Phonics at Bedford
At Bedford we aim for all our children to become fluent, confident readers who are passionate about reading. Children who read regularly or are read to regularly have the opportunity to open the doors to so many different worlds! More importantly, reading will give your child the tools to become independent life-long learners.
Phonics is a way of teaching children how to read and write. It helps children hear, identify and use different sounds that distinguish one word from another in the English language. Written language can be compared to a code, so knowing the sounds of individual letters and how those letters sound when they’re combined will help children decode words as they read. Understanding phonics will also help children know which letters to use when they are writing words. The Government strongly recommends the use of synthetic phonics when teaching early literacy skills to children. Synthetic phonics is simply the ability to convert a letter or letter group into sounds that are then blended together into a word.
In order to achieve very high standards in reading, each child in the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 participate in a daily discrete phonic session following the Read Write Inc Phonics scheme. This is a structured programme, designed to ensure all children learn to read accurately and fluently.
RWI was developed by Ruth Miskin and more information on this can be found at https://www.ruthmiskin.com/en/parents-copy-2/
We are committed to working closely with our consultant, from Ruth Miskin's team, to ensure staff development and our fidelity when delivering the programme remain a priority.
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-fiction 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
At school we use a puppet called Fred who can only speak in sounds, not whole words. We call this Fred Talk. For example, Fred would say d-o-g, we would say dog. Your child is taught to hear sounds and blend them together in sequence to make a word.
Fred Fingers are used for spelling. Your child is taught to sound out the word they are spelling and put up the correct number of fingers for the sounds they can hear in that word. For example: m-ee-t = 3 sounds = 3 fingers. When your child starts to write words, they will be taught to use their 'Fred Fingers':
- Say the word.
- Hold up correct number of Fred Fingers.
- Palm facing you.
- Say the word again.
- Pinch the sounds. (Gently pinch each finger as you say the sound)
- Write the sounds.
- Add sound buttons/dashes.
Sound Buttons and Dashes
Sound buttons are circles or spots that can be written underneath a sound to support reading. Your child will be taught to say the sound aloud as they touch the sound button. If reading a diagraph (two letters making one sound) or trigraph (three letters making one sound), your child will know that this sound is represented by a dash underneath the letters which make the sound. See above in the word play, 'ay' is a diagraph, so has the dash underneath
Fred in your head
Your child's teacher will hold up a green word (close to their chest), giving your child time to mime the sounds, and will then push the word forward as a signal for your child to say the whole word (as opposed to blending individual sounds). This will be repeated over a period of time, until your child can say the word straight away. Your child will start off initially mouthing the sounds silently and then saying the whole word to saying the whole word straight away.
Sounds children will learn
Set 1 sounds
Set 2 sounds
Set 3 sounds
Watch this video to help you with pronouncing the sounds correctly https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkXcabDUg7Q