Reading feeds the imagination, it expands horizons and offers new and exciting ways of seeing and making sense of our lives and of the world around us.
Phonics in EYFS
In EYFS we teach daily sessions using a synthetic Phonics programme called Read Write Inc.
Phonics is for children in Reception who are learning to read. Each half-term, we assess and group our children based on their stage of reading not age of reading. This means all children practice reading at the right level. We therefore group children across Reception and KS1 depending on their reading stage. This therefore means that children will be grouped in mixed age groups and possibly taught by different members of staff.
Read Write Inc. Phonics daily sessions
What Read Write Inc. does is simple - teach sounds, children practice reading and spelling words containing these sounds. When the children are ready, we give them decodable books containing sounds and words.
They read each Storybook three times at school and again with you at home.
On each reading, children’s fluency increases and the more they can focus on what the story is about.
Children also learn to spell the words they have been reading and develop their ideas into sentences so that they can write about the Storybooks they read.
Alongside this we read stories to children: stories they cannot yet read for themselves.
Our aim is for children to finish the RWI Phonics programme quickly so they can start reading these books for themselves.
One-to-one tutoring-‘keep up, not catch up!’
We want to make sure every child learns to read in our school. Some children need extra practice when learning to read so we teach these children one-to-one for ten minutes every day – on top of their group lesson. We make sure they ‘keep up’ from the beginning and don’t need ‘catch up’ later on.
What is Phonics?
All words are made up of individual sounds. These sounds are merged together to form words. e.g. in ‘mat’ we have the sounds ‘m’, ‘a’, ‘t’, ship – ‘sh’, ‘i’, ‘p’.
Grapheme is another name for the letters we use to write the sound. The spelling of that sound on the page.
Phonics is the method of teaching reading through the identification of sounds and graphemes.
The new National Curriculum ensures that all children are taught Phonics systematically. This gives your children the tools to read any word.
We teach using pure sounds. We pronounce the sounds clearly, using pure sounds (‘m’ not’ muh’, ’s’ not ‘suh’, etc.) so that your child will be able to blend the sounds together to make words more easily. Please watch the below video to help you practise saying the pure sounds.
Blending the sounds = reading
Alongside teaching children sounds, we teach the children to blend sounds to read words e.g. s-a-t, sat.
We use Fred Talk to help children read. Fred can only speak in sounds. He says d-o-g, h-a-t etc. Speaking like Fred helps children to understand that words are made up of sounds. Fred helps children practice blending sounds together because he needs the children to say the words for him. Fred says d-o-g, children tell him the word is dog.
We use Fred Fingers to help children sound out words to spell easily. It means they do not have to memorise lists of spelling words. It is a tool so they will be able to spell any word.
In our school, children read each Read Write Inc. Storybook three times in class with their partner. Re-reading the same book helps children to become confident readers. Each time they re-read, they build their fluency/speed and comprehension. They love reading and want to read because they can read all of the words in the Storybook. We set a focus for each re-read in school.
- The first read focuses on reading every word accurately.
- The second on reading the story more quickly.
- The third read on comprehension - understanding what they read.
Then your child brings the same book home to read and enjoy with you again and again at home. It’s ‘three with me, four at home.’
We do not send stories home the children cannot read because we always want them to be set up to succeed in their reading. We want to make sure they enjoy reading so that they want to read. The more they read, the faster progress they will make.
Watch video tutorials on the Ruth Miskin website to help you to understand more about Phonics, Read Write Inc. and how to practice reading and writing with your child at home.
What can I do?
- Use pure sounds, not letter names
- Use Fred Talk to read and spell words
- Listen to your child read their Storybook every day
- Read stories to your child every day
Online resources available:
Ruth Miskin Parents’ Page:
Ruth Miskin Facebook:
Free e-books for home reading: