Teaching children to read in the Early Years is such a privilege. It is particularly in the Reception year that children’s understanding of print really takes off and they take home their first ‘reading books’ with great excitement.
This year has seen the development of phonics teaching at Brabyns to include the use of the Read Write Inc. materials.
Read Write Inc. is a phonics system designed for children aged 4 to 8, designed to enable them to read accurately, fluently and with good comprehension. As with all synthetic phonics programmes, pace is key. The children in Reception learn a new sound/phoneme each day, applying their learning to the reading of words and then into writing. Letters are introduced alongside an image and a ‘patter’ to help children remember how to read and write them. As the children begin to read words, a bank of high frequency words are introduced to be practised daily, these are known as ‘green words’ as they are phonically regular. This helps to build the children’s fluency. In addition to ‘green words’ the children also learn ‘red words’. These are high frequency words which are not phonically regular: ‘we’, ‘was’ and ‘said’ are just three examples. Again, these are practised daily to increase fluency.
At Brabyns, we have also introduced the Read Write Inc story books to our existing book stock and they are proving very popular with the children. The books are carefully levelled and help the children master certain sounds and words over time. All ‘red words’ are given in red ink in the books so that the children know not to try and sound these words out. Earlier books avoid the use of capital letters so as not to confuse the children. Later books make good use of a range of punctuation so that children learn to recognise these. These are the books that children take home to read with parents.
In Reception this term, we are at an exciting point in our reading. The children are about to launch into paired reading activities during our phonics sessions. They will have a copy of a book between two children. One points to the word while the other reads and then they swap before the teacher reads the book to the group. Understanding the story and being able to talk about what is happening will become a key part of the reading curriculum.
It has been so exciting to see the impact of Read Write Inc on the reading of children in Reception so far this year and with two terms to go the sky’s the limit!