Phonics and Early Reading
Reading is arguably one of the most important skills that children will learn at school. At Kingsway, our vision is clear – we aim to provide ‘Every child, Every chance’ to learn to read fluently, ‘Every day’.
It is important children learn to enjoy illustrations and print in books from an early age and therefore their reading journey starts with this during Foundation Stage One (nursery). In Foundation Stage Two (reception), children will use this enjoyment of books and print to begin their text reading journey; learning to recognise phonemes and blending them to create words. In year one, children build on their increasing word and phoneme recognition and a focus on fluency and automaticity begins. This solid foundation enables to become confident and fluent readers, who have learnt to read, age related texts fluently, by the end of Key Stage One (year2) and will be starting to read to learn - gaining knowledge in other subjects through reading. At this point children are now ‘reading to learn’.
At Kingsway, we encourage and foster a love of reading through the provision of welcoming, comfortable and engaging reading areas, a text rich communal library and attractive book displays. All teachers regularly read aloud to children.
Children on the phonics scheme have access to RWI books from their phonics lesson and Book Bag books, linked to those texts to enjoy at home. Once children have completed the phonics programme they move on to our Big Cat reading scheme. Children from foundation Stage to Year 6 are also able to chose a book to 'read for pleasure' which can be enjoyed and shared with an adult at home.
At Kingsway we teach systematic synthetic phonics through the Read Write Inc (RWI) scheme of learning which promotes the teaching of phonics through a structured, uniform and progressive structure. RWI teaches children the skills they need to become enthusiastic, fluent and confident readers.
Teaching and Learning Style
At Kingsway we use the five P’s approach.
- Praise – pupils learn most when in a positive environment
- Pace – good pace is essential to RWI being successful
- Purpose – each part of the RWI lesson has a specific purpose
- Passion – RWI is a very prescriptive programme. It is the energy, enthusiasm and passion of the teachers who deliver it, that brings the teaching and learning to life!
- Participation – A key feature of RWI is collaborative learning and active participation. Children are actively involved in their new learning, helping to commit it to their long term memory.
Delivery of Phonics
Each session includes these key elements:
- Hear it and Say it. The children are introduced to the new phoneme (sound) and the letter formation rhyme linked to it.
- Speeds sounds. The children read the new phoneme and revisit previously taught phonemes.
- Read it. Children read the new sound within a real word (green words) and pseudo words (alien words). This enables children to develop their decoding and blending skills. Children will be shown where the phoneme is on the speed sounds chart.
- Write it. The children are first taught how to correctly form each grapheme (letters) (supported with rhymes) and as they progress through the scheme they are taught how to write a word containing the phoneme. This is known as Grapheme Phoneme Correspondence (GPC).
- Common exception words. These words are words which cannot be sounded out (red words). Children have to learn to sight read them. Each year group (FS2 – Y6) have a list of NC common exception words which they must learn to read and spell. Click here to view the red words your child will learn from FS2- Y2….(link to table)
- Read a text. Children will then read a text (RWI story book/book bag book/non-fiction). They will read the same book every day for one week to build up their confidence, fluency and accuracy.
Click on the link to access phonics resources to support your child with learning to read and to access lists of green and red words for each set of sounds.
Click on the following link to view the RWI Teaching Sequence.
A RWI speed sounds chart is displayed in every classroom. Children are taught how to use it to support their spelling choices when writing. A basic speed sounds chart is used in Foundation Stage and a complex speed sound chart in Key Stages One and Two.
The RWI scheme ensures the children are taught the phonemes (sounds) and corresponding graphemes (letters) needed to be successful readers. The children apply their learning of new phonemes to read and write both real and pseudo (alien/nonsense) words, in preparation for the phonics screening test at the end of year one.
Foundation Stage One (nursery)
Children will begin phase one of their phonics journey in nursery where we will:
- Promote a love of and interest in books and reading
- Promote a love of mark making
- Develop children’s listening skills
We provide all children with daily story time, a wide range of books for use throughout choosing time and both indoor and outdoor opportunities for mark making. Staff encourage the use of listening skills through listening to music to dance, listening to instructions, listening to others.
Foundation Stage Two (reception)
At Kingsway we strive to enable all children to leave reception knowing all set one and two phonemes and being able to read at least green/purple books fluently.
Children in Foundation Stage will build up from 10 minutes of discreet phonics lessons a day in the autumn term, to one hour per day in the summer term. Children are grouped and taught, according to phoneme recognition and reading fluency ability and are re-assessed every half term. Teachers and Nursey Nurses carry their RWI phonics cards at all times and use these to consolidate learning and pre-teach the next phoneme for those children who are in danger of falling behind. To help break down barriers to learning, a dedicated Nursey Nurse works daily with small groups and 1:1’s to pre-teach, boost and support the children who are identified as needing extra support. This ensures all children are keeping up, not catching up!
RWI phonemes, rhymes and picture cards are displayed in all areas with a phonics tunnel linking the two pods! Daily Chattas are created with the phoneme of the day and are posted on the school’s website to support home learning. Click to view FS2 chats.
Key Stage One (Years one and two)
Children in year one begin their Key Stage One phonics journey revisiting set one and two phonemes to re-cap and embed sounds learned during their time in reception class. They then quickly progress to learning their set 3 phonemes.
We strive to ensure all children leave year one reading at least blue books.
Bespoke home learning is sent home with every child, every week. This helps parents support their child with reading/phonics at home and regularly updates parents on their child’s progress.
Weekly Chatta missions are posted on the school website, encouraging children to go on sound hunts to promote spelling development alongside reading the phonemes. All staff carry RWI phoneme cards and words at all times, using playtimes as an opportunity to re-cap phonemes through games, chalking and phoneme hunts. Phonics runs through the heart of all areas of the curriculum, with teachers and support staff regularly referring to speed sounds charts to support spelling and rhymes to support letter formation. Click to view KS1 chats.
Children in key stage one also have an individual license for LexiaCore5 reading. This computer based program supports primary school educators in providing differentiated instruction for pupils of all abilities (FS2 –Y6). Lexia’s research-proven program provides explicit, systematic, personalised learning in the five areas of reading instruction – phonological awareness, structural analysis (recognising parts of multisyllabic words), fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. Lexia can also be accessed at home!
The Year One Phonics Screening Test
The phonics screening check is a quick and easy test to assess your child’s phonics knowledge. It is a short, statutory assessment to ensure that children are making sufficient progress in the phonics skills needed to read words and be on track to becoming fluent readers who enjoy reading for pleasure and learning. We strive to ensure all children leave year one having passed their phonics screening test. Any child who does not pass the assessment in year one, will be tested again during year two.
Click to read a parent guide to the screening test.
Key Stage Two (Years three to six)
There are some children who need additional support with their phonics and who find it difficult to pass the statutory phonics assessments. These children receive intense, targeted support which is monitored and reviewed on a regular basis by the school’s Phonics Lead. If any child continues to struggle and not make sufficient progress, the school’s SENDCo will be informed and a personal action plan put in place.
Parents as Partners
- Remember to regularly check the school website for Chatta’s created to support your child’s reading. The sounds they are learning this week and all previous weeks are there for you to refer back to.
- Use the table of resources to ensure you are practising the correct words/phonemes for the level you child is currently working at.
- Visit the Read Write Inc website to access parent video guides and activity guides so that you feel more confident in supporting your child on their reading journey
- Allow your child to access Lexia at home. We recommend at least 10 minutes per day.
- Try to listen to, or read to your child regularly. We recommend at least 10 minutes per day, but longer if you can. It can help to have a regular time set aside so that it becomes part of your daily routine, for example at bedtime or before tea.
- Find a quiet place to share your book where you can both feel comfortable and relaxed – learning needs to be a positive experience for you both. Be sure to praise your child for their efforts.
- Encourage your child to have a go at reading words, by using their phonics skills to read unfamiliar words and by working on building up their red word vocabulary.
- Talk about the meanings of words to help develop your child’s understanding and use of language.
- Ask them questions about the text to develop and check their understanding. Click on the following links for some question stem ideas: key-stage one and key-stage two.
- Encourage your child to read whilst you are out: food menus, newspapers, road signs, train timetables and so on.
- We recommend your child reads at least 3 times per week at home. They will bring home their reading scheme book to share with you. You may find your child brings home a book they have previously read - this is being encouraged to develop their fluency skills.
The children are regularly assessed to ensure that we are meeting their individual needs. If a child appears to be falling behind they are given immediate, bespoke, intensive 1:1 support. If a child is exceeding expectations, they are given more challenging texts and comprehension questions. This not only prepares them for their end of Key Stage One reading assessments but also ensures their reading journey continues to be challenging and engaging.
Please use the following link to view the whole school reading progression map.
The phonics lead will:
- Ensure all children are regularly assessed and this information is used to inform next steps.
- ‘Drop in’ on RWI lessons to give advice and informally check that pupils are engaged, making good progress and having fun!
- Where necessary models lessons
- Request to see intervention folders and phonics books to monitor and evaluate the delivery of lessons
- Report to the Headteacher and governors about the quality of the implementation of RWI and the impact on standards.
If you have any question or would like further support, please speak with your child's class teacher or ask to speak with Mrs Wigglesworth who is the school's Phonics Lead.
Phonics Screening Year 1
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Phonics Screening Re-Test Year 2
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