Teaching Phonics and Reading At Norbridge
This year in school, we are delighted to be using the Read, Write, Inc programme to support children in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 with their reading. Please see the information below to help you understand how this programme will work.
The Read Write Inc. Phonics programme
Learning to read is the most important thing your child will learn at our school. Everything else depends on it, so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible.
We want your child to love reading – and to want to read for themselves. This is why we put our efforts into making sure they develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read.
How will my child be taught to read?
In Nursery, children will be spending lots of time sharing stories and rhymes to help them develop a love of reading and learn lots of new vocabulary. The Nursery staff have created a list of stories and rhymes that they think the children will love and they will share these regularly to help the children know these really well. In the term before they start Reception, children will start to learn their set 1 phonics sounds.
As soon as children start in our Reception classes, they will be learning lots of different phonics sounds. They will 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.
The children also practise reading (and spelling) what we call ‘tricky words’, such as ‘once,’ ‘have,’ ‘said’ and ‘where’.
The children practise their reading with books that match the phonics and the ‘tricky words’ they know. They start thinking that they can read and this does wonders for their confidence.
In all classes across school, we have daily story time sessions before the children go home. This helps the children experience lots of new books and poems. This is a great way to help the children learn new vocabulary and help the children develop imaginative and creative ideas for writing.
How will I know how well my child is doing?
We regularly look at how the children are progressing in their reading and use the information that we collect to decide which reading group they should be in. Your child will work with children who are at the same reading level as him or her. If your child is in Year 1 or 2, they may have already spoken to you about what teacher or classroom they are in for their Read, Write, Inc. lesson. These groupings ensure that your child is receiving phonics and reading teaching at the correct level for their needs. Children will be assessed throughout the year and groups are changed half termly to ensure that all children receive the correct support for their current level of learning. If any children are struggling to keep up, we will give them additional one-to-one support in the afternoons. On parent consultations evenings, your child’s class teacher will be able to inform you of how your child is progressing with their reading.
In the summer term, the government asks us to do a phonics check of all the Year 1 children. That gives us extra information about their progress. We will inform you of how well your child has done, and especially if we have any worries at all.
How long will it take to learn to read well?
By the end of Year 2, your child should be able to read aloud books that are at the right level for his or her age. In Year 3 we concentrate more on helping children to understand what they are reading, although this work begins very early on. This happens when the teacher reads to the children and also when the children read their own story book.
How do I know the teaching will be good?
All the staff have been trained to teach reading in the way we do it in this school. We believe that it is very important that all the teachers and teaching assistants work in the same way.
What can I do to help?
We know parents and carers are very busy people. But if you can find time to read to your child as much as possible, it helps them to learn about books and stories. They also learn new words and what they mean. Show that you are interested in reading yourself and talk about reading as a family. You can find out about good stories to read to your child here: https://www.facebook.com/miskin.education
Read, Write, Inc. have lots of useful videos to help you understand how to support your child in phonics. You can find these videos on this page below the text. We will also be sharing information about our phonics teaching on our Twitter phonics page @NorbridgePhon.
What if my child finds it difficult to learn to read?
We want children to learn to read, however long it takes us to teach them. We will find out very quickly if your child is finding reading difficult. First, we move children to a different group, so that we can make sure that they have learnt what they need to know. If they still struggle, we give them extra time with an adult, on their own. These adults are specially trained to support these children. Your child will still be in the same group with the other children and won’t miss out on any of the class lessons.
If we have any serious worries about your child’s reading, we will talk to you about this.
What if my child turns out to be dyslexic?
The way we teach reading is especially helpful for children who might be dyslexic. This is because we use a very well-organised programme that has a strong focus on phonics. This is very important for children who find learning to read difficult. If you are worried about your child, please come and talk to us.
My child has difficulty pronouncing some sounds. Will this stop him learning to read through phonics?
This isn’t a problem for learning to read as long as we know what sound the child is trying to say. Many children have a few sounds that they can hear clearly but find it difficult to say, particularly the l-sound, r-sound, w-sound, th-sound, s-sound, sh-sound and j-sound. Often they say a t-sound for the c-sound; "tttssh" for the s-sound; "w" for the r-sound and "r" for the l-sound. You can help your child by encouraging him or her to look at your mouth when you say the sound. Whatever you do, do not make your child feel a failure. They can easily learn to read, even if they find one or two sounds difficult to say.
Fred Talk Games
Children in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 use Fred Talk to help them practise blending the sounds together to read words. Please see the letter below for ideas about how you can use Fred Talk games to support your child in their oral blending skills at home.