How we teach your children to read and write
Every child deserves success right from the start. We know that the sooner children learn to read, the greater their success at school. This is why we put reading at the heart of what we do.
We use a teaching programme called Read Write Inc. Phonics to teach our children to read and write. We make sure every child can read the last set of phonic stories before they progress to our higher level programmes – Literacy and Language. Some children complete the programme in Year 1 and others in Year 2. Year 3 and 4 children who need extra support follow this programme too or are given a 1:1 programme called Reading Intervention.
We provide extra daily one-to-one sessions for children who need a bit of a boost to keep up.
How do we make phonics easy for children to learn?
Read Write Inc. Phonics depends upon children learning to read and write sounds effortlessly, so we make it simple and fun.The phonic knowledge is split into two parts.
First we teach them one way to read and write the 40+ sounds in English. We use pictures to help, for example we make ‘a’ into the shape of an apple, ‘f’ into the shape of a flower. These pictures help all children, especially slower-starters, to read the sounds easily.
Children learn to read words by sound-blending using a frog called Fred. Fred says the sounds and children help him blend the sounds to read each word.
Then we teach children the different spellings of the same sounds, for example, they learn that the sound ‘ay’ is written ay, a-e and ai; the sound ‘ee’ is written ee, e and ea. We use phrases to help them remember each sound for example, ay, may I play, a-e – make a cake?
How do we ensure children can read every book?
The first thing we do is to give children books we know they can read – without any guessing. (We read lots of other stories to them, but do not expect them to read these yet.)
Before they read the story, they sound out the names of characters and new words, practise reading any of the ‘tricky red’ words, and tell them a thought-provoking introduction to get them excited about the story.
Then, over three days, children read the story three times: first to focus on reading the words carefully; the second to help them read the story fluently; and on the third, we talk about the story together for example, how characters might be feeling and why. By the time your child reads the story to you at home, they will be able to read it confidently with expression.
How can you help at home?
We appreciate you’re busy but here are two things that will make the biggest difference to your child’s progress. Every night:
1. Read a bedtime story to your child.
Your child will bring home lovely books from their class story corner. Read these stories to your child – don’t ask them to read the story themselves as this is beyond their current reading stage. There is some really good advice about how to make bedtime storytime fun on www.ruthmiskin.com/ parents
2. Listen to your child read the storybook we send home.
Your child will bring home a Read Write Inc. Storybook they have just finished reading in their group. They will be able to read this book confidently because they have already read it two or three times. Please do not say “This book is too easy!” Praise your child for how well they read it – celebrate what a great reader they are. They’ll sometimes bring home previous stories they have read too or a non-fiction book at the stage they are reading. Re-reading stories develops their fluency on every reading. There’s more good advice on how to listen to your child read on www.ruthmiskin.com/parents