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Phonics (the knowledge of sounds)

At Ivingswood Academy, we are committed to ensuring that all children develop the ability to communicate fluently and effectively. “Read Write Inc. Phonics” is a programme of learning designed to support children in their phonic development.

The programme is for pupils in Reception to Year 2 who are learning to read and write as well as any children in Years 3 and 4 to catch up rapidly.

In Read, Write Inc. Phonics pupils:

  • Decode letter-sound correspondences quickly and effortlessly, using their phonics knowledge and skills
  • Read common exception words on sight
  • Understand what they read
  • Read aloud with fluency and expression
  • Write confidently, with a strong focus on vocabulary and grammar
  • Spell quickly and easily by segmenting the sounds in words
  • Acquire good handwriting

In addition, we teach pupils to work effectively with a partner to explain and consolidate what they are learning. This provides the teacher with opportunities to assess learning and to pick up on difficulties, such as pupils' poor articulation, or problems with blending or alphabetic code knowledge.

We group pupils homogeneously, according to their progress in reading rather than their writing. This is because it is known that pupils’ progress in writing will lag behind progress in reading, especially for those whose motor skills are less well-developed.

In Reception, we emphasise the alphabetic code. The pupils rapidly learn sounds and the letter or groups of letters they need to represent them. Simple mnemonics help them to grasp this quickly (Set 1). This is especially useful for pupils at risk of making slower progress. This learning is consolidated daily. Pupils have frequent practice in reading high frequency words with irregular spellings common exception words.

We make sure that pupils read books that are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and the common exception words. This is so that, early on, they experience success and gain confidence that they are readers. Re-reading and discussing these books with the teacher supports their increasingly fluent decoding. 

The children work through the different sets of sounds, starting with single letter sounds, these are called the Set 1 Sounds. Once the children can blend and read these sounds in words they move onto Set 2 and the Set 3 sounds. See the below documents.

Alongside this, the teachers read a wide range of stories, poetry and non-fiction to pupils; they are soon able to read these texts for themselves.

Embedding the alphabetic code early on means that pupils quickly learn to write simple words and sentences. We encourage them to compose each sentence aloud until they are confident to write independently. We make sure they write every day.

Pupils write at the level of their spelling knowledge. The quality of the vocabulary they use in their writing reflects the language they have heard in the books the teacher has read to them; they have also discussed what the words mean.
Our aim is for pupils to complete the phonics programme as quickly as possible. The sooner they complete it, the sooner they will be able to choose books to read at their own interest and comprehension level.

Outcomes for children: Assessing and tracking progress

We assess all pupils following Read Write Inc. Phonics using the Entry Assessment. We use this data to assign them to either Read Write Inc. Phonics or Read Write Inc. Literacy and Language. This gives us a very good indication of how well they are making progress relative to their starting points. We do this for all pupils, whenever they join us, so we can track all of them effectively.

For those on the Read Write Inc. Phonics programme, we record their starting date and entry point on the tracker to monitor the rate at which they are making progress. We can also easily identify those who joined the programme later.

During the Summer term of Year 1, the children undertake the National Phonics Screening Check to ascertain if they have reached the nationally expected standards for children of their age. The results of these tests are communicated to parents along with each child’s annual report. Children who do not meet the national requirement will be retested in Year 2. Children who require further support in Phonics higher up the school will receive it through tailored interventions.

Website Links

This website link provides further information for parents/carers about the Read Write Inc. Phonics programme, including guides and videos.

This link allows parents/carers access 27 Read Write Inc. Phonics eBook titles for extra practice with their children at home, plus three Fresh Start Anthologies. 62 Speed Sound Practice Sheets are also available to download. You will need to create a free account on Oxford Owl for Home to access the eBooks