English

At Mayespark Primary School we strive to give children the necessary tools to be able to communicate effectively and creatively, through spoken and written language 

We encourage children to develop a love of reading by using quality texts and topics which inspire and excite young readers and writers.

 Mrs Amey - English Lead 

 

English Policy   

Reading  

At Mayespark we aim for all our children to become fluent, confident readers who are passionate about reading.  

                           

Children who read regularly and who are read to regularly have the opportunity to open the doors to so many different worlds! More importantly, reading gives children the tools to become independent life-long learners. 

In partnership with parents and carers, this is achieved through: 

  • Read Write Inc, a program to help children read at school 
  • Encouraging children to develop a love of books by reading to them daily, at home and at school 
  • Giving children access to a wide range of books at school and at home 

At Mayespark Primary School we use Read Write Inc Phonics (RWI) to give children the best possible start with their literacy.  

A guide to RWI 

Mrs Prince is our phonics lead teacher, if parents have any questions about phonics, they are able to contact her directly. The following information provides valuable insight into how children’s reading can be supported at home. 
 

 Mrs Prince - RWI Leader 

What is Read Write Inc? 

Read Write Inc (RWI) is a phonics complete literacy programme which helps all children learn to read fluently and at speed so they can focus on developing their skills in comprehension, vocabulary and spelling.  The programme is designed for children aged 4-7. However, at Mayespark Primary School we begin the programme in Nursery and will continue teaching RWI to children beyond the age of 7, where needed.  

RWI was developed by Ruth Miskin and more information on this can be found at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjlPILhk7bQ

How will RWI be taught? 

All children are assessed regularly by our RWI lead teacher. This enables us to group children at the same level, facilitating complete participation in lessons from all children. 

  •  Nursery - When appropriate, children will be introduced to the initial sounds in short five minutes sessions. 
  • Reception  - In Reception all children will learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how these can be written down. 


Reading 
The children: 

  • learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letters/letter groups using simple picture prompts – see below 
  • learn to read words using ‘Fred talk’ and sound blending 
  • read from a range of storybooks and non-fictions books matched to their phonic knowledge 
  • work well with partners 
  • develop comprehension skills in stories by answering 'Find It' and 'Prove It' discussion questions 

Writing 
The children: 

  • learn to write and form the letters/letter groups which represent the 44 sounds with the help of fun rhymes 
  • learn to write words by using ‘Fred talk’ 
  • learn to build sentences by practising sentences out loud before they write  

Talking 
The children work in pairs so that they: 

  • answer every question 
  • practise every activity with their partner 
  • take turns in talking and reading to each other 
  • develop ambitious vocabulary 


Year One & Year Two 

Children follow the same format as Reception but will work on complex sounds and read books appropriate to their reading level.  

Children will be taught how to read as follows: 

Before you start to teach your child, practise saying the sounds below. These are the sounds we use to speak in English. 

The children are taught the sounds in 3 sets. 

As children follow the RWI process of learning to read, they work through these steps: 

Step 1 

Set 1 Sounds are taught in the following order together with rhymes to help children form the letters correctly and instantly recognise sounds ready for blending. Please note, letter names are not taught at this early stage. 

Set 1 

Sound 

Rhyme 

m 

Down Maisie then over the two mountains. Maisie, mountain, mountain 

a 

Round the apple, down the leaf 

s 

Slide around the snake 

d 

Round the dinosaur's back, up his neck and down to his feet 

t 

Down the tower, across the tower 

i 

Down the insects body, dot for the head 

n 

Down Nobby and over the net 

p 

Down the plait, up and over the pirate’s face 

g 

Round the girl’s face, down her hair and give her a curl 

o 

All around the orange 

c 

Curl around the caterpillar 

k 

Down the kangaroo’s body, tail and leg 

u 

Down and under the umbrella, up to the top and down to the puddle 

b 

Down the laces, over the toe and touch the heel 

f 

Down the stem and draw the leaves 

e 

Slice into the egg, go over the top, then under the egg 

l 

Down the long leg 

h 

Down the horse's head to the hooves and over his back 

sh 

Slither down the snake, then down the horse's head to the hooves and over his back 

r 

Down the robot's back, then up and curl 

j 

Down his body, curl and dot 

v 

Down a wing, up a wing 

y 

Down a horn, up a horn and under the yak's head 

w 

Down, up, down, up the worm 

th 

Down the tower, across the tower, then down the horse’s head to the hooves and over his back 

z 

Zig-zag-zig, down the zip 

ch 

Curl around the caterpillar, then down the horse's head to the hooves and over his back 

qu 

Round the queen’s head, up to her crown, down her hair and curl 

x 

Cross down the arm and leg and cross the other way 

ng 

A thing on a string 

nk 

I think I stink 

kn 

knock, knock who’s there? 

ck 

tick tock clock 

wh 

whisk whisk 

ph 

take a photo 

Children will also use pictures for each sound to help recognise the sound and then form the shape of the sound. 

 

Letter Formation 

It is crucial for children to learn how to write letters using the correct formation. When children first learn their letters in Reception, they are taught how to correctly form each letter using a simple rhyme.  The following videos go through each rhyme in the order children are taught each letter. We encourage parents to regularly practise letter formation at home.  

m, a, s, d, t 

i, n, p, g, o 

c, k, u, b 

f, e, l, h, r 

j, v, y, w 

z, q, x 

 

Fred Talk 

As the children are learning the set 1 sounds we teach them how to blend.  To aid this process, we use pure sounds (for example, we use ‘m’ not ‘muh’ and ’s’ not ‘suh’). At school, we introduce children to a puppet called Fred who is an expert on sounding out words for the children to blend together, this is referred to as ‘Fred Talk’.  Here are a few examples of Fred Talk:  m-o-p/ mop, c-a-t/cat, m-a-n/man, sh-o-p/shop, b-l-a-ck/black. 

The following video is an example of blending sounds with Fred.  


Nonsense words (Alien words)
           

As well as learning to read and blend real words children will have plenty of opportunities to apply their sound recognition skills on reading ‘Nonsense words’. These words will also feature heavily in the Year One Phonics Screening check in the summer term. Nonsense words are made up of different sounds but they are not real words. For example, clob, moop, slair 

Step 2 

Step 2 involves teaching children Set 2 Sounds - the long vowels. When they are very confident with all of set 1 and 2 they are then taught Set 3 Sounds. Set 3 comprises of additional ways we can write long vowel sounds.  Each sound has a short rhyme, as follows: 

Long vowel sound 

Set 2 Speed Sound cards 

Set 3 Speed Sound cards 

 

ay 

ay: may I play 

a-e: make a cake 

ai: snail in the rain 

 

ee 

ee: what can you see 

ea: cup of tea 

e: he me we she be 

 e-e: go Pete and Steve 

igh 

igh: fly high 

i-e: nice smile 

 ie: terrible tie 

ow 

ow: blow the snow 

o-e: phone home 

ao: goat in a boat 

 

oo 

oo: poo at the zoo 

u-e: huge brute 

ew: chew the stew 

 ue: come to the rescue 

oo 

oo: look at a book 

 

 

 

ar 

ar: start the car 

 

 

 

or 

or: shut the door 

aw: yawn at dawn 

 au: Paul the astronaut 

 

air 

air: that’s not fair 

are: share and care 

 

 

ir 

ir: whirl and twirl 

ur: nurse for a purse 

er: a better letter 

 

ou 

ou: shout it out 

ow: brown cow 

 

 

oy 

oy: toy for a boy 

oi: spoil the boy 

 

 

ire 

 

ire: fire fire! 

 

 

ear 

 

ear: hear with your ear 

 

 

ure 

 

ure: sure it’s pure? 

 

 

 

Step 3 

Children will be introduced to ‘Ditty books’ when they successfully begin to read single words.  

Children use sound-blending (Fred Talk) to read short ditties. These books are taken home once they have been read and discussed in class.       

                                                   

Within all ditty books children will have red and green words to learn to help them to become speedy readers. Red words are words which are not easily decodable. In addition, there are challenge words to extend children’s vocabulary. Green words are linked to the sounds they have been learning and are easily decodable. 

Example of red words: 

 

Example of green words: 

 

Dots and dashes represent the sound each letter makes. 

During RWI sessions, children will read the book three times, allowing plenty of opportunities to practise using their developing comprehension skills.  

 

Spelling

Children will use ‘Fred fingers’ to first sound out a word before they write it down. This way of teaching spelling allows children to use Fred fingers whenever they get stuck with spelling a word. Children pinch each sound on their fingers before writing the word. 

Order of Story books:  

Children will read decodable books reflecting their sound knowledge. The expectation is that all children will leave Year One as confident speedy readers, ready to take on the challenges of Year Two.  


        

Please click on the following link for more information regarding supporting children’s phonics at home.  

https://www.ruthmiskin.com/en/find-out-more/parents/  

 

Reading at home  

School, however, is not the only place in which our children should be encouraged to read. We have had a long commitment to reading records across the school and ask that these are completed daily at home.  

At Mayespark we have clear expectations regarding how frequently and how long children need to read for at home. These are set out below for each phase. 

EYFS 

Reading at home.  

 

Reading to your child 

Read different books to your child at least six days a week for at least 15 minutes.  

Hearing your child read 

Listen to your child read at least six days a week. Talk about what they have read referring to the questions in your child’s reading record.  

Signing your child’s reading record 

Sign and date your child’s reading record each day with the book they have read to you.  

Changing books 

School books will be changed at least weekly and a school adult will sign your child’s reading record weekly.  

 

Year 1 and 2  

Reading at home.  

 

Reading to your child 

Read different books to your child at least six days a week for at least 15 minutes.  

Hearing your child read 

Listen to your child read at least six days a week. Talk about what they have read referring to the questions in your child’s reading record.  

Signing your child’s reading record 

Sign and date your child’s reading record each day with the book they have read to you.  

Changing books 

School books will be changed at least weekly and a school adult will sign your child’s reading record weekly.  

 

Year 3 and 4  

Reading at home.  

 

Reading to your child 

It is still important that parents/carers read to older children. This may involve reading together and talking about non-fiction texts. For example, a newspaper article or an information book about the topic they are interested in.  

Hearing your child read 

Children are to read at least six days a week for at least 20 – 30 minutes a day. Once your child has been told by their teacher they are an ‘Independent Reader’, they may prefer to read their reading book on their own.  

Signing your child’s reading record 

Sign and date your child’s reading record each day they have read. Independent readers can record in their reading record themselves and parents are expected to sign it once a week.  

Changing books 

Children can change their reading book whenever they need to. Class teachers will check reading records daily and will sign/ comment in your child’s reading record once every three weeks.  

 

Year 5 and 6   

Reading at home.  

 

Reading to your child 

It is still important that parents/carers read to older children. This may involve reading together and talking about non-fiction texts. For example, a newspaper article or an information book about the topic they are interested in.  

Hearing your child read 

Children are to read at least six days a week for at least 30 minutes a day. Once your child has been told by their teacher they are an ‘Independent Reader’, they may prefer to read their reading book on their own.  

Signing your child’s reading record 

Sign and date your child’s reading record each day they have read. Independent readers can record in their reading record themselves and parents are expected to sign it once a week.  

Changing books 

Children can change their reading book whenever they need to. Class teachers will check reading records daily and will sign/ comment in your child’s reading record once every three weeks.  

 

Recommended reading lists 

There is such an extensive range of wonderful children’s books, sometimes it can be difficult to know which ones to. To help parents, we have produced recommended reading lists which includes text ranging from beloved childhood classics to fantastic fantasies. Children will not necessarily bring every book on these lists home from school and books can be expensive to purchase. We therefore suggest parents visit their local library to borrow the books.  It is also often possible to order books which they do not have. Using the following recommended reading lists will help to inspire children’s love of reading.