At St. Joseph’s our aim is to provide a literacy curriculum that meets the needs of all learners to ensure all pupils achieve their potential in reading and writing skills. Wherever possible, our sequences of all lessons are closely linked to the Cornerstones theme the year group is covering in the half-term. We believe that ensuring the children are exposed to a vocabulary-rich curriculum based on high quality texts (both fiction and non-fiction) will lead to a deeper understanding of the curriculum they are studying. English includes the teaching of: spelling, handwriting, grammar, phonics, reading as well as writing.
Reading / Phonics teaching:
At St. Joseph’s we aim for all our children to become fluent, confident readers who are passionate about reading.
Children who read regularly or are read to regularly have the opportunity to open the doors to so many different worlds! More importantly, reading will give your child the tools to become independent life-long learners.
We can achieve this together through:
- Read Write Inc, a program to help to your child read at school
- Encouraging children to develop a love of books by reading to them daily, at home and at school
- Giving children access to a wide range of books at school and at home
At St. Joseph’s we use Read Write Inc Phonics (RWI) to give your child the best possible start with their literacy. We have put together a guide to how the RWI programme works together with some useful links.
Miss Ropiak is our Read Write Inc lead teacher, so if you have questions about RWI, contact school who can refer you to her. Please take the time to read the information as it will provide invaluable information as to how you can help and support your child in reading.
What is Read Write Inc?
Read Write Inc (RWI) is a phonics complete literacy programme which helps all children learn to read fluently and at speed so they can focus on developing their skills in comprehension, vocabulary and spelling. The programme is designed for children aged 4-7. However, at St. Joseph’s we begin the programme in Nursery and will continue teaching RWI to children beyond the age of 7 if they still need support in their reading.
RWI was developed by Ruth Miskin and more information on this can be found at https://ruthmiskin.com/en/find-out-more/parents/.
How will RWI be taught?
All children are assessed regularly by our RWI lead teacher so they work with children at the same level. This allows complete participation in lessons.
When appropriate, children will be introduced to the initial sounds in short five minutes’ sessions.
In Reception all children will learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down.
- learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letters/letter groups using simple picture prompts – see below
- learn to read words using Fred talk and sound blending
- read from a range of storybooks and non-fictions books matched to their phonic knowledge
- work well with partners
- develop comprehension skills in stories by answering 'Find It' and 'Prove It' discussion questions
- learn to write and form the letters/letter groups which represent the 44 sounds with the help of fun phrases
- learn to write words by using Fred Talk
- learn to build sentences by practising sentences out loud before they write
- They work in pairs so that they:
- answer every question
- practise every activity with their partner
- take turns in talking and reading to each other
- develop ambitious vocabulary
Year One & Year Two
Children follow the same format as Reception but will work on complex sounds and read books appropriate to their reading level. Daily sessions of RWI phonics last for 40 minutes.
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 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 will be taught how to read as follows:
Before you start to teach your child, practise saying the sounds below. These are the sounds we use to speak in English.
We use pure sounds (‘m’ not’ muh’,’s’ not ‘suh’, etc.) so that your child will be able to blend the sounds into words more easily.
At school we use a puppet called Fred who is an expert on sounding out words! We call it, ‘Fred Talk’. E.g. m-o-p, c-a-t, m-a-n, sh-o-p, b-l-a-ck.
The following video is an example of blending sounds with Fred.
The children are taught the sounds in 3 sets.
Sounds are taught in order together with rhymes to help children form the letters correctly and instantly recognise sounds ready for blending.
For the order of sounds click here
Please do not use letter names at this early stage.
To hear how to pronounce sounds correctly visit this website
Nonsense words (Alien words)
As well as learning to read and blend real words children will have plenty of opportunities to apply their sound recognition skills on reading ‘Nonsense words’. These words will also feature heavily in the Year One Phonics Screening check in the summer term.
Phonics Screening Check Year One
What is the Year 1 phonics screening check?
The Year 1 phonics screening check is a short, light-touch assessment to confirm whether individual pupils have learnt phonic decoding to an appropriate standard.
It will identify the children who need extra help so they are given support by their school to improve their reading skills. They will then be able to retake the check so that schools can track pupils until they are able to decode.
To help at home:
We know parents and carers are very busy people. But if you can find time to read to your child as much as possible, it helps him or her to learn about books and stories. They also learn new words and what they mean. Show that you are interested in reading yourself and talk about reading as a family.
You can find more information about the program and additional resources and videos here: https://home.oxfordowl.co.uk/reading/reading-schemes-oxford-levels/read-write-inc-phonics-guide/
In Key stage 2, reading is split between two different daily sessions: either small group reading practice with a focus on reading aloud with expression as well as enjoyment; or reading skills sessions.
There are weekly comprehension lessons which focus on the skills from retrieval to inference and prediction based on high-quality texts.
We not only teach the skills of reading at St. Joseph's, we place a high value on reading for enjoyment. As part of this, we ensure that every child is able to enjoy listening to an adult reading to them at 3pm for our daily read. We participate in different events throughout the year, from World Book Day to the Summer Reading Challenge. Every class has a reading corner, where the children are able to borrow books and recommend books they have enjoyed to others. Not only that, but Year 5 and 6 pupils are Reading Buddies to the younger years and regularly read with the younger children.
Talk for Writing:
We teach using the Talk for Writing approach which enables the children to read and write for a wide range of audiences and purposes. The key to this approach is for the children to internalise the language structures needed to access and write the variety of different genres we cover. This is achieved through a well-planned sequence of lessons based on the needs of the class as directed from our Assessment for Learning. Each genre is structured in the same way: from orally retelling a model text; understanding the structures, features and authorial techniques; to constructing our own toolkit leading in to writing tasks. As the unit progresses, the children move into more independence in their planning and writing ending with an extended write which enables them to showcase their learning in a creative and powerful way.
Useful links and information