Phonics

At West Heath Primary our children learn phonics through the Ruth Miskin Read Write Inc. Phonics Programme. This begins in Reception Class, where the children begin to learn the common sounds in the English language and carries on into Year 1.

These sounds are known as the Speed Sounds. The children are taught to recognise the sounds and then to blend them together to read words. Read Write Inc. introduces the simple Speed Sounds (one sound, one grapheme) Speed Sounds Set 1 and then Set 2. The children then learn more ways of writing the same sounds with the complex Speed Sounds in Set 3. The children are taught letter names before moving on to Speed Sounds Set 3. Once children know the first set of Speed Sounds, they are ready to read the first RWI Storybooks.

The children also practise reading tricky words, or red words. These words cannot be fully decoded using the Speed Sounds that they have learned, but must be learned by sight. The children practise their reading with books that match the phonics and the tricky words they know. They also learn about ‘alien words’: words which use our speed sounds, but do not make sense to us. This ensures that the children are secure in their knowledge of the sounds.

The teachers use many drama techniques to introduce stories to the children. They read to the children, too, so the children get to know all sorts of stories, poetry and information books.

Assessing Phonics

We regularly assess how the children are doing in reading. We use this information to group the children and decide which sounds that they need to learn next and which RWI story books they should be reading. Children may move to a different group, if they have made progress, or if they need more support. From time to time, some children may require extra practise to learn their phonics and these children will have one-to-one support.

Year 1 Phonics Check

In the summer term, we are required to do a statutory government phonics check with all year 1 pupils.

RWI Home Reading

The children will bring home the RWI book that they have been reading that week. They will be familiar with the story and will have read it a few times. We encourage parents to engage with the activities in the RWI book and celebrate how well their child reads it.

Learning to read is the most important skill your child will learn at our school. Everything else depends on it, so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible. We want your child to love reading, to want to read for enjoyment and develop a love of books.
 
 
m a s d
t i n p
g o c k
u b f e
l h sh r
j v y w
th x ch qu
x ng nk  
 
 
Speed Sounds Set 1
 
ay say ee meet
igh night ow snow
oo moon oo look
ar park or worn
air pair ir first
ou count oy toys
 
 
Speed Sounds Set 2
 

Speed Sound 1 / 2

(Already introduced)

Speed Sound 3

(Alternative spelling)

Example word

ee

ea

seat

oy

oi

join

ay

a-e

name

igh

i-e

time

ow

o-e

home

oo

u-e

tune

or

aw

saw

air

are

share

ir

er

after

ir

ur

turn

ou

ow

town

ay / a-e

ai

snail

ow / o-e

oa

boat

oo / u-e

ew

chew

 

ire

hire

 

ear

hear

 

ure

sure

 

tion

tradition

 

cious

delicious

 

tious

scrumptious

 
 
Speed Sounds Set 3
(common alternative spellings for sounds)