020 8556 0103     school@downsellprimary.waltham.sch.uk     Downsell Road, Leyton, London, E15 2BS  



16 Feb 2024

Phonics at Downsell

23 Apr 2021
Access to books and the encouragement of the habit of reading: these two things are the first and most necessary steps in education and librarians, teachers and parents all over the country know it. It is our children's right and it is also our best hope and their best hope for the future. (Michael Morpurgo)                                   


Phonics – Read Write Inc

Here at Downsell Primary School, Reading is at the heart of our curriculum, from Nursery to Year 6. 
As we know, Reading is the foundation for all areas of the curriculum. By establishing a solid grounding for Reading for our children, we are able to provide them with a solid foundation for learning in other subjects. Children are supported and encouraged to become independent readers, in order to access meaning and information from the written world around them. We are passionate about developing readers who have a love for reading and read for pleasure. 
We have a clear focus for reading – to teach children to become fluent and competent readers, with an enjoyment for reading. To achieve this we have a systematic approach to developing reading skills through the structured and consistent early reading programme in place, as well as a language rich environment, whole school reading culture, effective support and intervention.
We are passionate about the belief that teaching children to read opens the door to endless possibilities for them. This belief is behind our implementation of the Read Write Inc Phonics programme from Nursery to Key Stage 2.

What is Read Write Inc?
Read Write Inc, is a tried and tested scheme used by many schools in the UK. It is primarily a phonics reading programme which helps all children learn to read fluently and at speed. The programme is designed for children aged 4-7. However, at Downsell Primary School, we begin the programme in Nursery and will continue teaching RWI to children beyond the age of 7 if they still need support in their reading.
RWI was developed by Ruth Miskin and more information on this can be found at:
Lessons follow a 3 day or 5 day schedule depending on the RWI book colour, with each lesson following a set structure involving reading, speaking and listening and writing. RWI works well for Downsell, as it is not just a phonics programme, it teaches children to become proficient in all of the National Curriculum areas of being a good reader / writer. 
How will RWI be taught?
All children are assessed regularly by our RWI lead teachers/familiar staff, so that they are grouped with children at the same level, within their year group bubble (in line with COVID requirements). This allows complete participation in lessons.
Fresh Start
If a child reaches Year 3 and is still not working at age related expectations in Reading and cannot access their whole class Reading lessons, they will be assessed under the Ruth Miskin Fresh Start programme. This is a continuation of the RWI programme suitable for older children. The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) reported that Fresh Start shows ‘considerable promise as an effective catch-up intervention for low-attaining readers’. The aim is to get children reading accurately and fluently as quickly as possible so they can access Reading lessons. 
Parent Information
How can I find out more about RWI?
Parent Zoom sessions – look out for details of parent information sessions on our newsletters
Access to the following resources and information, which can be printed for you at the school office:
Parent Video: What is RWI?
Parent Video: how to say the sounds
Parent Video: Introduction to daily phonics lessons
What is Fresh Start?
Oxford Owl online resources   Your child has been given login details to access their current RWI book online to further embed the learning in class.

Find out more about the Year 1 and 2 Phonics Screening Check: Downsell Primary Phonics Check

Parent Factsheet Phonics Screening Check.pdf  

DfE Phonics Check

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