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St Edburg's CE Primary School

Sapere aude - Dare to be wise

Reading and Phonics

Reading and phonics at St Edburgs School

Children who read regularly or are read to regularly have the opportunity to open the doors to so many different worlds! More importantly, reading will give your child the tools to become independent life –long learners.

We can achieve this together through:

  • Read Write Inc. a program to help your child read at school
  • Encouraging children to develop a love of books by reading to them daily, at home and at school
  • Giving children access to a wide range of books at home and at school

Research shows that when phonics is taught in a structured way, starting with the easiest sounds and progressing through to the most complex, it is the most effective way of teaching young children to read.  At St-Edburgs School we teach reading through synthetic phonics. The term synthetic phonics refers to the direct, systematic and usually swift teaching of the phonic code; blending for reading and segmenting for spelling. The materials and resources that we use to do this are from the phonics programme Read, Write Inc.

Read Write Inc. (RWI) is a phonics programme which helps all children learn to read fluently and at speed so they can focus on developing their skills in comprehension, vocabulary and spelling. The programme is designed for children aged 4-7. However, at St Edburgs we begin the programme in Nursery and will continue teaching RWI to children beyond the age of 7 if they still need support in their reading.

The children learn 40+ sounds and the corresponding letters/letter groups using simple picture prompts and rhymes. These sounds enable children to initially blend the sounds together to read. They do this by reading lively stories featuring words they have learned to sound out. After meaningful discussion led by an adult children show that they comprehend the stories by answering questions. This is completed within daily guided reading sessions. We allow children to connect everything; children connect sounds with mnemonic pictures, words with their meaning and stories with the sounds they know. They connect their own experiences to the stories they read and learn to lift the words off the page.

We group children across Reception and Key Stage One into RWI groups. Children learn at their ‘Goldilocks spot’ (not too easy, not too hard) with others at a similar challenge level. Your child will have daily phonic sessions of 40 minutes, this includes word time and guided reading.

For information on how to support your child at home please click here

The Year 1 Phonics Screening Check

During the month of June all Year 1 children will sit a Phonics Screening check. It is a compulsory requirement that all schools carry out the check. This test consists of a list of 40 words that the child reads to their teacher. Half the words are ordinary words and the other half are made up ‘pseudo-words’, which are demarcated by a cartoon alien so that children are not confused by these unfamiliar words. At St Edburgs School all children will have been exposed to a variety of different pseudo-words during their daily programme of RWI. The inclusion of these pseudo-words is important, as it is impossible to guess how to pronounce them, ensuring children have been taught to decode words using phonics rather than learning words by sight. If the results of ‘The Check’ are known in time they will be in your child’s end of year report, if not a separate notification will be sent. If your child does not pass, during Year 2 they will continue to be supported by the RWI programme and targeted interventions. They then re-sit the check with Year 1.

 For more information about the Phonics Screening Check please click here