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Phonics

Our approach to teaching Phonics at Darton Primary School

In FS1 (Nursery), we follow Phase One from the Letters and Sound Programme as this focuses on developing memory, sound discrimination and oracy (speaking) skills. 
In FS2 (Reception) and Key Stage 1 (Year 1 and 2), we follow the structure of Read Write Inc to develop reading and writing skills. 

The five key principles that underpin all the teaching in all Read Write Inc (RWI). Programmes are:

  • Participation – our teaching strategies ensure that all children participate fully in the whole lesson – there is no chance for children to lose concentration and miss key elements of the teaching
  • Praise – children work together, as partners, taking turns to teach and praise one another and they are motivated by the focused praise they receive from teachers and teaching assistants
  • Pace – a lively pace keeps all the children fully engaged
  • Purpose – teachers know the purpose of every activity and how it leads into the next
  • Passion – it is easy for teachers to be passionate about their teaching because they see their children make such rapid progress.

 

RWI is a method of letter sounds and synthetic phonics and it has proved to get children off to a flying start with their reading and writing learning.

Reading opens the door to learning. A child who reads a lot will become a good reader. A good reader will be able to read more challenging material. A child who reads challenging material is a child who will learn. The more a child learns, the more he or she will want to find out.

Using RWI, the children learn to read effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into comprehending what they read. It also allows them to spell effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into composing what they write.

When using RWI to read the children will:

  • learn that sounds are represented by written letters
  • learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple picture prompts
  • learn how to blend sounds and read words using Fred Talk
  • learn that some tricky words with grotty graphemes can’t be read using Fred Talk – these are Red Words (you can’t Fred a Red)
  • read fun and lively stories featuring words they have learned to sound out and show that they comprehend the stories by answering questions and discussing the text

When using RWI to write the children will:

  • learn to write the letters/letter groups which represent 44 sounds.
  • learn to spell words by saying the sounds in Fred Talk
  • write simple sentences

 

At the end of Year 1, most pupils undertake a Phonics Screening Check. 

The national phonics screening check is a short, statutory assessment to ensure that children are making sufficient progress in the phonics skills to read words and are on track to become fluent readers who can enjoy reading for pleasure and for learning.

Your child will sit with the class teacher and will be asked to read 40 words aloud. The test normally takes a few minutes. If your child is struggling the teacher will stop the check.  The check is carefully designed not to be stressful for your child.

The check consists of a list of 40 words, half real words and half nonsense words, the nonsense words will be shown to your child with a picture of an alien. This not only makes the check a bit more fun, but provides the children with a context for the nonsense word which is independent from any existing vocabulary they may have.

Non-words are important to include as they can’t be read using their vocabulary or from memory; they have to use their decoding skills. This is a fair way to assess all children’s ability to decode.

We will inform you on your child’s progress towards the end of the Summer term.  If your child found the test tricky we will inform you of what support we have put in place to help them improve and what you can do at home to help them as well. Children who have not met the standard will retake the check when they are in Year 2.

 

Parent presentation for the Year 1 screening check

For further information see parents sections Phonics tab.


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