W O R K I N G T O G E T H E R T O D E V E L O P E A R L Y
R E A D I N G S K I L L S A T L A D B R O O K E J M I S C H O O L
S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 5
READING AND PHONICS
WHAT IS MY AIM FOR THIS MEETING?
• To explain how we begin to teach reading and how
we encourage children to want to read.
• To explain briefly what phonic teaching is about.
• To give some ideas for you to use to support your
child’s phonic development and reading at
home…or at school.
• To give you the opportunity to ask questions.
FIRST STEPS IN READING
• We read to the children using good quality
children’s books with great illustrations, rich
language and lots of features such as repetition
• We begin to teach the phonic skills that the children
will need to begin to read words independently.
OUR LITERACY FRAMEWORK
• Literacy teaching is not JUST about teaching phonic skills …but
phonic teaching and learning has a high profile in the
Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 (That is Nursery through to
• The phonic element of literacy begins in the nursery, but most of
it will be covered in Foundation 2 and Year 1. By Year 2 and
beyond we are practising skills that have been taught previously.
• We use a very successful synthetic phonics teaching programme
called Read, Write, Inc. This is an effective programme for
teaching early reading, spelling and writing skills. It is used in
many schools across the country.
WHAT IS SYNTHETIC PHONICS?
A system that teaches the correspondence between
written letters (graphemes) and the sounds they
E.g the phonemes associated with the 26 letters of
the alphabet + sh, th, ch, ng and also the phonemes
associated with various vowel digraphs…ay, a-e, ai,
ee, ea etc. There are at least 43 in total!
The children learn to blend the phonemes to read a
…and segment words into parts to spell the word.
x y z
WHAT HAPPENS IN F1 (NURSERY)
• Children work on developing auditory
discrimination, that is, listening to sounds they hear
around them. They will be learning to distinguish
between different sounds.
• They will also focus on the sounds in words that
have been broken down into individual sounds…so
they may be asked to put a finger on their l…i…p…s
or to h…o…p around the room.
• Some children may begin to learn to recognise
letters and blend them to read words.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
• Teach your child nursery rhymes and say them
• Read and tell stories.
• Use the library…buy them books….swap books
• Play with words, breaking them into individual
sounds and encourage your child to say the whole
WHAT HAPPENS IN F2 (RECEPTION)?
• The children learn the 26 letters of the alphabet.
• They learn sh, ch, th, ng and then move on to long vowel
sounds such as ay, ee, igh, oa, oo.
• Beyond that they work on sounds such as er, or, ar and
even ear, air and ure.
All the time they practise reading and writing words
containing these graphemes.
They will learn to blend letters to read and segment to spell
Some words will be green…ie words that can be decoded
..others will be red…that is irregular words (common
WHERE CAN YOU FIND OUT WHAT
• There is a website linked to the RWI programme that
There are some videos of reception classes learning
how to read letters (graphemes), blend letters to
make words and even how they begin to write letters
This was not filmed at our school but we teach in a
similar style so it will give you a flavour of what
RWI READING IN F2
• 11 Get Up
This is a copy of the sort of text that the children in F2 first
begin to read using the graphemes that they have learnt.
• Set 3, Story 9 Snow
And what they move on to as their skills progress
You may notice that some words are in red, others in
normal black. The red words are the common exception
words that cannot be decoded…teachers may use a frog
puppet called Fred who doesn’t like red words.
RWI WRITING IN F2
• Ditty 3 – I Can…
This is an early writing activity that the children will use
• Pink Storybook 4 – The Dressing Up Box
Towards the end of the year, many will be able to
complete the writing activities here.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
• As the children begin to learn to read and blend
the first 20 or so letters the won’t bring a reading
book home. They will bring library books, but they
are not expected to read these independently at
• During this period help your child to learn to say the
sounds using the sounds sheets they will bring home.
• Continue to read to your child, discuss stories and
THE NEXT STEP
• When they start to bring reading books home, read
regularly with your child – every day if possible.
• Encourage you child to ‘sound out’ some of the
new words in the book.
• Discuss the book with your child both before and
after they read.
WHAT HAPPENS IN YEAR 1?
• The children will practise sounds they already know.
• They will learn new ways to write these sounds.
E.g. Long ‘a’ can be ai, ay, a-e or even ey
‘air’ can be air, are, ear or even ere.
• They will also learn that some graphemes can have
more than one sound…e.g ow, oo and ear
(think snow/how or boot/book, or fear/bear)
These can be seen on our grapheme chart.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
• Continue to listen to your child read as often as
• Encourage them to ‘sound out’ more and more of
the new words…remind them that er for example is
er, not e…r.
• Discuss the book…use the ideas suggested in the
…AND FINALLY YEAR 2
• Most of the children will complete the final stage of their
phonic learning in Year 2.
• They will practise all the phonics they have covered
• They will learn word endings such as ture, tion, cious as
well as the rules for adding ed to verbs in the past tense
and ing in the present.
• They will use their phonic skills to read and spell longer,
more complex words.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
• Again…hear them read as often as possible.
• Encourage them to use their phonic skills to tackle
new words…but help out if you spot an irregular
• Discuss their books with them. Ask them to retell the
story, identify the main characters, the settings and
the main events.
WHAT ABOUT IRREGULAR WORDS?
• When we have finished teaching all the
phoneme/grapheme correspondence that I just
mentioned there are fewer than you think.
• Those that remain…you just have to
learn…particularly if they are high frequency words
such as the, they, are, were, their…
• We teach these gradually throughout F2, Y1 and Y2.
We call them red words.
• Synthetic phonics is a key part in the teaching of
early reading skills in F2, Y1 and Y2 (but it’s not the
• Children will be taught to read and write consonant
and vowel graphemes from F2 onwards.
• Children will be taught to blend phonemes to read
whole words from the very earliest stages.
• Children will also learn to segment words into the
constituent phonemes from the earliest stages. This
will help them to spell words independently.
• Phonics, reading and writing will be taught for up to
an hour a day from F2 up to Year 2…but F2 will start
with just 15 minutes and build up to an hour.
• Parents support is vital. The more children read and
practise at home the quicker they master the task
of reading and are freed to become independent
readers and learners.
• Praise is really important. Children need to believe
that they are good readers in order to become
WHAT ELSE DO WE DO TO TEACH
Reading is much more than just ‘sounding out’ words
so we do other reading activities throughout the day.
• We read to the children using fiction and non-fiction
texts. This continues even when children can read
• The children read books or passages from books
each day during our guided reading sessions.
• The children browse through books and read
independently from time to time each week.
• At least once a week your Y1 or Y2 child will work
with a teacher for guided reading in group.
• In this lesson they will read texts that should
challenge them to develop their reading skills.
• As soon as they have mastered the basic skills of
word recognition they will focus on finding specific
details, interpreting the text, commenting on the
structure of the text and identifying and discussing a
writer’s choice of language.
Your child will also practise reading in many other
• Independent reading on their own or with a
• Reading to the class teacher or teaching assistant.
• Reading to one of our parent helpers.
• Reading books, ict resources and various other
types of texts in other lessons.
HOME READING BOOKS
• From the time your child has developed the basic
phonic skills to tackle a proportion of words in a
book they will bring home reading books.
• Please make brief notes about how they got on in
their home reading diary.
• Remember that it is often helpful for a child to read
the same book more than once…this can help
them to learn any new vocabulary and it is also
helps them to begin to develop the skills of reading
with fluency and expression.
HOME READING BOOKS (CONTINUED)
• We send reading books home so that children can
practise the skills they have been learning at
school…and increase their confidence.
• We don’t use one single reading scheme but our books
are colour banded to help the children to select the
books that match their reading level.
• Please don’t feel the need to rush your child through the
colour bands. They build confidence through reading
successfully and the shorter simpler books also give them
good models for their own story writing.
OUR INFORMATION LEAFLET
• We have produced a simple information leaflet that
will give you some more guidance about ways you
can help your child at home…this is on the school
The leaflet contains ideas for the sort of questions that
your could ask your child before they begin a book,
during their reading and after they have finished the
Don’t forget that many of the school reading books
also have a list of questions that you could use with
that particular book inside the front or back cover.
This is good if you want to print off some graphemes or
words for your child to practise as they move through each
of the stages.
This site has a useful guide to pronunciation of phonemes.
This site has videos demonstrating how reading is taught
the RWI way that we use in school.
It also has a parent tutorial section with useful videos.
There are many apps available to help support early reading and
If you want to use one there are reviews online to help you choose.
Some things to remember:
Look for an app that uses phonics or synthetic phonics
It is probably preferable to use an app with U.K. English rather than
American English pronunciation.
Use apps as an additional support rather than as a replacement for
reading and talking to your child about sounds, words and books.