledge
  • work well with partners
  • develop comprehension skills in stories by answering 'Find It' and 'Prove It' discussion questions

 

Writing

The children:

  • learn to write and form the letters/letter groups which represent the 44 sounds with the help of fun phrases
  • learn to write words by using Fred Talk
  • learn to build sentences by practising sentences out loud before they write 
  •  

Talking

  • 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

Year One & Year Two

Children follow the same format as Reception but will work on complex sounds and read books appropriate to their reading level. Daily sessions of RWI phonics last for 30 minutes.  Once children become fluent speedy readers and can use and apply Set 1, 2 and 3 sounds confidently they focus on spelling, grammar and punctuation sessions in Year 2.

 

Children will be taught how to read as follows:

Before you start to teach your child, practise saying the sounds below. These are the sounds we use to speak in English.

 

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 thehooves 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

 

Please do not use letter names at this early stage.

 

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.

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. 

 

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. They will bring these home once they have read and discussed the book in class. Children will then be challenged to use their developing phonic knowledge to write short sentences.

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.

Once your child has been introduced and taught these words in school we will 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 have heard 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 to that shows the meaning of a word and edit a sentence allows the children to critique a sentence using their knowledge of spelling punctuation and grammar. 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.

 

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

Red Ditty 1-10

Reception

Green 1-10

Reception

Purple 1-10

Reception

Pink 1-10

Reception/Year One

Orange 1-12

Year One

Yellow 1-10

Year One

Blue 1-10

Year One

Grey 1-13

Year One

 

To help at home:

Your child will start to bring books home when they are confident readers. Please help them to read and give lots of praise!

If you have any other questions about RWI, please see your class teacher or see Miss Lee our Literacy Lead or Mrs Smith our Phonics & Reading Specialist HLTA.

 

Intervention and Support

Any pupil who is not making expected progress receives additional support and intervention through Read, Write Inc. one to one sessions or bespoke intervention to suit the individual’s needs.

Tracking and Assessment

During daily sessions of phonics there are opportunities for practitioners to regularly assess children’s understanding of letter-sound correspondences. Outside the discrete daily phonics sessions there are opportunities to observe the application of phonics skills e.g. during guided/shared reading. During each Read, Write Inc. Phase there are judgements to determine if a child is secure at each level.

At Elm Park Primary we use our EPPS Assessment phonics tracking forms to track pupils and monitor the progress they make on a daily and weekly basis as phonic sounds are taught. Any pupil who needs additional support can therefore be quickly identified and appropriate intervention and support is allocated.

Every 8 weeks members of the Senior Leadership team alongside the school’s Phonic & Reading HLTA moderate pupil assessments using the RWI assessments on target pupils to ensure that teacher assessments are accurate and valid.

Phonics groupings are also reviewed so that pupils can move fluidly between groups depending on their rates of progress.

Year One Screening Check

Every Year one child in Summer term will take a phonics screening check. In this test the children are expected to read 40 decodable words including some nonsense words. This progress check identifies children who may need additional support in their reading. The results are reported to parents and are published in Raise Online. Any child who does not achieve the pass mark in this test will be retested in Year Two.

Reading Statement

At Elm Park Primary School children will learn to read with confidence, fluency and understanding, providing them with the skills required to achieve a lifetime of enjoyment through reading.

Children read in school independently, in guided groups, with reading buddies, and as a shared class session. They listen to adults and other children read, taking part in paired reading with their own and other age groups.

Our Reading Aims 

  • To develop phonetic skills which lead to blending and reading accurately and fluently.
  • To promote confidence and positive attitudes to reading through access to a wide range of literature.
  • To develop their vocabulary and comprehension of what they have read.
  • To encourage good home/school partnerships.
  • To enable children to analyse what they read and to participate in discussion and debate about texts.
  • To monitor each child’s progress through the use of a range of assessment strategies e.g. Reading Age/Fluency tests, on-going reading observations, monitoring against end of year assessment criteria.
  • To support those children who require additional support with their reading.

 

Reading in School

Many activities take place which promote pre-reading skills. Children become aware of print in their environment and match pictures and words. Language comprehension is developed by talking and reading to the children. As children gain phonic knowledge they start the process of decoding.

Initially, as children learn to read, they are given a picture book with no words with the intention that they will share the book and take part in a conversation generated by the pictures. Gradually as the children’s knowledge of letters and sounds develop they begin to phonetically decode words.

Our reading books are organised into coloured Book Bands.  Children are assessed regularly and move onto the next Book Band when their fluency and understanding show that they are ready. Children move through the Book Bands until they reach the required standard to become a Free-Reader.

Developing Reading for Pleasure

To encourage children to read widely our English curriculum is based around a text to captivate pupil’s interests and motivate and inspire children to read a variety of authors and for a variety of purposes. Each class chooses a selection of age appropriate books by a variety of authors which are studied by children over the course of the year.

We try to encourage a love of reading by holding book themed days and events both as individual classes and across the whole school; e.g. Reading Challenges, World Book Day, Buddy Reading, visiting authors such as Jack Trelawny and morning and afternoon sessions of bedtime Stories with parents and ‘Pyjamarama’ reading sessions.

 We have strong links with our local Elm Park library and several children participate in the summer reading challenge as well as having workshops and trips throughout the year.  A Scholastic Book Fair is held every year to allow all children the chance to look at new books of all genres and hopefully purchase a new book of their own to take home!

Class Learning Forum Reps are encouraged to gather children’s suggestions for new books which can then be purchased.

Assessment of Reading

Reading is assessed regularly and monitored on the school tracking system.

External tests for Key Stage One and Two are completed in Summer term and reported to parents and in the school’s IDSR and ASP. In KS2, optional SAT reading tests are also used to monitor progress. Liaison with the school SENCO and external agencies is arranged for children who require additional support and reading intervention strategies.

At Elm Park Primary we aim for all our children to become fluent, confident readers who are passionate about reading.

 

 

 

 

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