Read, Write, Inc is the phonics programme which is used at St Mary and St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Primary School. It is the route of teaching our children to read and write. Read, Write, Inc helps children to hear, identify and use different sounds that distinguish one word from another in the English language.
In English there are 44 speech sounds however there are insufficient letters for each sound, so groups of letters are combined to write the extra 18. To make it even more difficult, some sounds are written down in more than one way. For example, the speech sound ‘f’ is spelt f, ff and ph. The Read, Write, Inc bespoke programme gradually introduces these sounds in a regular, repetitive and interactive format, so the children become familiar with them and increase their confidence when speaking, reading and writing words containing these sounds. Read Write Inc has five underlying principles which are a focus of all our lessons; Pace, Praise, Purpose, Participation and Passion.
To create an inclusive, inspired and challenging curriculum, which develops children’s knowledge of phonics, enabling them to become successful readers who develop a life-long love of reading.
To ensure all children are given the best opportunity to achieve expected progress, or more, in reading and writing.
At St. Mary & St. Thomas Aquinas, phonics is taught across EYFS and KS1 as well as intervention sessions across KS2. We do this using a bespoke RWI programme of study. This is a scheme, developed by Ruth Miskin which provides a structured and systematic approach. It is used by more than a quarter of the UK’s primary schools and is designed to create fluent readers, confident speakers and willing writers. We teach in this way because, research shows that, when phonics is taught in a structured way – starting with the easiest sounds and progressing through to the most complex – it is the most effective way of teaching young children to read. According to the DfE (Department for Education), ‘almost all children who receive good teaching of phonics, will learn the skills they need to tackle new words’. They can then go on to read any kind of text fluently and confidently, and to read for enjoyment.
What is Read, Write Inc, Phonics?
At St Mary and St. Thomas Aquinas, we realise the importance of Phonics as it provides children with the building blocks needed to become successful readers. They are taught how to recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes, identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make – such as ‘sh’ or ‘oo’ and then blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word. Children can then use this knowledge to ‘de-code’ new words they hear or see.
In KS1 we continue to develop children’s phonics knowledge through our bespoke RWI scheme. The children learn set 2 and 3 sounds, which enable them to read and write a range of words. Children learn different representations of a sound (‘graphemes’), for example ay, a-e, ai. This enables children to become more confident with not only their reading, but also spelling and develops skills which are transferrable to all areas of the curriculum. In Year 1 there is a greater emphasis on the reading of the sounds, whereas in Year 2 this progresses by using the graphemes more in spelling.
Across EYFS and KS1, children have several phonics lessons a week which they enjoy. Each session is broken up into different parts including: revision of previous sounds taught, teaching of a new sound, reading words with the new sound and writing them.
Phonics is embedded across the curriculum and the children are encouraged to use phonics to support them in all national curriculum subjects. Phonics are displayed in EYFS and KS1 classrooms. The children are encouraged to use these to support their writing in all lessons across the curriculum.
Children in EYFS, Year 1 and 2 are regularly assessed using the RWI assessments test. The test identifies the children’s progress so far as well as their targets. In addition to this, children in Year 1 are also assessed using a phonics screening check, this takes place in June. The check is designed to confirm whether individual children have learned sufficient phonic decoding and blending skills to an appropriate standard. The test consists of 40 words – it is a combination of 20 real words and 20 pseudo words (nonsense words) for the child to read 1:1 with their teacher. This is carried out by a member of staff who has undertaken the phonics testing training and who the children are familiar with. Children who do not pass this in Year 1 will be re-assessed in Year 2, in the same manner. The results of this are reported to parents in the summer.
The result of phonics teaching at St. Mary & St. Thomas Aquinas will be that children will have a secure knowledge of phonics, enabling them to become confident readers, making expected progress or more, with a life-long love of reading.
Children will be able to apply their phonic knowledge to confidently spell many words either correctly or phonetically using the sounds they have learnt. They will know spelling alternatives for different sounds and be able to apply these consistently.
The Read Write Inc Website has some great tutorial videos to help you understand how Read Write Inc works and how you can support your child at home: