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Early Reading and Writing - Read Write Inc Phonics

Phonics - Read, Write Inc


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.

• The systematic teaching of phonics has a high priority throughout Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.
• At Stickland’s Primary School, we value reading as a key life skill, and are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers.
• We acknowledge that children need to be taught the key skills in segmenting and blending to be equipped with the knowledge to be able to complete the phonics check at the end of year 1 and be fluent and resourceful readers by the end of KS1
• We also value and encourage the pupils to read for enjoyment and recognise that this starts with the foundations of acquiring letter sounds, segmenting and blending skills.

What is Read Write Inc?

Read Write Inc. Phonics is a dynamic, vigorous programme that teaches children to read and write quickly and easily. First children learn the common sounds in the English language and how to sound-blend words for reading. At the same time they develop skills of handwriting and spelling. They progress to read and comprehend lively storybooks containing words that they can decode so they achieve early success in reading.

So, what exactly is phonics?

Words are made up from small units of sound called phonemes. Phonics teaches children to be able to listen carefully and identify the phonemes that make up each word. This helps children learn to read words and spell words.

The English language has around 44 phonemes (or sounds) but there are around 120 graphemes or ways of writing down those 44 phonemes (e.g. ai, ay, ae, eigh and ey all make the long vowel sound for a) We only have 26 letters in the alphabet so some graphemes are made up from more than one letter.

Special Friends

ch th oo ay (These are all digraphs - graphemes with two letters, the children see these as 'special friends')

There are other graphemes that are trigraphs (made up of 3 letters igh) and even a few made from 4 letters. (eigh)

Some graphemes can represent more than one phoneme. For example ch makes very different sounds in these three words: chip, school, chef.

Fred the frog

We use a frog teddy called Fred the Frog helps children model how to 'Fred Talk'.  This is simply saying each sound carefully.


Children are taught to be able to blend. This is when children say the sounds that make up a word and are able to merge the sounds together until they can hear what the word is. This skill is vital in learning to read.


Children are taught to segment. This is the opposite of blending. Children are able to say a word and then break it up into the phonemes that make it up. This skill is vital in being able to spell words.

A key element of the Read Write Inc. approach is that practice across the school is completely consistent. This is achieved because every member of staff delivering the programme is trained, coached and supported to be an expert in the teaching of reading. Children are grouped by ability allowing lessons to specifically address individual learning needs.

Read Write Inc lessons are positive, reciprocal and encourage children to be resourceful and responsible in their approach. These principles are effective teaching and learning strategies to ensure children make good progress.  The lessons are also responsive and rigorous assessment supports an ethos of 'Keep up, not catch up".

We are currently using a variety of resources to support the children’s pronunciation and recognition of sounds. To support with this at home, please find a link below to a video that demonstrates the key sounds we learn spoken as pure sounds. This will help to support the children in their pronunciation and enable them to translate this more effectively to written spelling. We use this regularly in school to review and practise spoken sounds and sound recognition. 
• Phonics is taught daily to all children in Foundation Stage and KS1 and there is a drive towards 'keep up, not catch up' through targeted support and regular quick flips throughout the day
• Interventions are planned for those children who are working below expected levels. Interventions are monitored regularly.
• Staff systematically teach learners the relationship between sounds and the written spelling patterns, or graphemes, which represent them.
• Phonics is delivered within streamed groups (where possible) to enable staff to fill gaps and teach children at a level appropriate to their prior knowledge and ability.
• Pupils have regular reading sessions with an adult we ensure the pupils are regularly practising and applying their phonics knowledge.
• In the EYFS and Year 1 the continuous provision matches the pupil’s current knowledge and understanding whilst ensuring the children are suitably challenged.
• Teachers assess (half termly but more often if required) the pupil’s phonics knowledge using the phonics assessment and reading milestones. These regular assessments inform planning and allow teachers to identify any gaps in learning.
• The children have RWI reading books which they are encouraged to read regularly at home which match their current phonics level.

School Reading Books
Your child will read a RWI text in school with their teacher and the text will then be sent home in your child’s book bag to allow opportunity to practise and consolidate their learning. The books are designed effectively for children to develop their decoding skills of previously taught sounds.  Books are matched carefully to the children’s phonic knowledge and decoding skills. The books sent home should feel comfortable and be able to be read at a good pace. The emphasis is on repetition and fluency during the early stages of reading.  Your child will also bring home a second bookbag book, again matched carefully to their developing decoding skills but a story they have not read.

• Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One. This way, children can focus on developing their fluency and comprehension as they move through the school.
• Attainment in reading is teacher-assessed at the end of Key Stage One. These results are measured against the reading attainment of children nationally. Teachers may also use the optional national reading assessments.  
• Attainment in phonics is measured by the Phonics Screening Test at the end of Year 1.
• We firmly believe that reading is the key to all learning and so the impact of phonics and reading is embedded throughout the whole school curriculum.

Year 1 phonics screening check 

The check will take place in June each year when the pupils will read 40 words out loud to a teacher or test administrator. Please do not worry about the check.  The children will be see this as a natural extension to their phonics learning and their teacher's assessment of their learning.  

If pupils do not meet the expected standard in the check (the expected standard is usually 32/40) they will be screened again in Year 2.  Phonics teaching will continue into their Year 2 daily teaching and learning.