Phonics and Spelling

At Senacre Wood Primary School we use the Read Write Inc (RWInc) programme to get children off to a flying start with their reading. RWI is a method of learning centred around letter sounds and phonics and children are grouped and re-grouped every six weeks according to their ability and progress in the scheme. Children from EYFS, Year 1 and Year 2 are split into small teaching groups who meet from 9am to 9.30am each morning. 

Each session has a specific structure, based on the Recognise, Read, Write and Apply structure. A new sound is taught at the beginning of the week and the RWInc story books are used Tuesday to Friday to help children consolidate and practice sounds they have learned previous in context. You can find find information and free resources for the scheme here.

 When using RWI to read the children will:

  • learn that sounds are represented by written letters
  • learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple picture prompts
  • learn how to blend sounds
  • learn to read words using 'Fred Talk'
  • read lively stories featuring words they have learned to sound out
  • show that they comprehend the stories by answering questions

When using RWI to write the children will:

  • learn to write the letters/letter groups which represent 44 sounds.
  • learn to write words by saying the sounds in Fred Talk
  • write simple sentences


Reading At Home!

Using RWI, the children learn to read effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into comprehending what they read. In EYFS and KS1, where children follow the daily phonics programme, match 'book bag' books will be sent home. Each night, children need to complete a different task with their fiction book, which matches the theme and sounds of the text they are reading through the week with their teaching group. In some of the higher groups, children receive a second, non-fiction book during the week to use phonemes in a different genre. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, some Year 2 and Year 3 also join us on their phonics journey to ensure a confident foundation into reading, spelling and writing- these children will also receive the 'book bag' books.

Not a phonics expert? You can find pronunciation, film clips and further information for parents here!

At the end of Year 1, pupils will also complete the compulsory phonics screening. The phonics screening check is taken individually by all children in Year 1 in England, and is usually taken in June. It is designed to give teachers and parents information on how your child is progressing in phonics. It will help to identify whether your child needs additional support at this stage so that they do not fall behind in this vital early reading skill.

Did you miss our parent talks about home reading? Below is the presentation given by Mrs Norris, our Phonics Lead.

The Jump to Spelling!

After the National Phonics Screening at the end of Year 1, teachers will begin to look at how to move their children on from words that can be sounded out phonetically. The move from phonics to spelling can be from as early as part way through Year 1 for higher ability children. We have chosen a programme that leads on from our RWInc phonics programme to bridge the gap between phonetic knowledge and common spelling rules in the English language, which begins for most children in Year 2.

We know that no single scheme or programme can teach a child how to spell.

There are various barriers to learning that need to be considered at all times, from confidence and self-esteem to dyslexic tendencies and poor phonic knowledge. We use the RWInc Spelling Zone, alongside games, songs and discrete teaching to enforce and retain new spelling expertise. Our staff work hard to ensure that key vocabulary is woven through the curriculum, and discussions take place about how words can be categorised according to word class, subject specific and cross subject specific language, as well as how to spell them. In Years' 5 and 6, the etymology of words (the origin of a word and the historical development of its meaning) is also used as a teaching point.

The week beginning 6th June is the start of our Phonics Screening Check. All the children will do a 'special phonics job' with Mrs Norris, where they will read flashcards to try out their grapheme/phoneme correspondence skills. You can find our parent meeting slides below:



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