At Beacon View Primary Academy, we use Read Write Inc as our phonics programme developed by Ruth Miskin, it helps all children to learn to read fluently and at speed, so they can focus on developing their skills in comprehension, vocabulary and spelling.

Phonics is delivered daily from 9-9:45am.

The children are assessed and grouped according to their ability. At the end of each half term the children are re-assessed to check they have made progress and are re-grouped. This allows children to make progress through the levels at their own pace.

Prior to formal phonics being taught, in Pre-School we immerse children in activities providing opportunities to tune into sounds.

There are six aspects taught:

  1. Environmental Sounds
  2. Instrumental Sounds
  3. Body Percussion
  4. Rhythm and Rhyme
  5. Alliteration 
  6. Voice Sounds 

All the aspects are taught through group times and total immersion in a language rich environment. We aim to do this by providing lots of rhymes, singing time, rhyming stories, clapping rhythms and musical instruments are taught through play at every opportunity.  Informal ways to explore letters are used: e.g., use sand moulds, sounds of the week, phonics awareness through modelling writing, or sounding out words. 

We also use short discrete group times to model a variety of activities with all 6 aspects taught during the week and use carefully chosen books every day to over learn rhyming words and voice sounds. We encourage children to join in, especially with the repetitive parts to build confidence and learn. 

During the Spring Term pupils in Pre-School will access more formal teaching of phonics through the delivery of the RWI Nursery programme.

In Reception, all children will receive more formal lessons taught using Read, Write, Inc and learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down.

The children:

  • learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letters/letter groups using simple picture prompts – see below
  • learn to read words using Fred talk (see below) 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

The children work in pairs so that they can:

  • answer every question
  • practise every activity with their partner
  • take turns in talking and reading to each other
  • develop ambitious vocabulary

In Year 1 and 2, children follow the same format as Reception but work on complex sounds and read books appropriate to their reading level.

The children in EYFS and Key Stage 1 are taught the sounds in 3 sets.

Set 1 Sounds are taught in the following order together with rhymes to help children form the letters correctly and instantly recognise sounds ready for blending.

It is important that at this stage, you do not use the letter names.  

Parent video: How to say the sounds

Children will also use pictures for each sound to help recognise the sound and then form the shape of the sound.

The children are then taught Set 2 Sounds - the long vowels. When they are very confident with all of set 1 and 2 they are taught Set 3 Sounds.

Simple Speed Sound

Complex Speed Sound

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. 

Fred Talk 

Teachers will introduce your child to a toy frog called Fred once he or she is ready to start reading words.

Fred can only say the sounds in a word and needs your child to help him read the word. Fred will say the sounds and children will work out the word.

For example, Fred will say the sounds c–a–t, and children will say the word cat. This is Fred Talk: sounding out the word.

The following video is an example of blending sounds with Fred.

Alongside learning the sounds, children will first be introduced to ‘Ditty books’ when they successfully begin to read single words. The short vowels should be kept short and sharp:

Children use sound-blending (Fred Talk) to read short ditties.  Children will then be challenged to use their developing phonic knowledge to write short sentences.

Within all the books children will have red and green words to learn to help them to become speedy readers. Red words are words that are not easily decodable and challenge words to extend children’s vocabulary. Green words are linked to the sounds they have been learning and are easily decodable.

Dots and dashes represent the sound each letter makes.

During the RWI session, children will read the book three times and at each new reading they will have plenty of opportunities to practise using their developing comprehension skills. The children will bring home RWi Book Bag Books which match their phonics level

You may have heard your child talking about ‘hold, edit or build a sentence’.

Hold a sentence is an activity that encourages children to remember a whole sentence while focusing on spelling and punctuation.

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.

In Year 2, the children will continue to be taught phonics to increase fluency and accuracy when reading,

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