Phonics at St Laurence's
At St Laurences, we teach Phonics using the scheme RWI (Read Write Inc). Our aim is that all children learn to read effortlessly, to enable them to put all their energy into comprehending what they read.
'Read Write Inc.' produced by Ruth Miskin, is a method of learning centred around letter sounds and phonics, blending them together to read and write words and using these learnt sounds in their reading and writing. In Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 children will follow a daily phonic programme to create fluent, enthusiastic readers, confident speakers and willing writers. In KS2, some children who are not yet fluent readers and accurate writers will complete a 1:1 or a group intervention programme that equips them with the skills to read and understand texts confidently, write fluently, think critically and articulate thoughts and ideas clearly.
At St Laurence’s Catholic Primary School, we want to equip all our pupils with a secure phonic knowledge that enables them to read and write successfully. Children will be able to apply their understanding of letters and sounds to decode a range of words which in turn will allow them to read books that are closely matched to their phonic knowledge. When writing, children will be able to make phonically plausible attempts at unfamiliar words, enabling them to write with an appropriate level of independence for their age. They will also be able to use their phonic knowledge to correctly apply a range of spelling rules to words. We believe this is achievable through a combination of strong, high quality, discrete phonics teaching combined with a whole language approach that promotes a ‘Reading for Pleasure’ culture. The teaching of phonics is of high priority in our school.
In EYFS and KS1, a systematic and rigorous approach to phonics will be applied through the delivery of the Read, Write Inc. programme. Robust, half-termly assessments will be used to ensure that children are making at least expected progress and are placed in a group that is matched to their ability. Where children are not making expected progress, 1:1 tutoring sessions will be put in place to address this. Staff delivering Read, Write Inc. lessons will have access to quality training materials and attend regular coaching sessions to ensure that teaching is consistent across all groups and always to a high standard. Children will take home familiar and unfamiliar books that are closely matched to their phonic knowledge. When ready, children in KS1 will access the RWI comprehension programme, which will allow them to revisit and apply their phonic knowledge in a range of comprehension activities. In KS2, some children will continue to access RWI lessons. These children will continue to take home familiar and unfamiliar books that are closely matched to their phonic knowledge.
Children feel confident in using their phonic knowledge and the strategies that they have been taught to read words. This helps them to access a range of material and, in turn, fosters a love of reading. By taking home books that are closely matched to their phonic knowledge, children can celebrate reading success with their parents and carers which will give them the confidence and motivation to read regularly. This will have a positive impact on the progress that they make. Children will be able to make phonically plausibly attempts at spelling words and therefore communicate their ideas in writing across a range of subjects and for a range of purposes both in and out of school. Based on their phonic knowledge, children can make good spelling choices and spell many words correctly. In short, we aspire for our pupils to:
- read at an age-appropriate level with fluency which enables them to access the broader curriculum
- develop a life-long love of reading where they read widely and often, with fluency and comprehension.
- Achieve well at EYFS, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 assessment points
- Have the required phonics skills to pass Year 1 phonic screening check on the first attempt
Read, Write Inc. has 5 underlying principles – the five Ps:
- PACE – no time is wasted during teaching sessions. Children are active and involved in a fun and creative way. The aim is for the children to complete the programme and embed the skills as quickly as possible.
- PRAISE – teachers praise the children constantly throughout the teaching sessions. Children learn more quickly when they are praised for what they do well, rather than told what they do wrong. The children are encouraged to praise each other.
- PURPOSE – each activity has a very clear purpose. The teacher will set this purpose at the beginning of the lesson so that the children know exactly what they will be learning.
- PARTICIPATION – all children take part in all parts of the lesson. Full participation is gained through partner work and choral response.
- PASSION – as a staff we are passionate about our teaching and the benefits of the Read, Write Inc. programme. We love teaching the sessions and this enthusiasm rubs off onto the children. This is because we know it has an impact.
Below are some videos to help you understand more about RWI and how you can help your child at home: