At Ox Close Primary School we are passionate about and dedicated to ensuring all children become confident and enthusiastic readers and writers. This in turn leads children to be equipped for becoming life-long learners ensuring that our school motto of Be The Best You Can Be carries on with them after they leave Ox Close. We believe that phonics provides the foundations of learning to make the development into fluent reading and writing easier. Communication, Language and Literacy is a key area of focus across school – a sound foundation in a child’s phonological awareness will stand all children in good stead for their future development in CLL. Through phonics sessions children learn to segment words to support their spelling ability and blend sounds to read words. The teaching of phonics is of high priority from the very beginning of each child’s primary school career.
At Ox Close we use the Department of Education approved Read Write, Inc. programme in Reception and Year 1 for the teaching of phonics; we continue the use of the relevant resources throughout the rest of the school. This programme allows our phonics teaching and learning to be progressive – children come into Reception consolidating their previous Early Years education, building upon their listening skills and are then introduced to phonemes and graphemes which marks the start of systematic phonics work.
Children have discrete, daily phonics sessions where they review previous learning, are taught new graphemes and phonemes, practise together and apply what they have learned. The Read Write, Inc programme is designed to introduce children to one way to represent the 44 sounds of the English language (the Simple Sounds). These phonemes include those made by just one letter and those that are made by two or more (digraphs and trigraphs). This enables children to make phonologically plausible attempts at words. As children progress, they are exposed to alternative representations of these 44 sounds (the Complex Sounds). It is at this stage that children begin to understand the aspect of spelling and the complexities of the English language, both spoken and written.
Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent and confident readers by the end of Key Stage 1. This enables the children to focus on developing fluency and comprehension throughout the remainder of their time in school. A child’s attainment in phonics is measured by the Phonics Screening Test at the end of Year 1 or the retake Phonics Screening in Year 2 if unsuccessful at Year 1. Children who do not have success in the screening by the end of Year 2 continue to be supported by direct phonics teaching in Key Stage 2.
How we teach Phonics at Ox Close?
At Ox Close Primary, we use the Read Write Inc. synthetic phonics programme. Its aim is to help the children learn many of the phonics (sounds) used in the English language to assist both reading and writing. It has been tried and tested over many years and takes a systematic and structured approach to teaching phonics.
How does it work?
The children to decode by learning 44 sounds and matching letters/ letter groups; by learning to blend sounds to read words and by reading specially written books that include only the sounds that the children have been learning and therefore ensuring success as the children are never given anything that they can’t read. The English language has 44 phonemes (letter sounds), but more than 150 graphemes (the way the sound is written down) and therefore a very compex code. Through Read Write Inc., children are taught a simple code first before moving on to the complex code. To see the simple speed sounds and the complex speed sound charts used in Read Write Inc, please click on the links below.
Children also talk a lot about what they have read to show that they understand. They also listen to and discuss other ideas to deepen their understanding and therefore their comprehension. By using ‘Fred sounds’ children learn to blend sounds into words for reading and segment words into sounds for spelling. Videos showing examples of how this is taught can be found at the Read Write Inc website.
Please click on the link below to see the presentation about Read Write Inc. given to parents at Ox Close.
Once children have completed the Read Write Inc. programme and can read fluently, they move on to read books from the Oxford Reading Tree scheme.
Helping Your Child With Reading
A useful website for parents to help their child with reading is Oxford Owl. Help your child’s reading with free tips and free ebooks!
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