Read Write Inc / Phonics / How to Support Your Child at Home
Read,Write Inc school history
Since Autumn 2018, we have taught reading to children through the RWI programme. All teachers, support assistants and students are fully trained in order to develop an excellent teaching team across the school. Our dedicated reading leader, Mrs Banks, runs daily sessions to train and coach staff, ensuring that they are continuously developed in their teaching expertise. Staff also stay for an after-school RWI practice session once per week. For families with children that need to catch up with phonics, Mrs Banks is always available to advise and coach their prarents or carers too.
What is RWI?
It is a programme that is widely used throughout the country; about one in four primary schools use it. It has the aim of building skill and confidence in reading, starting with single letter sounds and progressing through to words, whole sentences and complete texts. It has proved to be an effective reading programme for all children, even if the English language is not the first language spoken at home.
There are clear expectations of attainment for each year group by the end of each half-term through the year. We aim for children to reach the end of the programme, as fluent readers, by the end of Key Stage 1 (seven years old). Children continue on the programme, however, until their sound knowledge is complete and they demonstrate the pace and accuracy of reading demanded as fluent readers. Starting in the Nursery, children are assessed by Mrs Banks to establish the correct reading band and group. Assessments then take place at least every six weeks, or more frequently for accelerated learners or those children requiring additional support.
The daily RWI group lesson mostly lasts over an hour and includes reading, spelling, handwriting, grammar and comprehension. In Years One, Two, Three and Four, there is an additional afternoon lesson to consolidate sound recognition and speed of reading.
For the bottom 20% of readers within each year group, catch-up is provided through one-to-one tutoring and a bespoke reading programme is drawn up and managed by Mrs Banks. These children are closely monitored in their progress, with the scheduling of fortnightly assessments. Families of these children are strongly encouraged to come into school to discuss their child's progress with Mrs Banks and seek advice about how to help at home.
How can families be involved in school reading events?
Since October 2021 we have been able to return to reading events for family engagement, although high Covid infection rates may force us to suspend them from time to time. Read With Me sessions are run by most class teachers, where families are welcome to visit their child's classroom and enjoy hearing them read, reading to them, or reading together. Love of reading is the key to these sessions, so bringing a favourite book from home is a popular choice. Teachers will be happy to guide you on various aspects of reading at home. We are planning to invite families into school to watch parts of RWI lessons during the spring term 2022.
Here is the current schedule for Read With Me sessions, from 8.50 until 9.00 a.m :-
Monday - Year 1 (in classrooms) and Year 2 (in the hall)
Tuesday - Year 3 and Year 4
Wednesday - 2 year olds and Nursery (AM and PM sessions)
Friday - Reception classes
How can families support RWI home learning?
Family engagement in children reading at home is valued highly in our school. Reading at home is fun and gives children such a boost to their confidence and interest in learning to read. Reading support at home makes for quicker progress and quality time between child and parent.
RWI teachers send links on Class Dojo for the practising of sounds and reading of E-books every week. Teachers can remind you of your child's unique user name and password to log in to the oxford owl website. Reading activities and e-books are free on this website, since the school has paid for a subscription for our school community.
Book bag books are also provided at the end of each week. These books are carefully selected to link to the sounds and words taught in each child's RWI lessons throughout that week in school. In October 2021 we invested in many new exciting non-fiction book bag book titles to add to the story ones already available for home-reading.
We value open communication with our families and invite home reading comments from families in the reading record given to each child. Children love to be praised by their families, but worries or queries are welcome too.
Advice on any aspect of home-reading can be sought from Mrs Banks, who is available on each key stage entrance gate through the week. Appointments can be made with her to support you further in reading with your child at home.
An active role in supporting your child's reading can be taken through:
- Providing a book bag to keep books safe and weather-proof. It should be brought to school each day, allowing your child to practise the same book at home and in class reading time.
- Hearing your child read every day at home, praising success and supporting their efforts.
- Checking Class Dojo for the RWI e-book and sound practice links uploaded by your child's teacher at the end of each week.
- Helping your child to practise the speedy reading of sound cards when they are sent home.
- Not worrying if your child's reading book seems too easy! They should be able to read book bag books speedily and with expression, because they will contain words and phrases already taught in lessons that week.
- Using useful websites that link to our school's reading programme, such as:
Ruth Miskin Facebook:
Free e-books for home reading:
How can I support my child to learn Set 1 sounds and to blend?
Your child will need to have started sound blending in their RWI lessons, before their teacher sends home their first book bag books for home-reading. Helping them to practise reading sounds is the first important step on their road to reading whole words. If you help them to read sounds at home, they will be quicker and more confident in next to no time. Using pure sounds is the best approach to easy sound blending. Don't worry if you're not familiar with pure sounds, as help is at hand through Mrs Banks or through the website. Free parent videos on the Ruth Miskin website show you all of the sounds, including those made of two or three letters, and exactly how to say them as 'pure sounds'.
Watch this ‘how to say the sounds’ parent film on https://www.ruthmiskin.com/en/find-out-more/parents/
‘Reading the stretchy sounds with your child’, ‘Reading the bouncy sounds with your child’ and ‘Reading the digraphs with your child’ are more helpful parent films on https://www.ruthmiskin.com/en/find-out-more/parents/ to see how to teach Set 1 sounds
What are Fred games and how can they help with reading?
We teach children to read and spell using Fred. He is a toy frog who can say the sounds in words, but not the whole word. Children have to help him.
To help children learn to blend, we say the sounds as Fred and then children repeat the sounds and say the whole word.
Here are two ways in which you can use Fred Talk at home:
- Play Fred Games together – see Fred Games document on https://www.ruthmiskin.com/en/find-out-more/parents/
- Speak like Fred throughout the day e.g. time for l-u-n-ch! Let’s p-l-ay!
- Watch the ‘Sound-blending’ parent film on https://www.ruthmiskin.com/en/find-out-more/parents/
How can I support my child to learn Set 2 or 3 sounds?
- Watch the ‘Set 2/3 tutoring’ film on https://www.ruthmiskin.com/en/find-out-more/parents/
- Help your child practise reading known Speed Sounds cards speedily. If needed, show your child the picture side of the card to help them remember the sound.
What resources are available to support my child’s reading and writing at home?
There is no necessity to buy any resources for your child's RWI learning, since the school will provide you with the book bag books that exactly match your child's reading abilities. However, if you are keen to have personal resources at home, these are some of the most useful itmes to purchase from Amazon:-
- Set 1/2/3 flashcards
- My Reading and Writing Kit age 3-5 – Set 1 Speed Sounds and blending
- My Reading and Writing Kit ages 5-7 – Red Ditty books
- My Reading and Writing Kit ages 5-7- Set 2 Speed Sounds, Green and Purple Storybooks