“I have a passion for teaching kids to become readers, to become comfortable with a book, not daunted. Books shouldn’t be daunting, they should be funny, exciting and wonderful; and learning to be a reader gives a terrific advantage.”
Roald Dahl (British novelist, short-story writer, poet, screenwriter, and wartime fighter pilot)
Phonics Lead: Mrs Pettitt
Phonics at Heath
Here at Heath we are also passionate about teaching children to read for pleasure as well as for knowledge and information. Phonics is a skill that enables a reader to decode words that are unknown to aid reading and spelling. Our aim is to have all children secure with their phonics by the end of year 2; however, some children may require support from the scheme for longer. The principles behind the scheme will be continued throughout their reading journey.
Read Write Inc
At Heath we follow the Read Write Inc scheme to start your child’s reading journey. Read Write Inc is a synthetic phonics scheme that teaches 44 phonemes with a picture and a rhyme. A parents guide to RWI can be found here https://www.ruthmiskin.com/parents/
Through this scheme, children will learn how to blend sounds together to create words and segment words into sounds to spell. This is taught using the character Fred Frog. Fred talk encourages children to hear individual sounds within words – c – a – t and then blend to create the word – cat. From Nursey onwards, Fred Talk will be used to help children hear the individual sounds within words.
In Reception, children will have 4 phonics lessons a week of half an hour and in Years 1 and 2, they will have 5 lessons of 45 minutes. In reception, the lessons will review previous sounds with blending and reading of words for 3 lessons and a new sound will be introduced at the end of the week. They will also be taught how to form the letters correctly using simple ditties which can be found here
In years 1 and 2, they will be introduced to 3 new sounds a week and have 2 review lessons. At the end of Year 1, children will be required to take a Phonic Screener which consists of 20 real words and 20 nonsense/alien words. Any children that do not pass this will receive support in Year 2 and be given the chance to re-take at the end of Year 2.
Children will be taking home a book pitched at their phonics ability and that they have read at least 3 times in school. The philosophy behind this is to help aid fluency and comprehension while enabling the child to be confident and proud of their reading abilities. They will also have red tricky words to practise within the text and speedy green words that will need to be read on sight to increase fluency.
Children will be assessed every half term and then grouped accordingly. The assessment consists of Fred Talking some unknown words using sounds taught, Fred Talking and blending nonsense/alien words and then reading on sight some of the speedy words for that level. We use Fast Track Tutoring which offers bespoke intervention for any children who may be struggling.