At Bishop Wilson Primary we strive to ensure that all children become successful, fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One. We aim to support children to read effectively and quickly by providing strong, high quality, discrete phonics teaching, combined with the provision of suitable reading books that allow children to practice and develop their phonic skills at home and in school. We passionately believe that teaching children to read as quickly as possible is one of the core purposes of early years teaching, and the provision of this fundamental skill early on, will have a huge impact upon each child’s confidence and wellbeing. More importantly reading will give children the tools to become independent lifelong learners. Our principal aim is to develop children’s phonological awareness which is their ability to segment and blend words as well as supporting them in being in able to read common exception words on sight- to become fluent readers! Our teaching at all levels includes:
· Consistency in the approach to teaching phonics throughout the Early Years Foundation Stage, KS1 and also KS2 where appropriate
· Rigorous planning, assessment, and tracking
· Daily whole class, small group and individual work
· Quality first teaching to support motivation
· Well trained staff who are experts in ensuring consistency in phonics teaching and fidelity to the scheme.
At Bishop Wilson Primary we follow the Read Write Inc. Phonics programme across the Early Years foundation stage and key stage one. Phonic lessons occur daily with no exceptions, as we believe continuity and pace is key to accelerating the progress of children’s reading development.
Read Write Inc (RWI) is a phonics programme which helps all children learn to read fluently and at speed so they can focus on developing their skills in comprehension, vocabulary, and spelling. It also allows them to spell effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into composing what they write. The children are assessed by their class teacher and grouped according to their ability. Small group phonics lessons are taught daily by trained staff and these members of staff promote fidelity to the scheme by ensuring there are consistent expectations across the range of abilities. At the end of each half term, the children are assessed to check on their progress and are then regrouped accordingly.
Children learn sounds in school which help them to read and write. They then practise these skills through reading Read Write Inc. 'Book Bag Books' at home which are specifically matched to the scheme to both consolidate learning and provide challenge in an engaging and fun way! This is what they look like.
Phonics in the Early Years Foundation Stage
The teaching of phonics in our Nursery is early sound recognition through nursery rhymes, songs, stories and play. Children are initially taught how to discriminate between environmental and instrumental sounds through a variety of play based learning activities, before being introduced to activities involving rhyme, alliteration and finally oral blending and segmenting. These activities are short 10 minute sessions that are taught during carpet sessions in the morning and afternoon. Throughout the summer term, the children are then moved onto the start of the RWI phonics programme, where they are introduced to the first 12 initial set 1 letter sounds.
In Reception, all children will learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down. Those who are ready, will begin to read simple words within books and also write some of these. Set 1 Sounds are taught in Reception and 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 Letter Sounds
Down Maisie over the mountain over the mountain.
Around the apple up the stalk down and curl the leaf.
Sliver around the snake.
Around the dinosaur’s bottom, up his tall neck down and curl for his feet.
Down the tower and of we go, across the tower.
Down the insect’s body and dot for his head.
Down Nobby and over the net.
Down the pirate’s plait and around her face.
Around the girls face and down her long hair.
Around the orange.
Curl around the caterpillar.
Down the kangaroo and around his pouch.
Down and under the umbrella and draw the puddle.
Down the boot to the heel and around the toes.
Down the flower and curl for the leaf.
Crack the egg open and scoop it out.
Down the leg and draw the foot
Down the horse’s neck and over his back.
Down the robot’s body and over his arm.
Down his body curl then dot.
Down a wing up a wing.
Down a horn up a horn and curl around the yaks face.
Down the worm, up the worm, down the worm up the worm.
Zig, zag, zig.
Curl around the caterpillar. Down the horse’s neck and over his back.
Round the queen’s head up to her crown down her hair and flick.
Cross down the leg and then cross the other way.
Please do not use letter names at this early stage. Watch the video below to find out how to pronounce the ‘pure’ sounds.
The children are then taught Set 2 Sounds – the long vowels. These sounds are called 'special friends' and are two or three letters, which when appear together in a word, make one sound.
Set 2 letter sounds
May I play
What can you see
Blow the snow
Poo at the zoo
Look at a book
Start the car
Shut the door
That’s not fair
Whirl and twirl
Shout it out
Toy for a boy
Phonics in Key stage 1
In Year 1, phonic lessons follow the same format as in Reception but more complex sounds will be introduced (Set 3 letter sounds). Children will be expected to read and write more complex words and sentences. In preparation for the phonic screening check, which is carried out in the summer term, children are also introduced to, and expected to read, a variety of alien words on a daily basis. This provides children with the opportunity to apply their sound recognition skills to decode unfamiliar words.
The order in which set 3 letter sounds are taught and the rhymes for each sound are listed here:
Set 3 letter sounds
Make a cake
Cup of tea
Yawn at dawn
Share and care
Nurse for a purse
Spoil the boy
Hear with your ear
Sure it’s pure?
Snail in the rain
He, me, she, we, be
Goat in a boat
Chew the stew
The Phonics Screening Check
The phonics screening check is taken individually by all children in Year 1 in England and it is usually taken in June. The Year 1 phonics screening check is not a formal test, instead it is designed to give teachers and parents information on how your child is progressing in phonics to ensure that children are making sufficient progress so that they are on track to become fluent readers who can enjoy reading for pleasure and for learning. The phonics screening check is aimed at seeing if your child can:
· Sound out and blend graphemes in order to read simple words.
· Read phonically decodable one-syllable and two-syllable words, e.g. cat, sand, windmill.
· Read a selection of nonsense words which are referred to as pseudo words.
It is our aim that children in Year 2 complete the RWI programme by end of the autumn term in Year 2. It is expected that children entering Year 2 will recap set 3 sounds during Autumn term before moving onto the schools spelling programme where children are taught the age related spelling rules following the progression document in line with the National Curriculum. Any children who fail to pass the phonics screening check in Year 1 will also receive additional targeted intervention throughout Year 2 to help them catch up.
Phonics in Key Stage 2
By the time children complete the transition from KS1 to KS2 we intend that they will have completed the RWI phonics programme. Their phonic development will continue to be explicitly taught through the school’s spelling programme. Those children who have not reached the expected level by the time they leave KS1 will continue to access the RWI programme and will also receive additional targeted intervention to ensure they catch up with their peers.