Early reading and early language development:
As stated in the Early Reading Framework (2021), becoming a fluent reader begins at the earliest stages, before children even encounter a book, through the quality of their parents’ talk and the subsequent development of their vocabulary. We therefore prioritise high quality talk in Early Years and Key Stage 1 through a number of approaches:
Systematic synthetic phonics: Read Write Inc (RWI)
At Milton Hall Primary School and Nursery we follow the RWI phonics programme. RWI is a complete phonics programme with high quality training, assessment, intervention and resources (including decodable books). We train all new members of staff in the RWI approach and provide ongoing training, support for existing teachers and support staff through practice sessions and coaching. We carry out intervention to support pupils to ‘keep up’ with the programme. Children’s early independent reading is exclusively reading fully decodable books, ensuring that children are only asked to read books with sounds that they know.
Read Write Inc., developed by Ruth Miskin, provides a structured and systematic approach to teaching literacy.
Each Read Write Inc. programme meets the higher expectations of the new curriculum and uses effective assessment to accelerate every child's progress.
Read Write Inc - Our Phonics Scheme
The Government strongly recommend the use of synthetic phonics when teaching early literacy skills to children. Synthetic phonics is simply the ability to convert a letter or letter group into sounds that are then blended together into a word.
Here at Milton Hall Primary School, we are using 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 aid 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.
The children are assessed regularly and grouped according to their ability. They will work with a RWI trained teacher or Learning Support Assistant.
When using RWI to read the children will:
When using RWI to write the children will:
When using RWI the children will also work in pairs:
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.
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, and a library book for you to read with them.
Once children can blend fluently they will bring home fully decodable books, ensuring that children are only asked to read books with sounds that they know.
Finally, don't worry if your child is struggling at first with their sounds and words, they will get there in their own time. If you have time (we know it is very precious!), we would urge you to try and read stories to your child before they go to bed. This will help develop a wider vocabulary which makes a vast difference to their quality of writing but it will also encourage them to enjoy a good story.
The Ruth Miskin Training Youtube channel has lots of helpful videos for parents to watch to help them to understand the programme and how it works. Here are a few of them: