At St Mary and St Joseph's RC Primary School we use the Read, Write Inc (RWI) programme 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 support 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.
Using RWI, the children learn to read effortlessly so they can put all their energy into comprehending what they read. It also allows them to spell effortlessly so they can put all their energy into composing what they write. The children are assessed regularly and grouped according to their ability. They will work with a RWI trained teacher or teaching assistant. In addition to the RWI, children will also be working on writing skills in their classes with their own teacher.
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).
Learn to write simple then more complex sentences.
Compose a range of texts using discussion prompts.
When using RWI the children will also work in pairs:
To answer questions.
To practise every activity.
To take turns talking and listening to each other.
To give positive praise to each other.
Help your child learn to read words by sounding-blending (Fred talk) eg. c-a-t = cat, sh-o-p = shop. Children learn to read words by blending the letter-sounds that are in the Speed Sounds set. Help your child to say the pure sounds ('m' not 'muh', 's' not 'suh' etc.) as quickly as they can, and then blend the sounds together to say the whole word. Each week your child will bring home a set of words which they will be able to blend using their speed set sounds. These words are called GREEN words. In class your child will use Fred the Frog to blend sounds. We call this 'Fred Talk' because Fred cannot say a whole word. In Read, Write Inc there are also RED words. These are the tricky words which cannot be read using sounds, words such as 'said', 'the' and 'be'. Your child will need to read these words by sight. The phrase to remember is 'You cannot Fred a Red'!
Reading Books Sent Home
Children in Reception who are learning the first 44 letter sounds and are not blending fluently will bring home sound sheets to practise. Once children can blend fluently and know the first sounds they will bring home books containing words with these sounds. This means that they will be able to say and blend the sounds together to read each word. To begin your child will also bring home picture books. These support your child in understanding story structure and support them in talking about key events and characters. These skills are vital to support comprehension. All first story books are fully decodable.