When our children join us at St. Francis Xavier’s School, we give them immediate access to the phonics system that will enable them to develop quickly into confident, accurate and fluent readers.
We use the Read Write Inc (RWI) Phonics Programme to give our children the best possible start in their reading journey.
What is RWI?
RWI is a phonics programme developed by Ruth Miskin to enable all children to learn to read whilst also developing a wide range of vocabulary and encouraging a love of stories.
Children experience success from the very beginning. They start by learning one way to read the 40+ sounds and blend these sounds into words. Once this is secure, they learn to read the same sounds with alternative graphemes.
Accurate articulation of pure sounds is vital so here is a useful demonstration to help you.
Real and ‘alien’ words:
As soon as the children begin to learn sounds, they start to practice the skills of blending. To maximise their skills and application of their knowledge, children will read both real and ‘alien’ words. Alien words are often also called nonsense words or pseudo words, for example words like 'plimp' or 'thill'. They are a very efficient way to check if a pupil knows the sounds that the letters spell and how to blend those sounds into words beyond those that they might store in their memory bank.
Here is some useful information about blending:
How is RWI organised?
Children begin their RWI journey on entry to Reception and follow a system whereby they are regularly assessed and grouped according to their progress until they have completed the programme.
Here is some useful information about the RWI Programme from Ruth Miskin herself with her top tips for reading with your child.
RWI School Storybooks:
Within our RWI lessons, children read a wide range of lively phonic books that are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and ‘tricky’ words. Along with a thought-provoking introduction, prompts for thinking out loud and discussion, children are helped to read with a storyteller’s voice. Within the teaching sequence children re-read the stories to develop their accuracy, fluency, confidence and intonation.
RWI Home Storybooks:
So that you can further support them with this at home, your child will bring home a black and white version of the exact same Storybook. You should find that they recognise this from the work they have been doing in school and that their accuracy, confidence, fluency and intonation continues to improve as they re-read.
Book Bag Books:
After reading the RWI Storybook both at home and school, your child will bring home a RWI Book Bag Book. This text is carefully matched to the particular sounds and key words your child has been practicing at school. It contains plenty of information and supportive notes for you to use with your child.
Following our rigorous implementation of the RWI programme alongside any additional interventions that children may require, children will confidently recall and remember the 40+ sounds and blend these sounds to accurately read a range of real and ‘alien’ words.