At King’s Sutton Primary Academy, we teach phonics using Read Write Inc. This is a comprehensive phonics program that teaches children the phonemes (sounds) and graphemes (letter/letters representing a sound) they need to be able to read and spell. Children are taught phonics every day in groups closely matched to their reading ability.
In Early Years Foundation Stage, children will learn the Set 1 and Set 2 sounds. In Key Stage 1, they will learn the Set 3 sounds; these are different graphemes representing the phonemes they have already learnt. Click here for the word sets.
Children learn to read words including these sounds by segmenting and blending. Fred the frog helps us with this as he can only speak in sounds, not whole words.
Who is Fred?
Fred is our Read, Write Inc. mascot. He can only speak in sounds though (this is called Fred Talk), so we have to help him learn to say words, instead of sounds. For example, Fred says 'c-a-t' instead of cat. (See the link below for the pronunciation guide).
We use 'Fred Fingers' to help make the transition between oral sounding out and spelling with magnetic letters or in books.
Firstly, we count how many sounds we can hear: "bat = b-a-t = 3 sounds". Then we hold up that many fingers.
For each sound we use our writing hand to squeeze a Fred Finger and say the sound: "b-a-t".
Then we use our free hand to 'sweep' over our Fred Fingers and to blend the sounds into a word: "bat"
Be careful - words such as this needs 3 Fred Fingers - "th-i-s".
Where as, words such as flairs need 4 Fred Fingers - "f-l-air-s".
Supporting Phonics at Home
Please click here for a video showing you how to correctly pronounce the sounds.
Please click here for information to support you to help your child with RWI.
For 10 top tips to help you with RWI click here.
Books for Read Write Inc. Phonics
Once they have learned enough sounds, children will begin to read RWI 'Ditty' books in their lessons. After Ditty books, children continue to read groups of books that have been specially written to support progress through the scheme. These books follow their own colour scheme and do not tie in with the home/school reading books scheme. The aim of using these books is to teach the children accuracy, fluency and comprehension.
When supporting children learning to read, it is important to say the pure sounds without the ‘ugh’ or schwa sound at the end, for example, they would say ‘m’ instead of ‘muh’. It is also important to encourage children to use their phonic knowledge to support them when decoding, regardless of their age.
Reading at home
- Read favourite stories over and over again
- Read some stories at a higher level than they can read themselves.
- Listen to them reading their home/school books
Writing at home
The RWI Letter Formation Chart shows all the rhymes we teach for helping your child form their letters correctly.
At the end of Year 1, children complete the Phonics Screening Check which is a tool to check the children’s decoding ability. This consists of 20 real and 20 pseudo or ‘alien’ words containing the graphemes the children have learnt. This helps to check they can apply their phonic knowledge when reading unfamiliar words.