Phonics Information

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We all know that reading opens the door to all learning. A child who reads a lot will become a good reader.
A good reader will be able to read challenging material. A child who reads challenging material is a child who will learn. The more a child learns the more a child wants to find out. It is, therefore, vital that your child finds learning to read and write a rewarding and successful experience. The following pages outline the way our literacy programme works. We hope that you will not hesitate to ask for any help throughout the programme. We are here for your child!

Who is Read Write Inc. for?

The Read Write Inc. programme is for primary school children learning to read.
It enables every child to become a confident and fluent reader at the first attempt. Every child who completes Read Write Inc. learns to read fluently and confidently.

We also have another programme, Read Write Inc. Fresh Start, for upper primary and secondary school children learning to read. This uses exactly the same method but uses age appropriate texts.
Using our method:
• Children in the early years learn to read confidently and fluently.
• Older children with reading difficulties make fast progress.
• Children with specific learning difficulties learn to read. The Read Write Inc. programme is also used with great success to support children of all ages who have been designated as dyslexic.

The reading teacher is guided from the very beginning to help the children become confident and fluent readers (the first time they learn).
Why does it work?
• The systematic and lively programme is organised by an in-school manager
• All staff (teachers and assistants) are trained together by one of our trainers
who has taught and managed the programme (no cascade training is used)
• The children read and write for an hour each day, grouped according to their reading level. (Two, 20 minute sessions for Reception children.)
• Children do not struggle because the work is too difficult or get bored because
the work is too easy.
• A few children who need extra support to maintain progress work with a reading tutor (teaching assistant) for 10 minutes in the afternoons to ensure that they do not fall behind their peers.

How and what do the children learn?

READING – The children:
• learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letters/letter groups using simple picture prompts
• learn to read words using sound blending
• read lively stories featuring words they have learned to sound out
• show that they comprehend the stories by answering ‘Find It’ and ‘Prove It’ discussion questions

WRITING – The children:
• learn to write the letters/letter groups which represent the 44 sounds
• learn to write words by saying the sounds and graphemes
• write simple sentences
• compose stories based on picture strips
• compose a range of texts using discussion prompts

TALKING – Children are assessed so they work with children at the same level. This allows them to
take a full part in all lessons. They work in pairs so that they:
• answer every question
• practise every activity with their partner
• take turns in talking to each other

How can I help my child learn to read?

Read as many stories to your child as you can. Talk about the stories.
Explain the meaning of new words. Most importantly though, show the fun that can be gained by listening to stories.
What you read to your child today, he will be able to read for himself very soon.

Step 1: Help your child to learn Speed Sounds Set 1
Detailed guidance is given in the Read Write Inc. Parent Handbook: Help your child to read with phonics.
Before you start to teach your child, practise saying the sounds below. These are the
sounds we use to speak in English.

We use pure sounds (‘m’ not’ muh’, ’s’ not ‘suh’, etc.) so that your child will be able to blend the sounds into words more easily. At school we use a puppet called Fred who can do this beautifully! When we say words in sounds we call it ‘Fred Talk’, e.g. d-o-g, c-a-t, m-a-n,
sh-o-p, c-l-a-p.
If your child’s class teacher has been trained in the programme she can show you how to pronounce these sounds.
Please do not use letter names at this early stage.
These first sounds should all be stretched slightly. Try to avoid saying uh after each one:

e.g. /mm/ not muh, /ss/ not suh, /ff/ not fuh.
m – mmmmmmountain (keep lips pressed together hard)
s – sssssnake (keep teeth together and hiss – unvoiced)
n – nnnnnnet (keep tongue behind teeth)
f – ffffflower (keep teeth on bottom lip and force air out sharply – unvoiced)
l – llllleg (keep pointed curled tongue behind teeth).
r – rrrrrrobot (say rrr as if you are growling)
v – vvvvvvulture (keep teeth on bottom lip and force air out gently)
z – zzzzzzig zzzzzag (keep teeth together and make a buzzing sound)
th – thhhhank you ( stick out tongue and breathe out sharply)
sh – shhhh (make a shhh noise as though you are telling somebody to be quiet!) ng – thinnnnngg on a strinnnngg (curl your tongue at the back of your throat) nk – I think I stink (make a piggy oink noise without the oi! nk nk nk)
These next sounds cannot be stretched. Make the sound as short as possible avoiding
uh at the end of the sound:
t – (tick tongue behind the teeth – unvoiced)
p – (make distinctive p with lips – unvoiced)
k – (make sharp click at back of throat)
c – as above
h – (say h as you breathe sharply out – unvoiced)
ch – (make a short sneezing sound)
x – (say a sharp c and add s – unvoiced)
You will find it harder to avoid saying uh at the end of these sounds. d – (tap tongue behind the teeth).
g – (make soft sound in throat).
b –(make a short, strong b with lips).
j – (push lips forward).
y – (keep edges of tongue against teeth). w – (keep lips tightly pursed).
qu – (keep lips pursed as you say cw – unvoiced). The short vowels should be kept short and sharp:
a: a-a-a (open mouth wide as if to take a bite of an apple).
e: e-e-e (release mouth slightly from a position).
i: i-i-i (make a sharp sound at the back of the throat – smile). o: o–o-o (push out lips, make the mouth into o shape).
u: u-u-u (make a sound in the throat).
The long vowel sounds are all stretchy sounds ay: ay may I play
ee: ee what do you see?
igh: fly high
ow: blow the snow oo: poo at the zoo oo: look at a book ar: start the car or: shut the door air: that’s not fair
ir: whirl and twirl ou: shout it out oy: toy for a boy

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