The Taddington reading Curriculum
The goal in teaching reading at Taddington is to develop children’s love of literature through reading widely for enjoyment, across both fiction and non-fiction, to develop their imagination, understanding of themselves and knowledge of the world they live in.
We aim to ensure that children can read with fluency, the correct intonation and good understanding [*reading fluency: the ability to read a text quickly, accurately and with proper expression (which leads to) freedom from word identification problems that might hinder comprehension].Through this, children will widen their vocabulary and develop an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions, which will support their spoken language and writing.
We aim to identify pupils who experience difficulties and support them in improving their reading attainment, enjoyment and academic progress in all areas of the curriculum, in addition to teaching whole class reading comprehension strategies on a daily basis throughout the school. During their time with us children will read and take part in high quality discussion about a wide range of stories, poems and non-fiction.
Staff have received training to support individual vulnerable readers in addition to Inference Training to teach whole class reading and focus groups. Teachers in our infant phase have also received phonics training. Parent / Carer Workshops provide guidance for parents in supporting their children to read at home.
Our expectation is that all pupils will leave Taddington as independent, fluent and enthusiastic readers who read widely and frequently.
Chall’s Stages of Reading Development – Jeanne S Chall, Stages of Reading Development. N.Y.:McGraw-HillBook Company, 1983
The Simple View of Reading – Independent review of teaching of early reading (the Rose Report) published March 2006
Reading and phonics within the infant phase
So, what exactly is phonics?
Words are made up from small units of sound called phonemes. Phonics teaches children to be able to listen carefully and identify the phonemes that make up each word. This helps children to learn to read words and to spell words
In phonics lessons children are taught three main things:
They are taught GPCs. This stands for grapheme phoneme correspondences. This simply means that they are taught all the phonemes in the English language and ways of writing them down. These sounds are taught in a particular order. The first sounds to be taught are s, a, t, p.
Children are taught to be able to blend. This is when children say the sounds that make up a word and are able to merge the sounds together until they can hear what the word is. This skill is vital in learning to read.
Children are also taught to segment. This is the opposite of blending. Children are able to say a word and then break it up into the phonemes that make it up. This skill is vital in being able to spell words.
What makes phonics tricky?
In some languages learning phonics is easy because each phoneme has just one grapheme to represent it. The English language is a bit more complicated than this. This is largely because England has been invaded so many times throughout its history. Each set of invaders brought new words and new sounds with them. As a result, English only has around 44 phonemes but there are around 120 graphemes or ways of writing down those 44 phonemes. Obviously we only have 26 letters in the alphabet so some graphemes are made up from more than one letter.
ch th oo ay (these are all digraphs - graphemes with two letters)
There are other graphemes that are trigraphs (made up of 3 letters) and even a few made from 4 letters.
Another slightly sticky problem is that some graphemes can represent more than one phoneme. For example ch makes very different sounds in these three words: chip, school, chef.
So why bother learning phonics?
In the past people argued that because the English language is so tricky, there was no point teaching children phonics. Now, most people agree that these tricky bits mean that it is even more important that we teach phonics and children learn it clearly and systematically. A written language is basically a kind of a code. Teaching phonics is just teaching children to crack that code. Children learn the simple bits first and then easily progress to get the hang of the trickier bits.
What is Read Write Inc?
Read Write Inc (RWI) is a phonics complete literacy 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 Taddington we will continue teaching RWI to children beyond the age of 7 if they still need support in their reading.
RWI was developed by Ruth Miskin and more information on this can be found at https://ruthmiskin.com/en/find-out-more/parents/.
How will RWI be taught?
All children are assessed regularly by our RWI lead teacher so they work with children at the same level. This allows complete participation in lessons.
learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letters/letter groups using simple picture prompts – see below
learn to read words using Fred talk 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
learn to write and form the letters/letter groups which represent the 44 sounds with the help of fun phrases
learn to write words by using Fred Talk
learn to build sentences by practising sentences out loud before they write
They work in pairs so that they:
answer every question
practise every activity with their partner
take turns in talking and reading to each other
develop ambitious vocabulary
Year One & Year Two
Children follow the same format as Reception but will work on complex sounds and read books appropriate to their reading level. Daily sessions of RWI phonics last for half an hour. Once children become fluent speedy readers they will move on to literacy in Year One and Active English in Year Two.
Five key principles underpin the teaching in all Read Write Inc. sessions:
Purpose – know the purpose of every activity and share it with the children, so they know the one thing they should be thinking about
Participation – ensure every child participates throughout the lesson. Partnership work is fundamental to learning
Praise – ensure children are praised for effort and learning, not ability
Pace – teach at an effective pace and devote every moment to teaching and learning
Passion – be passionate about teaching so children can be engaged emotionally.
Children will be taught how to read as follows:
Before you start to teach your child, practise saying the sounds below.These are the sounds we use to speak in English.
We use pure sounds (‘m’ not’ muh’,’s’ not ‘suh’, etc.) so that your child will be able to blend the sounds into words more easily.
At school we use a puppet called Fred who is an expert on sounding out words! we call it, ‘Fred Talk’. E.g. m-o-p, c-a-t, m-a-n, sh-o-p, b-l-a-ck.
The following video is an example of blending sounds with Fred. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEzfpod5w_Q
The children 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.
Click here to hear how to pronounce sounds correctly.
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.
Long vowel sound
Set 2 Speed Sound cards
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. Click here for further information on the Screening check.
Children will 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. They will bring these home once they have read and discussed the book in class. 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.
Once your child has been introduced and taught these words in school we will send them home for you to continue practising with your child.
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. 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.
Build a sentence is to give children the opportunity to create their own sentence to that shows the meaning of a word and edit a sentence allows the children to critique a sentence using their knowledge of spelling punctuation and grammar. Children complete a longer piece of independent writing, which gives them the opportunity to show off their creativity and to practice their spelling, grammar and punctuation.
A spelling quiz will be held each week (This will only start in Reception when children are ready to write and form their letters). Children will use first use ‘Fred fingers’ to first sound out a word before they write it down. Children learn how to spell rather than just get tested. Furthermore, this way of teaching spellings allows children to use Fred fingers whenever they get stuck with spelling a word. Children pinch each sound on fingers before writing the word.
Order of Story books: Children will hopefully follow the order listed below. The expectation is that all children will leave Year One as confident speedy readers, ready to take on the challenges of Year Two. However, some children may need extra support and your teacher will talk to you about this.
Year Group Expectations
Green Words in Books
Red Ditty 1-10
To help at home:
Your child will start to bring books home when they are confident readers. Please help them to read and give lots of praise!
If you have any other questions about RWI, please see your class teacher or see Mrs Chapman.
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.
Further information can be found here.
Useful websites for Parents
Please find a list of websites that you may find useful in helping you and your child learn about phonics. Games and fun activity websites are also included.
http://jollylearning.co.uk/ - Games and information for parents
http://www.phonicsplay.co.uk/ - many games to play
http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks1/literacy/phonics/play/ - fun games for the children to play
http://www.ictgames.com/literacy.html - fun games for the children to play
http://www.kenttrustweb.org.uk/kentict/kentict_home.cfm - fun games for the children to play and information for parents
http://www.ngfl-cymru.org.uk/ - fun games for the children to play
http://www.starfall.com/ - fun games for the children to play
http://www.firstschoolyears.com/ - fun games for the children to play
Sparklebox - lots of resources to print off and help you support your child at home
BBC Bitesize - many games to play covering all areas of the curriculum