Phonics at Shakespeare
Your child will begin the Read Write Inc Phonics programme when they start at Shakespeare Primary School in Nursery and Reception.
What is Read Write Inc?
When teaching your child to read, we never use letter names at this early stage. Many schools use different phonics schemes to teach children to read, at Shakespeare, we believe Read Write Inc Phonics is the best scheme to support your child in learning to read. Your child will be assessed and grouped according to their phonics ability, working in small groups with a teacher or teaching assistant.
When teaching your child phonics, we will use the term 'speed sounds'. These are individual sounds which your child will learn how to read quickly and effortlessly as they progress through Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. Your child will be regularly assessed to ensure they are reaching their full potential and will receive additional booster sessions if appropriate. Read Write Inc uses pure sounds, it removes the 'uh' sounds from words.
Your child will learn a new sound every day accompanied by a handwriting rhyme which helps them to remember how to form the letter shape when writing it. If your child is in Nursery, they may learn a sound a week or over several days as it is important that your child learns how to distinguish sounds. A phoneme is the smallest unit of sound in speech. This may be one letter, or a group of two or three letters which make one sound. For example, if your child was learning the phoneme (sound) ‘a’, they would also learn the rhyme ’round the apple and down the leaf’ when they start to write their letter. In set 1, your child will learn 44 phonemes.
As your child learns each sound (phoneme), they are taught how to blend the sounds together to make two and three letters words (CVC words, consonant, vowel, consonant such as the word dog). Your child will learn how to read real and nonsense words.
What is Read Write Inc.?
Do you want to know more about Read Write Inc. Phonics? Watch this film to see how our programme is so much more than a Phonics programme.
Set 1 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
Ensuring the children are saying the sounds correctly is very important, encourage them to say sounds like ‘mmm’, not letter names like ‘em’. Watch the Sound Pronunciation Guide video to help you.
Learning to blend with Set 1 Speed Sounds
Your child is learning to read words containing Set 1 Speed Sounds by sound blending. For example:
Set 2 and Set 3 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
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)
Your Questions Answered
Phonics Screening Check
In England, all pupils in Year 1 must take the Phonics Screening Check. The check is meant to show how well children can use the phonics skills they’ve learned up to the end of Year 1 and to identify students who need extra phonics help. The Department for Education defines the checks as “short, light-touch assessments” that take about four to nine minutes to complete.
The checks consist of forty words and non-words that children will be asked to read one-on-one with a teacher. Non-words (or nonsense words, or pseudo words) are a collection of letters that will follow the phonics rules children have been taught, but don’t mean anything – children will need to read these with the correct sounds to show that they understand the phonics rules behind them.
Children are checked against a national standard, and the main result will be whether or not they fall below, within or above this standard. The “pass threshold” has previously been 32, which means children had to read at least 32 words out of 40 correctly. The threshold mark is communicated to schools at the end of June, after the test has been taken, so that teachers can mark the screening check papers. If children’s score falls below the standard, they will be given extra phonics help and will have to re-take the Phonics Screening Check in Year 2.
You can help your child prepare for their phonics screening check by practising the phonics they have learned in Reception and Year 1. You could also read new books and stories with them; this will introduce them to unfamiliar words that they will have to sound out.
If you would like more information on how to help your child at home, please do not hesitate to contact the school.