Phonics is a system of teaching children to read and write by helping them to hear, identify and use different sounds that distinguish one word from another in the English Language. Having a sound understanding of phonics will also help children to know which letters to use when they are writing words. Phonics involves matching the sounds of spoken English with individual letters or groups of letters. It is a method of teaching reading and writing through the identification of different sounds and graphemes.
Launchpad for Literacy is an approach to literacy readiness for all children within the Early Years. It builds skills to work towards group listening, participation and learning. Launchpad targets specific language and vocabulary skills involved in a ‘Love of Reading’ and paves the way for reading comprehension, inference and knowledge building through the development of pre-phonological awareness. Due to this, Launchpad is used as a pre-phonics programme in FS1 and an intervention programme to identify and close gaps in FS2.
Read Write Inc
In EYFS and KS1, phonics, reading and writing are taught using the Read Write Inc programme, developed by Ruth Miskin. Read Write Inc provides a structured and systematic approach to teaching English in line with the expectations set out in the National Curriculum. It teaches the children to read accurately, fluently and with good comprehension. They learn to form each letter, spell correctly and when writing, compose their ideas step-by-step.
How Do Read Write Inc Sessions Work?
Children in EYFS and KS1 receive daily lessons for up to an hour. The children are assessed each half-term and are placed in a group of varying size according to their stage not their age. The aim is that by the end of Autumn most Y2 children will have completed the programme.
The teaching of phonics begins in EYFS. Children learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down. This is essential for reading however it is also an essential tool for spelling. Children are taught a number of simple ways to remember the phonemes and graphemes that they encounter.
The children also practise reading and spelling ‘tricky words’ such as ‘once,’ ‘have,’ ‘said’ and ‘where.’ Children can practise their reading with books that match the phonics and ‘tricky words’ they know. They start thinking that they can read and this does wonders for their confidence, allowing them to experience success from the very beginning.
Children are given the opportunity to write everyday, orally rehearsing what they want to say before spelling the words using the graphemes and ‘tricky words’ they have learned. Through daily handwriting sessions, children learn the correct formation and joining of letters.
Children’s written composition is developed by drawing on their own experiences and through discussion of the stories they have read.
Sometimes it is necessary for older children to consolidate their knowledge of phonics into KS2. Where this is the case, children in Years 3 and 4 can continue to access the RWI programme during English lessons, usually with the support of a teaching assistant. Children in Years 5 and 6 are can strengthen their knowledge through the Fresh Start programme using age appropriate texts and resources to catch the interest of older children.