Learning to read is the most important thing your child will learn at our school. Everything else depends on it, so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible.
We want your child to love reading – and to want to read for themselves. This is why we put our efforts into making sure they develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read.
At St James and St John Church of England Primary School we use the RWInc phonics scheme which is a validated, detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills. We also have daily guided reading / ERIC sessions.
Read Write Inc Phonics
The scheme enables the children to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting school, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by the age of seven.
We start by teaching phonics to the children in the Reception class. This means that they learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down. This is essential for reading, but it also helps children learn to spell well. We teach the children simple ways of remembering these sounds and letters. Ask them to show you what these are.
The children also practise reading (and spelling) what we call ‘tricky words’, such as ‘once,’ ‘have,’ ‘said’ and ‘where’.
The children practise their reading with books that match the phonics (decodable books) and the ‘tricky words’ they know. They start thinking that they can read and this does wonders for their confidence.
The teachers read to the children, too, so the children get to know all sorts of stories, poetry and information books. They learn many more words this way and it also helps their writing.
In Read Write Inc. Phonics pupils:
• Decode letter-sound correspondences quickly and effortlessly, using their phonic knowledge and skills
• Read common exception words on sight
• Understand what they read
• Read aloud with fluency and expression
• Write confidently, with a strong focus on vocabulary and grammar
• Spell quickly and easily by segmenting the sounds in words
• Acquire good handwriting.
We use various ways to find out how the children are getting on in reading. We use the information to decide what phonics group they should be in. Your child will work with children who are at the same reading level as him or her (this may mean that they change classrooms / teaching areas for their phonics lesson).
We regularly assess where the children are with their phonics skills and move children to appropriate groups to ensure all children are making good progress and the teaching is matched to their needs.
We also use a reading test so that we can make sure that all our children are at the level that they should be for their age compared to all the children across the country.
In the summer term, the government asks us to do a phonics check of all the Year 1 children. That gives us extra information about their progress. We will talk to you about how well your child has done, and especially if we have any worries at all. For those children who do not pass the phonics screening check, they retake the test in Year 2.
When children are in Year 2, they should be able to use all of their phonics skills to be able to read aloud books that are at the right level for their age.
Whilst your child is learning phonics they will bring home a decodable RWInc book that they can read on their own to you and a reading for pleasure book that they may need help with or you should read to them.
Please trust your child’s teacher to choose the book(s) that will help your child the most.
Help your child to sound out the letters in words and then to ‘push’ the sounds together to make a whole word. Try not to refer to the letters by their names. Help your child to focus on the sounds. You can hear how to say the sounds correctly at this link: https://ruthmiskin.com/en/find-out-more/parents/#lg=1&slide=2
Sometimes your child might bring home a picture book that they know well. Please don’t say, ‘This is too easy.’ Instead, encourage your child to tell you the story out loud; ask them questions about things that happen or what they think about some of the characters in the story.
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.
At St James and St John Church of England Primary School we prioritise the ‘simple view of reading,’ children being able to read words/text and understand what they have read. We are determined that every child will learn to read fluently and develop a life-long love for reading. We believe that reading is a key life skill and the ability to read is fundamental to succeed in education and empower future learning.
At St James and St John child will:
How we encourage a love of reading and a desire to read widely:
Read with confidence, fluency and understanding
Develop a wider vocabulary and knowledge of the world