At Anthony Bek we use a teaching programme called Read Write Inc. Phonics to teach our children to read and write from Nursery to Year 1. It is then used as a Reading intervention in Year 2 upwards.
We group children by their reading progress for forty minutes a day and re-assess children every half-term so we can place them in the group where they’ll make the most progress. We provide extra daily interventions sessions for children that need extra support.
As part of the scheme children will be introduced to ‘alien words’. These are nonsense words. The children have to use their phonic knowledge to sound out the words and then blend the sounds together to read. It is important that the children say the word they hear rather than try to turn it into a real word.
When teaching the speed sounds it is very important that you do not add an intrusive ‘uh’ to the end of the consonant sound. Try to pronounce them as pure sounds ‘mmmmmm’ not ‘muh, ‘fffff’ not ‘fuh’ and ‘llllllll’ not ‘fuh’.
This can be quite difficult to begin with but by ensuring the pure sounds are pronounced, your child will find it much easier to blend the sounds to make words.
To help your child remember his or her sounds we say that some make a stretchy sound and some make a bouncy sound.
Stretchy sounds are said in one continuous sound, e.g. mmmmmmmm as in mountain
Bouncy sounds are said with a short sharp gap in between e.g d-d-d-d dinosaur
Your child is ready to sound blend once they have learnt the first set of sounds and can say these in and out of order. In school we call this Fred Talk.
Fred talk involved reading the sounds within a word for example c-a-t and then blending them together to read the word.
Green words are words that your child will be able to sound out and then blend together, using the speed sounds they have learnt.
Your child will be able to read a book more easily if they practise reading these words first.
Red words are those words which contain spelling patterns that cannot be sounded out. Some of the most frequently used words in the English language have an uncommon spelling pattern and don’t sound like they look, for example, said sounds like ‘sed’.
Red words have to be learnt by sight. These words are printed in red in the story books. Learning to read the red words is a very important part of reading and one which you can help your child with at home.
Reading at Home
Your child will be given a book once a week to read at home. This will not be a Read Write Inc book but it will match up to the level book they read in school. At our school we expect children to read five times a week and you need to make sure you write this in your child's diary for a member of staff to check. You don't always have to read the book that is send home. You can read story books, non-fiction books, newspapers, magazines and recipes. It is about you sharing a range of texts with your child to promote a love for reading!