The government strongly recommend the use of synthetic phonics when teaching early literacy skills to children. Synthetic phonics is simply the ability to convert a letter or letter group into sounds that are then blended together into a word.
Here at the St Patrick's Catholic Primary School, we are using the Read Write Inc (RWI) programme to get children off to a flying start with their literacy. RWI is a method of learning based upon letter sounds and phonics, and we use it to aid children in their reading and writing.
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 can read more 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 they can put all their energy into comprehending what they read. It also allows them to spell effortlessly so they can put all their energy into composing what they write.
The children are assessed regularly and grouped according to their ability. They will work with a RWI trained teacher or teaching assistant. In addition to the RWI, children will also be working on writing skills in their classes with their own teacher.
When using RWI to read the children will:
· Learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple prompts.
· Learn to read words using sound blending (Fred talk).
· Read lively stories featuring words they have learnt to sound out.
· Show that they comprehend the stories by answering 'Find It' and 'Prove It'.
When using RWI to write the children will:
· Learn to write the letter/letter groups which represent the 44 sounds.
· Learn to write words by saying the sounds and graphemes (Fred fingers).
· Learn to write simple then more complex sentences.
· Compose stories based on story strips.
· Compose a range of texts using discussion prompts.
When using RWI the children will also work in pairs:
· To answer questions.
· To practise every activity.
· To take turns talking and listening to each other.
· To give positive praise to each other.
Help your child learn to read words by sounding-blending (Fred talk) eg. c-a-t = cat, sh-o-p = shop. Children learn to read words by blending the letter-sounds that are in the Speed Sounds set (shown further down the page).
Help your child to say the pure sounds ('m' not 'muh', 's' not 'suh' etc.) as quickly as they can, and then blend the sounds together to say the whole word.
Support your child at home using the following guide:
The Read Write Inc Lead Teacher at St Patrick's Catholic Primary School is Miss Hopkins. If you have any questions or need any guidance on the programme, please pop into the school office or give them a call and they will arrange an appointment for you.
At St Patrick's we use Read, Write Inc to teach phonics. Here's a video telling you how we teach the sounds.
Unfortunately not the ones with chocolate chips.
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