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Norton Juxta Kempsey CofE Primary School

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Fun with Phonics including parent reading information workshop

Content and resources from the 'Fun with Phonics Workshops' held by Mrs. Marshall can be found here.

2018-2019 Academic Year


We look forward to sharing information about our new English programme 'Read Write Inc', with you at the first phonics afternoon on Friday 28th September at 2.30pm.

There will be follow up workshops on both parent's evenings too, for your convenience.

How we teach reading – answers for parents

The Read Write Inc. Phonics programme

We have written this for parents. It explains how we teach reading using the Read Write Inc. programme.

Learning to read is the most important thing 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 – and to want to read for themselves. This is why we put our efforts into making sure they develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read.


How will my child be taught to read?

We start by teaching phonics to the children in the Reception class. This means that they learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down. This is essential for reading, but it also helps children learn to spell well. We teach the children simple ways of remembering these sounds and letters. Ask them to show you what these are.

The children also practise reading (and spelling) what we call ‘tricky words’, such as ‘once,’ ‘have,’ ‘said’ and ‘where’.

The children practise their reading with books that match the phonics and the ‘tricky words’ they know. They start thinking that they can read and this does wonders for their confidence.

The teachers read to the children, too, so the children get to know all sorts of stories, poetry and information books. They learn many more words this way and it also helps their writing.


How will I know how well my child is doing?

We will always let you know how well your child is doing.

We use various ways to find out how the children are getting on in reading. We use the information to decide what reading group they should be in. Your child will work with children who are at the same reading level as him or her. Children will move to a different group if they are making faster progress than the others. Your child will have one-to-one support if we think he or she needs some extra help to keep up.

We also use a reading test so that we can make sure that all our children are at the level that they should be for their age compared to all the children across the country.

In the summer term, the government asks us to do a phonics check of all the Year 1 children. That gives us extra information about their progress. We will talk to you about how well your child has done, and especially if we have any worries at all.


How long will it take to learn to read well?

By the end of Year 2, your child should be able to read aloud books that are at the right level for his or her age. In Year 3 we concentrate more on helping children to understand what they are reading, although this work begins very early on. This happens when the teacher reads to the children and also when the children read their own story book.


How do I know the teaching will be good?

All the staff have been trained to teach reading in the way we do it in this school. We believe that it is very important that all the teachers and teaching assistants work in the same way. Senior teachers watch other teachers teaching to make sure that the children are learning how we want them to learn.

If you are worried about the teaching or you have any questions, please come to school and talk to us.


What can I do to help? Is there anything that I shouldn’t do?

You will be invited to a meeting so that we can explain how we teach reading. Please come and support your child. We would very much like you to know how to help.

Your child will bring different sorts of books home from school. It helps if you know whether this is a book that your child can read on their own or whether this is a book that you should read to them. The teacher will have explained which is which. Please trust your child’s teacher to choose the book(s) that will help your child the most.

Help your child to sound out the letters in words and then to ‘push’ the sounds together to make a whole word. Try not to refer to the letters by their names. Help your child to focus on the sounds. You can hear how to say the sounds correctly by searching on YouTube for ‘Read Write Inc. Phonemes Pronunciation Guide’

Sometimes your child might bring home a picture book that they know well. Please don’t say, ‘This is too easy.’ Instead, encourage your child to tell you the story out loud; ask them questions about things that happen or what they think about some of the characters in the story.

We know parents and carers are very busy people. But if you can find time to read to your child as much as possible, it helps him or her to learn about books and stories. They also learn new words and what they mean. Show that you are interested in reading yourself and talk about reading as a family. You can find out about good stories to read to your child here:


Does it matter if my child misses a lesson or two?

It matters a lot if your child misses school. The way we teach children to read is very well organised, so even one missed lesson means that your child has not learnt something that they need to know to be a good reader.


What if he or she finds it difficult to learn to read?

We want children to learn to read, however long it takes us to teach them. We will find out very quickly if your child is finding reading difficult. First, we move children to a different group, so that we can make sure that they have learnt what they need to know. If they still struggle, we give them extra time with an adult, on their own. These adults are specially trained to support these children. Your child will still be in the same group with the other children and won’t miss out on any of the class lessons.

If we have any serious worries about your child’s reading, we will talk to you about this.

Some children take a bit longer to learn to put sounds together to read a word, e.g. c-a-t to make the word ‘cat’. At our meeting, we will explain how you can help your child to do this.


What if my child turns out to be dyslexic?

The way we teach reading is especially helpful for children who might be dyslexic. This is because we use a very well-organised programme that has a strong focus on phonics. This is very important for children who find learning to read difficult. If you are worried about your child, please come and talk to us.


My child has difficulty pronouncing some sounds. Will this stop him learning to read through phonics?

This isn’t a problem for learning to read as long as we know what sound the child is trying to say. This is not something to worry about. Many children have a few sounds that they can hear clearly but find it difficult to say, particularly the l-sound, r-sound, w-sound, th-sound, s-sound, sh-sound and j-sound. Often they say a t-sound for the c-sound; “tttssh” for the s-sound; “w” for the r-sound and “r” for the l-sound. You can help your child by encouraging him or her to look at your mouth when you say the sound. Whatever you do, do not make your child feel a failure. They can easily learn to read, even if they find one or two sounds difficult to say.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any concerns. We are here to help.

Academic Year 2017-2018

Parent Workshop Wednesday 7th March 2018 (2.30-3.00)

Mrs Parton and Mrs Marshall will share ideas of how to help your child with reading.

Resources from this session will be uploaded on the day.

Parents Workshop Wednesday 21st March 2018 (2.30-3.00)

Mrs Parton and Mrs Marshall will share information about how to support your child with writing.

Resources will be uploaded on the day.

Friday 7th July - Reception Parent Phonics Workshop.

What to expect in year 1.

As the transition from the Foundation Stage to Key Stage 1 approaches, how can you help your child adjust to the new pace of Year 1?


Their first year of school is rapidly drawing to a close; soon, your child will be making the move from Reception to Year 1. As a parent, the prospect of settling them into their new class is probably a lot less daunting than it was to get ready for their first day of school, but the transition from the Foundation Stage to Key Stage 1 can be a big deal for many children.

‘The jump from Reception to Year 1 can be more difficult than the transition between other school years.


But why is it sometimes a tricky stage for children?


When you ask your Reception child what they’ve done at school today, the answer is often, ‘I played.’ But their school day in Year 1 can be very different – and a bit of a culture shock.

‘In Reception, children get used to a play-based, free-flowing experience,’ explains Caroline. ‘They might be guided by the staff, but a lot of the time, they get to choose what they play with, when and with whom. They gravitate towards the things they enjoy doing, and how they spend their time is largely in their own hands.’

In contrast, the Year 1 learning experience tends to be more formal. The national curriculum sets out clear learning goals across every subject, and there are targets including knowing certain times tables and being able to spell a list of words accurately. Children are beginning to prepare for Key Stage 1 SATs, taken in Year 2, and are also expected to take a phonics screening check towards the end of Year 1.

‘The teaching is subject-based and adult-led, and children have less choice about what they do,’ The challenges of starting the second year of school

As well as getting used to a new classroom, a new teacher, and potentially new classmates – challenges that children face at the start of every school year – there’s a whole new set of skills that they’re expected to master in Year 1.

‘For a lot of children, the biggest challenge is that they’re expected to spend a lot more time sitting still and paying attention,’

‘This sort of self-control can be very difficult for some children.

The level of work also becomes harder. ‘There’s more focus on formal skills like reading, writing and numeracy, and some children even comment on how difficult and tiring it is to hold a pencil for so long,’

Children often miss the freedom that they had in Reception.

The transition can be tough for parents, too. In Reception, there’s usually quite a lot of contact with the teacher; you might take your child directly into the classroom at the start of the day and collect them from there after school, giving you a chance to touch base about any issues. But in Year 1, it’s more likely that your child will line up in the playground, so you don’t get the same day-to-day opportunities to speak to the teacher.o help with the Reception-Y1 transition

Children settle better into Year 1 when the transition between the classes is gradual. ‘For example, the Reception teacher might introduce some of the more formal learning experiences of Year 1 towards the end of the year so they’re more familiar,’ ‘Equally, some of the Reception practices – may be continued into the start of Year 1, so it’s a more gradual process.’

Schools often have an induction process to help children settle into their new class. At the end of the Reception year, they’re likely to spend some time in the Year 1 classroom with their new teacher, so the environment isn’t a complete unknown at the start of the autumn term.

Continuity of routines is important too. For example, following a similar daily timetable in both Reception and Year 1, where activities like circle time, break and assembly happen at the same times, can help children feel more settled.

It’s also helpful if the school briefs parents on what to expect from Year 1. This could be in the form of a ‘meet the teacher’ evening, or a letter sent home to explain things like the type and level of work that children will be doing, the learning expectations and any major changes in routine. This can help you prepare your child for what’s to settle your child into Year 1

There’s a lot that you can do to smooth the transition to Year 1 for your child. ‘You have a long summer holiday before the start of term, so take the opportunity to familiarise your child with the sort of things they’ll be doing at school.

These might include:

  • Writing activities such as sending a postcard from holiday or writing an account of a day out.
  • Working on telling the time.
  • Beginning to encourage your child to count in twos, fives and 10s, and talking to them about concepts like ‘more than’ and ‘less than’.
  • Doing some handwriting worksheets to improve their pencil control.
  • Encouraging them to keep up with reading to you on a regular basis, for example by going to the library once a week and choosing new books.

You can also play down your own anxieties about the transition to prevent them rubbing off on your child. Try to avoid saying things like, ‘You’re going to have to work hard next year,’ and instead play up the good things: ‘Won’t it be exciting to have new books to choose from?’ or ‘It’ll be lovely to see all your friends again.’


Try to make home time a relaxed time, too. If your child has homework or reading to do, give them some time to burn off some energy before they sit down and tackle it.


‘Usually, any teething problems are minor, but if you’re concerned about your child after the first couple of weeks, bring it to the teacher’s attention.

A child who’s settled and happy is ready to learn, and that’s the outcome that every teacher and parent is looking for.

Friday 24th March EYFS Parent Phonics Workshop

Today's workshop focused on the importance of EYFS children being secure at phase 3 by the end of the year.

Children have now been taught all the digraphs and are working hard to learn and apply them in their reading and writing.

Children particularly struggle with the tricky trigraphs from phase 3 and a lot of practice and consolidation is required before children become confident and proficient in using them.

When children start Year 1 they will begin learning the alternative pronunciations and ways of recording each of the digraphs that they have learned so far. It is for this reason that being secure at phase 3 is so crucial.




Friday 10th February Parent Phonics Workshop

It was great to see you again this afternoon. For those of you unable to attend, the following links and resources were shared, in order for you to feel more able to support your child's learning at home. It is always good to get feedback from parents regarding how they feel school and home can work further in partnership to the benefit of their child. On that note please take the time to peruse the school website as frequent updates are taking place.



Phase 3 word and sound mat, which are the sounds and words your child needs to read and write. Children in EYFS are currently being taught phase 3.

Stuck for ideas about how to make practicing sounds at home more fun? Take a look at some fun ideas using household objects.