Phonics and early reading:
Welcome to the Phonics section!
Here we hope you will find everything you need to know about how the children at Rillington Primary School are learning to read, Mrs Stabler is our reading Lead, so please feel free to see her at any time.
The ability to read is within the reach of every child. The most direct route to reading for children is through systematically taught, ‘synthetic phonics’. At Rillington Primary School we insist on a ‘phonics first’ approach to reading, where children learn to decode (read) and encode (spell) printed words quickly and fluently by blending and segmenting letter sounds. Our teaching and learning follows the progression of ‘Letters and Sounds’, organised into 6 phases and is in line with the expectations of the National Curriculum.
We support the children’s application of phonics to their reading by using phonetically decodable reading books both in school and at home. Once children are able to read with fluency and apply their knowledge of all the letter/sound patterns taught then the children read a wider range of literature. Children who are just beginning to learn the letter/sound correspondences are learning at the same time to tell stories using books which do not have words to begin with. This is crucial in the development of spoken language and vocabulary. It is a necessary stepping stone towards becoming an accomplished reader and writer.
Phase 1 Phase 2: Phase 3: Phase 4:
Phase 5: Phase 6:
Below is a link to an excellent video which explains clearly and simply how to support your children in learning to read with phonics. The website (parent section) has lots of advice in the form of video and animation and also you can access lots of free ebooks to help with reading at home!
At Rillington we teach the children to write in a cursive style from Reception. When your child first comes to school, they will learn to form every letter with an entry and exit stroke.
This is a solid foundation for teaching joined handwriting later on. Children are taught that every letter starts on the line. Next we begin to teach digraphs and trigraphs as joined letters.
One of the advantages of the cursive style is that you can quickly identify when a child is forming letters incorrectly. For example trying to start a at the bottom and moving clockwise, rather than starting with the entry stroke and then moving anticlockwise from the top of the letter to the bottom.
Although the cursive style can take slightly longer to write each letter separately, the benefits are clear when children start to join fully towards the end of Year 1 and in Year 2.
Important points to remember
Constant repetition is the key, emphasising the correct entry and exit strokes every time. It is essential that our children get into good habits early on and this includes having the correct pencil grip.
Support at home can be given through play and exploration. Reluctant writers are often more willing to try if they are given different colour pens to write with, paint, chalk, a bottle of water with a sports cap, or even tracing over the letters with a toy car.