At Beech Hill, we value reading as a key life skill and are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers. We believe that reading is key for academic success and progress in a number of curriculum areas therefore we provide our pupils with the skills and confidence to deal with printed language from a very early age. We provide children with a structured scheme – Read, Write, Inc., that will lead to children becoming fluent readers so that at the end of their primary education with us, they are able to read a wide variety of texts easily.
As we hold reading for pleasure at the heart of reading, we ensure children develop a real love and thirst for reading a range of genres by providing them with a Read, Write, Inc. story book which they are reading in class, a Read, Write, Inc. story book bag book and a reading for pleasure book. The two Read, Write, Inc. books sent home match the individual child’s phonic ability in order for them to practice at home what they have learnt in school, building on their confidence and fluency as readers.
We, as a school, are determined to provide the best phonics teaching to our children and therefore ensure all staff members teaching Read, Write, Inc. sessions are regularly up-to-date with the correct training. All of our staff members have access to all of the training videos to recap different areas of the sessions they deliver. We also ensure our parents and carers are kept up-to-date too by sharing Read, Write, Inc. resources, information and ‘how-to’ videos in order to support their children at home.
Read, Write, Inc. Phonics
The use of synthetic phonics when teaching early literacy skills to children is highly recommended. Synthetic phonics is simply the ability to convert a letter or letter group into sounds that are then blended together into a word. Here at Beech Hill School, we use the Read, Write, Inc. (RWI) scheme to get children off to a flying start with their English. RWI is a method of learning based upon letter sounds and phonics, and we use it to aid children in their reading and writing.
Reading opens the door to learning. A child who reads a lot will become a good reader. A good reader will be able to read more challenging material. A child who can read more challenging material is a child who will learn. The more a child learns, the more he or she will want to find out.
When using RWI to read the children will:
- Learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple prompts
- Learn to read words using sound blending (Fred talk)
- Read lively stories featuring words they have learnt to sound out
- Show that they comprehend the stories by answering ‘Find It’ and ‘Prove It’
When using RWI to write the children will:
- Learn to write the letter/letter groups which represent the 44 sounds
- Learn to write words by saying the sounds and graphemes (Fred fingers)
When using RWI the children will also work in pairs:
- To answer questions
- To take turns talking and listening to each other
- To give positive praise to each other
You can find more information about our phonics scheme at:
Watch our parent tutorials to learn all about how to support your child as they learn with Read Write Inc. Phonics, with detailed ideas and advice on pronouncing pure sounds, blending, and digraphs.
Reading Books Sent Home – KS1 and Foundation Stage.
At Beech Hill, we have invested in the bookbag books which relate to the Read, Write, Inc. scheme we teach. This means the book your child brings home will always contain sounds and words they have already been taught in school so at home they can practise these confidently. Children will also bring home a Read, Write, Inc. story book which they are reading in class. This will help them to consolidate and retain their phonics learning, making them masters of reading! If your child is ready to take part in Accelerated Reader then this will run alongside their phonics learning. Even the best of readers will continue to be introduced to a variety of phonics sounds so we feel it is important for this to be practised and retained for future learning.
Children in Foundation Stage who are learning the first 44 letter sounds and are not blending fluently will bring home sound sheets, picture books and a library book for you to read with them. Once children can blend fluently and know the first 44 sounds they will bring home Ditty sheets or a red Ditty book, an Oxford Reading Tree Songbirds book, Jelly Bean Book or a Floppy’s Phonics Book.
Key Text Libraries and Repeated Text Libraries
Staff have collectively put together a selection of core books for each year group, with the aim to create a living library inside a child’s mind and to promote a love of reading. Children are exposed to a range of texts and this is built on as they progress through year groups so they become familiar with a wide range of texts. The texts are shared through story time as well as in English lessons and lessons across the wider curriculum. Throughout school, story time is also implemented into the daily timetable. Teachers and support staff read to the children and model the use of intonation and expression; this helps to extend children’s vocabulary and comprehension, as well as support their writing.
Repeated Text Libraries in Nursery – Year 2
The books will be read again and again. They have been picked to ensure a coverage of a variety of genres, including fairy tales and poetry. The other texts have been specifically chosen because they have rich vocabulary, are written by a famous author, teach diversity or are recommended books from the Pie Corbett Reading Spine.
Sample – the full range can be found on each class’ Seesaw.
Borrow a Bedtime Story Scheme
Children in KS1 and EYFS use the ‘Borrow a Bedtime Story Scheme’ to help promote reading for pleasure. Children pick a library book of their choice to share with families once a week or fortnightly. These are engaging picture stories and traditional tales, beyond their reading ability and is in addition to their reading books. This allows children to read and share texts that they would not normally get the opportunity to read under the Accelerated Reader level or RWI book level. The scheme not only promotes sharing books with families but it also allows all children to develop a love for books. Parents are given information leaflets to help support reading for enjoyment at home.
Year 1 Phonics Check
At the end of Year 1 (June), children sit a phonics screening check to test their phonic knowledge and understanding. This is conducted by year 1 class teachers who have received suitable training. The children who score low on the check, even if passed, will still be integrated into the RWI scheme in the following academic year. Any children who do not pass the check with resit it in June in Year 2. Any children who re-take it and do not pass will continue to receive RWI intervention and support until they are competent at reading, typically a case study will have been produced to investigate why they have not passed and additional measures of support will be put into place.
Key Information about the Year 1 Phonics Check
Parent Video: Phonics Screening Check