Reading and Phonics

Phonics at St Godric’s Catholic Primary School

Here at St Godric’s Catholic Primary, we use the ‘Read Write Inc’ Phonics. We are committed to ensuring that each and every one of our children learns to read with accuracy and confidence. We believe that the Read Write Inc programme enables us to do this, as well as allowing us to support you in fostering a love of reading in your child that will last a lifetime.

Please take a moment to look at the resources that we have linked to this page of our website. We hope that you find them useful and informative in supporting your child at home.

Reading at St.Godric’s

At St. Godric’s, we aim for all our children to become fluentconfident readers who read for pleasure.

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 program to help to your child read at school
  • Encouraging children to develop a love of books by reading to them daily, at home and at school
  • Giving children access to a wide range of books at school and at home

What is Read Write Inc?

At the core of the programme is the lively and vigorous teaching of synthetic phonics. Children learn the 44 common sounds in the English language and how to sound-blend words for reading (decoding) at the same time as developing writing skills and spelling (encoding). As their confidence in decoding develops they are taught to comprehend and compose ideas for their own writing. The children have the pleasure of reading exciting storybooks perfectly matched to their level – so that they have early success in reading.

The children follow a structured programme of reading and spelling activities in small groups.

Read, Write Inc. has 5 underlying principles – the five Ps:

  1. PACE – no time is wasted during teaching sessions! Children are active and involved in a fun and creative way. The aim is for the children to complete the programme as quickly as possible.
  2. PRAISE – teachers praise the children constantly throughout the teaching sessions. Children learn more quickly when they are praised for what they do well, rather than criticised for what they do wrong.
  3. PURPOSE – each activity has a very clear purpose. The teacher will set this purpose at the beginning of the lesson so that the children know exactly what they will be learning.
  4. PARTICIPATION – all children take part in all parts of the lesson. Full participation is gained through partner work and choral response.
  5. PASSION – as a staff we are passionate about our teaching and the benefits of the Read, Write Inc. programme! We love teaching the sessions and this enthusiasm rubs off onto the children.

Read Write Inc was developed by Ruth Miskin and more information on this can be found at the Read Write Inc website.

How will my child be taught to read?

We start by teaching phonics to the children in the Reception class. This means that they learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down. This is essential for reading, but it also helps children learn to spell well. We teach the children simple ways of remembering these sounds and letters.

Reading – The children:

  • Learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letters/letter groups using simple picture prompts
  • Learn to read words using “Fred Talk” and sound blending
  • Read from a range of storybooks and non-fiction 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

Children will be taught how to read as follows:
Before you start to teach your child, practice saying the sounds below. These are the sounds we use to speak in English. Children initially begin using pictures for each sound, this will help children recognise the sound and then form the shape of the sound.

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 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.

At this stage we do not use the letter names

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.

Set 2 Speed Sounds

SoundPhraseWords to Practice Reading & Spelling
ayay: may I playplay, day, may, way, say, spray
eeee: what can you seesee, three, been, green, seen, sleep
ighigh: fly highhigh, night, light, fright, bright, might
owow: blow the snowblow, snow, low, show, know, slow
oooo: poo at the zootoo, zoo, food, pool, moon, spoon
oooo: look at a booktook, look, book, shook, cook, foot
arar: start the carcar, start, part, star, hard, sharp
oror: shut the doorsort, short, horse, sport, fork, snort
airair: that’s not fairfair, stair, hair, air, chair, lair
irir: whirl and twirlgirl, bird, third, whirl, twirl, dirt
ouou: shout it outout, shout, loud, mouth, round, found
oyoy: toy for a boytoy, boy, enjoy

Set 3 Speed Sounds

SoundPhraseWords to Practice Reading & Spelling
eaCup of teaclean, dream, seat, scream, real
oiSpoil the boyjoin, voice, coin
a-eMake a cakemake, cake, name, same, late, date
i-eNice smilesmile, white, nice, like, time, hide
o-ePhone homehome, hope, spoke, note, broke, phone
u-eHuge brutetune, rude, huge, brute, use, June
awYawn at dawnsaw, law, dawn, crawl, paw, yawn
areCare and shareshare, dare, scare, square, bare
urNurse with a purseburn, turn, spurt, nurse, purse, hurt
erA better letternever, better, weather, after, proper, corner
owBrown cowhow, down, brown, cow, town, now
aiSnail in the rainsnail, paid, tail, train, paint, rain
oaGoat in a boatgoat, boat, road, throat, toast, coat
ewChew the stewchew, new, blew, flew, drew, grew
ireFire! Fire!Fire, hire, wire, bon/fire, in/spire, con/spire
earHear with your earhear, dear, fear, near, year, ear
ureSure it’s purepure, sure, cure, pic/ture, mix/ture, ad/ven/ture

Nonsense words (Alien words)- What ‘a load’ or nonsense!   

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.  These words provide endless opportunities for children to apply and practice their thinking in a range of different contexts.

Step 3:
Within all the RWI sessions/books children will be exposed to 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.

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.

To help at home:
Your child will start to bring books home when they are confident readers, relating to their reading stage. You will find they will bring home a phonics based book, this will aid application, speed and fluency- developing speedy reading! They will also be given a picture/story book to share with you at home. Children are not expected to read this book independently. You should read this book to your child, encouraging them to ask and answer questions.

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