Reading is the key that unlocks the whole curriculum for your child and empowers them with the knowledge and skills to prepare them for lifelong learning.
At Pippins School we are passionate about ensuring all children become confident readers and writers regardless of their ability and aptitude. Phonics provides the foundations of learning for developing reading and writing skills. We use the Read Write Inc (RWI) programme to teach our children the core skills of segmenting and blending for reading and writing. Through this systematic synthetic programme children learn to read accurately and fluently, so that they can focus on developing their skills in comprehension, vocabulary and spelling.
To this aim, phonics in taught daily by trained and committed phonics teachers, with the children starting with the easiest sounds and progressing through to the most complex sounds. The reading books are matched to the sound’s children are learning and already know.
We strongly believe that teaching children to read and write, as quickly as possible, is one of the core purposes of Pippins School. These skills not only enable our children to access the primary curriculum and beyond, but also have a significant impact on their self-esteem and their future life chances.
The teaching of phonics begins in the Early Years Foundation stage and continues into Year 2. However, at Pippins School we will continue to teach RWI to children above Year 2 if they still require support in their reading.
Children begin their phonics journey in Nursery and are introduced to Phase 1. This phase supports the childrens' development of speaking and listening skills and their awareness of sounds. Nursery children will;
- Explore and experiment with sounds and words.
- Distinguish between sounds in the environment and phonemes.
- Show awareness of rhyme and alliteration.
Phonics is then taught daily in Reception and Key Stage 1. For children to become fluent and confident readers they are taught how to:
- Decode letter/sounds correspondences confidently.
- Read words by blending sounds together.
- Read ‘tricky’ (red words) on sight.
- Read texts and words that are matched to their phonic ability.
- Read texts fluently so that they can develop their comprehension and begin to read for pleasure.
Five key principles underpin the teaching in all Read Write Inc sessions:
Purpose-know the purpose of every activity and share it with the children, so that they know the one thing they should be thinking about
Participation- ensure every child participates throughout the lesson. Partnership work is fundamental to learning
Praise- ensure children are praised for effort and learning, not ability
Pace- teach at an effective pace and devote every moment to teaching and learning
Passion- be passionate about teaching so children can be engaged emotionally
Children are assessed every half term and grouped according to their reading ability. This is because writing skills often lag behind progress in reading, especially for those whose motor skills are less well developed.
The lowest 20% are identified from our rigorous half termly assessments. They are then tutored outside of the RWI lesson to accelerate their progress, following our aim of ‘keep up, not catch up’ for all children.
As stated above, support is given to children in lower Key Stage 2 that require aid with their reading. RWI Fast Track Fresh Start provides tutoring for children in upper Key Stage 2 that are below age-expectations in reading, to ensure all children at Pippins School become confident and successful readers.
Year 1 Phonics Screening Check
The Year 1 phonics screening check is not a formal test, but a way for teachers to ensure that children are making sufficient progress with their phonics skills to read words and that they are on their way to becoming fluent readers who enjoy reading for pleasure and for learning.
The checks usually take place in June. They check that your child can:
- Sound out and blend graphemes in order to read simple words.
- Read phonically decodable words one-syllable and two-syllable words, eg, dog, hand, windmill
- Read a selection of nonsense words which are referred to as alien words.
A phonics screening check meeting will take place at the start of the summer term to provide further information to all Year 1 parents.
The English lead is Ms Ly, and the RWI coordinators are Mrs Jones and Mrs Rehinsi. Please feel free to ask them any questions.