At Holy Trinity we carefully plan a structured and systematic approach to Phonics teaching to ensure that all children are given opportunities to achieve their full potential. We want to ensure that all children are given a literature rich environment. Reading is an important skill and helps to develop vocabulary and many language skills.
The aim is to give children access to broad and varied texts to encourage them to read for pleasure. Although Phonics is taught in explicit teaching sessions, children are encouraged to use their Phonic knowledge in all areas of the curriculum.
The curriculum is carefully planned to develop progression and to ensure that children are identified early if they need extra support.
From Reception and into Key Stage 1, we follow the Read Write Inc programme to teach phonics and reading.
In Read Write Inc, Fred Frog plays an important role. Fred can only speak in sounds, not whole words. We call this Fred Talk. During the lesson, for example, Fred would say d-o-g and we would say dog. Fred talk helps children to read unfamiliar words by pronouncing each sound in the word at one time. Once the children know a small group of letters, they can start blending sounding into words. Children are taught to blend sounds together in sequence to make a word. First, we start blending oral sounds and then we progress to reading the letters and blending them together to read the word.
Click on the following link, which is an example of blending sounds with Fred
The Order of Teaching Sounds
In Read Write Inc phonics, the individual sounds are called ‘speed sounds’ – because we want your child to read them effortlessly.
Set 1 Speed Sounds
Set 1 sounds are the initial letter sounds. They are taught in the following order.
m, a, s, d, t, i, n, p, g, o, c, k, u, b, f, e, l, h, sh, r, j, v, y, w, th, z, ch, qu, x, ng, nk
Set 2 Speed Sounds
There are 12 Set 2 ‘speed sounds’ that are made up of two or three letters, which represent just one sound, e.g. ay as in play, ee as in tree and igh as in high.
When children learn their Set 2 sounds they will learn:
the letters that represent a speed sound e.g. ay, a simple picture prompt linked to the ‘speed sound’ and a short phrase to say e.g. may I play.
Every speed sound has a list of green words linked to it, so your child can ‘sound out’ and ‘sound blend’ words containing the new speed sound they have just learnt, for example s-p-r-ay = spray.
Set 3 Speed Sounds
When learning their Set 3 speed sounds they will be taught that there are more ways in which the same sounds are written, e.g. ee as in tree and ea as in tea.
Nonsense Words/Alien Words
As children develop their skills, we want them to be able to apply their knowledge of sounds and decoding skills to read any unfamiliar word, whether it is real or nonsense. During lessons, children will have opportunities to practice their decoding skills by sounding out the letters in ‘Alien word’. This shows us that children are using their decoding skills and not relying on existing knowledge of real words. This is an important part of the Phonics Screening Test which children complete at the end of Year 1.
Here are some websites that have some interactive games your child can play to practice their skills
Word Time Lessons
Once the children have learned a few initial sounds, they can begin to learn to blend the sounds together to read real words in a Word Time session. Each word time session involves oral blending of the sounds the children have learned and know. The children are then shown the words written down on the green cards. Children have opportunities to practice Fred talking the words until they become able to read them on sight. Ditty lessons following on from this, the children go from reading single words to wholes sentences.
Story Book Lessons
Once children are reading whole sentences, the next stage for them in the Read Write Inc scheme is to read the storybooks. These storybooks are closely matched to their developing phonic knowledge. All storybooks consist of green words, linked to the sounds the children have been learning. Red words (words that are not decodable) and also challenge words which support the children’s developing vocabulary. The children practice these words individually and then can apply this knowledge when seeing them in the context of a story.
Spelling with Fred Fingers
Children are taught to use their fingers to help them write words. Children will say a word out loud and then break it down into its individual sounds using their fingers. So, if a word has three sounds in like dog, d-o-g or ship, sh-i-p the child will hold up three fingers. If the word has four sounds in, the child will hold up four fingers. The children then ‘pinch’ each finger as they say the sounds they need in the word. This supports them when writing words as they write a letter that represents each sound.
Children are taught how to form the letters using a handwriting phrase to help them.
Children are regularly assessed and changed accordingly into groups to support their learning and development. If children are not progressing at the expected level, they are targeted through the RWI intervention so they catch up quickly.
Phonics Screen Check
In Key Stage 1, children are assessed at the end of Year 1 using a Government Statutory Assessment Tool known as the Phonics Screening Check (This will take place during the week commencing Monday 13th June 2022). This screening check, demonstrates if your child has learnt phonics and can use their skills to decode words to an appropriate standard.
Information for families
Click on the link below, which will give you give you more information about Read Write Inc. There are a selection of videos that you can watch.
KS1 Phonics Results
In December 2020, 93% of Y2 children passed the Phonics Screening Check in our school which is above the national average.
In 2021, 87% of Y1 children passed the Phonics Screening Check in our school which is above the national average.
Information for Parents