Here at New Hartley First School we follow a systematic approach to the teaching of phonics through the Read Write Inc. Phonics programme.
RWI draws upon experience gained in more than 4000 schools over 10 years and is more than just phonics. Progressive sessions at each stage in a child's learning journey include integrated comprehension, writing, grammar, spelling and vocabulary development.
There is an emphasis on shared and partner reading which encourages children to take turns to read aloud as well as tracking words read aloud by another child. We refer to these as 'Perfect Partners'. Over the course of a term children will have been given the opportunity to work with different children within their RWI group.
Assessment of progress is simple and quickly becomes routine to the children and therefore removing any of the associated pressures of 'testing'. Tracking of progress is clear and grouping according to children's level of development is straightforward ensuring every child learns rapidly at the right level for them.
At the core of Read Write Inc. Phonics is the systematic teaching of all 44 common sounds in the English language. Children are taught to read and say the sounds and put them together, to ‘sound blend’ them, into words for reading. Alongside this children build a sight vocabulary of 'tricky' words in order to develop their reading fluency and comprehension.
Synthetic Phonics Glossary
RWI Phonics uses vocabulary which may be unfamiliar to many parents. This glossary should familiarise you with some of the terms we use in school.
Green Words - words which your child will be able to read once they have learnt the Speed Sounds as they are phonetically accurate.
Fred Talk - saying each sound in a word, just like Fred the classroom character who cannot blend words himself!
Pure Sounds - sounds without an intrusive 'uh' at the end, for example 'l' not 'luh'.
Red Words - words that do not sound like they look and cannot be 'sounded out' or 'Fred Talked', for example: 'said' or 'you'.
Sound-blend - blending the sounds in a word together, for example: c-a-n can.
Special friends - when two or more letters 'work together' to make one sound, for example 'sh' and 'ee'. These sounds may also be referred to as digraphs (two letters, one sound) or trigraphs (three letters, one sound, such as 'igh') We also have 'split-digraphs' when 'special friends' are split up in a word, but still work together to make a sound. For example a-e in made.
Speed Sounds - the letters and sounds that words are made up of. They are taught using flash cards and revised before each story.
Speed words - words to be read after the story, that your child should be able to read at speed without the support of the story or sound blending.