How do we teach phonics?
At Barwick in Elmet Church of England Primary School we aim to develop the full potential of all our pupils as confident, literate readers and writers. If children are to develop as competent readers and writers, it is vitally important that they have a secure understanding of the letter sounds and spelling system of the English language. Phonic skills need to be developed in a systematic way, based on a stage approach.
In school we use ‘Read Write Inc’ to teach our children phonics. At the heart of Read Write Inc (RWI) is the systematic teaching of all the common sounds in the English language (RWI calls these the Speed Sounds). Children are taught to recognise the sounds and to put them together (‘sound blend’ them) into words for reading.
Our children are taught one way of representing the 44 main sounds of English first, and then go on to learn the alternative spellings later on. To enable children to gain confidence in early reading, we only ask them to read words containing letter sounds they know securely.
Read Write Inc. introduces the simple Speed Sounds (one sound, one grapheme) with Speed Sounds Set 1 and Set 2. They then learn more ways of writing the same sounds with the complex Speed Sounds Set 3. Children are taught letter names before moving on to Speed Sounds Set 3.
Speed Sounds Set 1
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
Speed Sounds Set 2
ay – ee – igh – ow – oo – oo – ar – or – air – ir – ou – oy
Speed Sounds Set 3
a-e – ea – i-e – o-e – u-e – aw – are – ur – er – ow – ai – oa – ew – ire – ear – ure – tious – tion
Year 1 Screening Check
Every Year 1 child in the Summer term will take a Phonics Screening Check this is phonics based check where children will be expected to read 40 simple, de-codable words including nonsense words. This is a progress check to identify those children not at expected level in their reading. The results will be reported to parents. Children will be rechecked in Year 2 if they do not reach the expected level. Any child working below the level of the screen check may be dis-applied, with the acknowledgment of the parent.
Through careful monitoring and tracking practitioners are able to identify children who are not making the expected progress and therefore need intervention to catch up. Depending on the needs of individuals, this may include additional individual or small group tutoring before the lesson or after the main lesson; one to one work with a trained practitioner or extra support for a child or small group of children within a lesson. It is important that children who are struggling to learn to read not only need to catch up with their peers, but also to continue to make progress.
Phonics in Key Stage 1
If children in Key Stage 2 experience difficulty in reading and/or writing because they have missed or misunderstood a crucial phase of systematic phonics teaching additional resources can be used to support them.