At Salmestone, we teach phonics using Read, Write Inc, a phonics and reading programme that is proven to create fluent, enthusiastic readers, confident speakers who have a love of reading and books.
RWI Phonics is:
a comprehensive, robust, curriculum-aligned literacy programme
a ‘phonics first and fast’ approach, with all aspects of literacy connecting
a program where every teacher is trained and confident to teach every child
best implemented as a whole-school, consistent, systematic approach
Phonics at Salmestone
We start by teaching phonics to children in Reception. 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 practice reading (and spelling) ‘tricky words’, such as ‘once’, ‘have’, ‘said’ and ‘where’.
The children have reading books that match the phonics 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.
How will I know how well my child is doing?
We will always let you know how well your child is doing.
We use various ways to find out how the children are getting on in reading. We use the information to decide which reading group they should be in. Your child will work with children who are at the same reading level. Children will move to a different group if they are making faster progress than the others. Your child will have one-to-one support if we think he or she needs some extra help.
As your child progresses into Year 1 and beyond, we 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 for 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. This year, the children in Year 2 will be taking the Year 1 phonics check they missed in June, in December. We will let you know how your child does in this check.
How long will it take to learn to read well?
By the end of Year 2, your child should be able to read aloud books that are at the right level for their age. In Year 2 we concentrate more on helping children to understand what they are reading, although this work begins very early on. This happens when the teacher reads to the children and also when the children read their own story book.
What can I do to help?
Your child will bring different sorts of books home from school. It helps if you know whether this is a book that your child can read on their own or whether this is a book that you should read to them.
In Reception, your child will be sent home with a picture book on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This is a book for you to read to them and enjoy together. They will also be given a reading record which needs to be returned with the book so that it can be changed. Once your child can blend sounds together to read words they will also be sent home with sound books and eventually reading books.
In Years 1 and 2, your child will be sent home with three books on a Friday which need to be returned the following Thursday, along with their reading record. These will be the story book they have been reading in their Read Write Inc sessions, a book bag book for them to read at home to you and a picture book for you to read to them and enjoy together.
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 and to develop a love of reading. They also learn new words and what they mean. Please show that you are interested in reading yourself and talk about reading as a family.
What if my child finds it difficult to learn to read?
We want children to learn to read, however long it takes us to teach them. We will find out very quickly if your child is finding reading difficult. First, we move children to a different group, so that we can make sure that they have learnt what they need to know. If they still struggle, we give them extra time with an adult, on their own. These adults are specially trained to support the children. Your child will still be in the same group with the other children and won’t miss out on any of the class lessons.