Phonics at Summerbank
At Summerbank Primary Academy, we love reading. We strive to ensure that all children become successful and fluent readers by the end of Key Stage 1. We believe this is achievable through a combination of strong, high quality, discrete phonics teaching combined with a literature-rich approach that promotes a ‘love of reading’. We aim for all of the children at Summerbank to leave school at the end of Key Stage 2 with a genuine passion for reading and to have obtained all of the skills they need to tackle any book of their choosing.
Phonics is the way in which children are introduced to the alphabet and how it is used to read and write in English.
This parent video helps to explain how phonics used to break the letters and sounds we use into to help children understand how the English alphabet works.
We can work together to help our children become strong readers through:
- Using Read Write Inc as our phonics teaching programme
- 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
Read Write Inc Phonics (RWI) begins whilst children are still in our Nursery to give the best possible start with their literacy. Below you can find out more about how the Read Write Inc programme works to support your child and how you can help do this at home.
What is 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. Like all phonics schemes, it teaches children the sounds in English, the letters that represent them, and how to form the letters when writing. Read Write Inc. Phonics includes reading books written using only the letters they have learnt at each level (and a small number of separately taught tricky words). The children will quickly feel confident and successful. It also allows them to spell effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into composing what they write.
The children are assessed by the RWI lead teacher (Mrs J Johnson) and grouped according to their ability. Small group phonics lessons are taught daily by trained staff and there are consistent expectations across the range of abilities. At the end of each half term the children are assessed to check on their progress and regrouped.
At home children are able to practise these skills through taking home a familiar text as well as a ‘Book Bag Book’ to continue their reading at home. These books are specifically pitched to both consolidate learning and provide challenge in an engaging and fun way!
Speed Sounds and Read Write Inc. Stages
While your child is learning to read at school with Read Write Inc. Phonics, they will be at one of the following stages:
Learning Set One Speed Sounds
These are the Set 1 Speed Sounds written with one letter:
m a s d t i n p g o c k u b f e l h r j v y w z x
These are the sounds written with two letters (your child will call these ‘special friends’):
sh th ch qu ng nk ck
Check if your child can read these sounds. Make sure they say sounds like ‘mmm’, not letter names like ‘em’. Watch the Sound Pronounciation video to help you.
Learning to blend with Set One Speed Sounds
Your child is learning to read words containing Set 1 Speed Sounds by sound blending. For example:
If your child is learning to sound blend, help them to:
- You could watch the Sound Blending video to help you support your child with sound blending.
Learning Set 2 Speed Sounds
These are the Set 2 Speed Sounds:
ay ee igh ow (as in blow) oo (as in zoo)
oo (as in look) ar or air ir ou (as in out) oy
Check if your child can read these sounds.
If your child is learning the Set 2 Speed Sounds, help them to:
- Read the home reading books at this level which your child will bring home. We recommend children read each Book three times, as they would at school: once to read the words correctly, a second time with more fluency, and a third time in a ‘storyteller voice’ that shows their understanding.
Learning Set 3 Speed Sounds
These are Set 3 Speed Sounds:
ea (as in tea)
oi (as in spoil)
a–e (as in cake)
i–e (as in smile)
o–e (as in home)
u–e (as in huge)
aw (as in yawn)
are (as in care)
ur (as in nurse)
er (as in letter)
ow (as in brown)
ai (as in snail)
oa (as in goat)
ew (as in chew)
ire (as in fire)
ear (as in hear)
ure (as in pure)
Check if your child can read these sounds.
If your child is learning Set 3 Speed Sounds, help them to:
- Read their Book Bag books. We recommend children read each eBook three times, as they would at school: once to read the words correctly, a second time with more fluency, and a third time in a ‘storyteller voice’ that shows their understanding.
Reading Books with Set 1, 2 and 3 Speed Sounds
If your child has learnt all three sets of Speed Sounds, they need to practise them and read books with words made up of those sounds. They could:
- Read their Book Bag books at home. We recommend children read each eBook three times, as they would at school: once to read the words correctly, a second time with more fluency, and a third time in a ‘storyteller voice’ that shows their understanding.
To help your child with their learning, our 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.
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
Want to know more?
Visit the Oxford Owl Parent Pages for more videos and resources to download to use at home.