At Chestnut Street, the teaching of reading is at the very core of our curriculum. Our main aim is to ensure that every child becomes a confident, fluent reader who develops a love of reading. All children will be exposed to a variety of literature, genres and authors and develop the self-awareness to understand the kind of reader they are. The sharing of stories is central to our provision throughout the school not just in Key Stage 1 and children enjoy both reading and being read to as part of our daily provision.
What is Read Write Inc?
At Chestnut Street Primary Academy, we strongly believe that it is every pupil’s right to learn to read and we strive to ensure that every child is a confident, fluent reader by the end of Key Stage One. Reading is the vehicle through which children access many other areas of the curriculum and subsequently can open the door to many other aspects in the wider world and therefore, we place great emphasis on ensuring daily, high quality, systematic, discrete phonics teaching is delivered consistently across our academy. At our school we follow the Read Write Inc. programme to teach phonics. This rigorous and sequential approach to teaching phonics ensures that our children enter Key Stage Two as confident readers and that they are prepared for the next stage of their education.
How do we teach RWI phonics?
- learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letters/letter groups using simple picture prompts
- learn to read words using Fred talk and sound blending
- read from a range of storybooks and non-fictions books matched to their phonic knowledge
- work well with partners
- develop comprehension skills in stories by answering 'Find It' and 'Prove It' discussion questions
- learn to write and form the letters/letter groups which represent the 44 sounds with the help of fun phrases
- learn to write words by using Fred Talk
- learn to build sentences by practising sentences out loud before they write
- They work in pairs so that they:
- answer every question
- practise every activity with their partner
- take turns in talking and reading to each other
- develop ambitious vocabulary
What are pure sounds?
We use pure sounds (‘m’ not’ muh’,’s’ not ‘suh’, etc.) so that your child will be able to blend the sounds into words more easily.
At school we use a puppet called Fred who is an expert on sounding out words! we call it, ‘Fred Talk’. E.g. m-o-p, c-a-t, m-a-n, sh-o-p, b-l-a-ck.
The children are taught the sounds in 3 sets throughout their time in KS1.
What are green and red words?
Within all the books children will have red and green words to learn to help them to become speedy readers. Red words are words that are not easily decodable and challenge words to extend children’s vocabulary. Green words are linked to the sounds they have been learning and are easily decodable.
What are nonsense words?
As well as learning to read and blend real words children will have plenty of opportunities to apply their sound recognition skills on reading ‘Nonsense words’. These words will also feature heavily in the Year One Phonics Screening check in the summer term.
What are ditties and storybooks?
During the RWI session children will read short books called ditties and then longer books called storybooks. They read the book three times in class and at each new reading they will have plenty of opportunities to develop their fluency and comprehension skills.
What are book bag books?
Once the children have read a ditty or storybook in class, they will bring home a book bag book to read at home. This book is a book they will be able to read themselves by sounding out and blending to read the words. Please support your child by hearing them read and giving them lots of praise and encouragement. They need to read this book 3 times in order to develop their fluency.
What is Echo reading?
Echo reading is taught in all classes from Y2 onwards to those who have completed the RWI programme. Echo reading is a whole class reading session, during the session many aspects of reading will be covered to help continue your child’s reading journey. Class teachers will discuss new and unknown vocabulary. They will read to the children first, adding emphasis and tone to their voice where the author has intended this but also show how speech marks means a character will speak. They will also discuss why the author has made vocabulary choices and sentence structures. This is done by using VIPERS questions. Children will sometimes answer questions in their books or even a short quiz on Microsoft Forms.
What is AR reader?
Accelerated Reader (AR Reader) is an assessment tool we use within school to inform teachers how well a child is understanding what they are reading. Children enter the scheme when teachers believe they are fluent enough readers and off the phonics scheme. The children will complete a star reading quiz where the software uses intelligent mapping to gain a child’s reading level. The children are then given this level and books are available from the library for them to choose from. Children will keep the book for as long as it takes for them to read it. Once the child has read the book they are then able to take a quiz on the book. There will be anywhere between 3 – 10 questions on the book. As a school we would like the children to score 80% or more as that shows a good level of understanding. You should have received a letter when your child joined the scheme to enable emails to be sent to you when your child quizzes and the score they get. If you haven’t please contact you child’s class teacher. We will use Star reader during different points of the year to see how well your child’s reading is progressing as well as using teacher assessment from Echo Reading.
We recommend that children who are using the AR reading scheme read at home for at least 20 minutes a night, they also have dedicated time within class to read independently. Even though your child can read to themselves they still love to read aloud to another person so if they could be listened to each night either by a parent, grandparent or sibling they would love that so they too can practice tone and expression when reading.
Please see the useful documents below to support your child on their reading journey and please talk to your child's class teacher if you have any further questions about phonics and reading at Chestnut Street.
Useful information for Parents and Carers