Christ Church

CofE Primary School

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Throughout EYFS and KS1, a systematic approach to phonics is taught. There is a sharp focus on ensuring that children gain phonics knowledge and language comprehension necessary to read, and the skills to communicate, giving them the foundations for future learning. In EYFS and Key Stage One, discrete Read Write Inc. (RWI) phonics lessons and are taught in homogenous ability groups. The RWI phonics scheme is used to teach early reading and ensure that children are able to decode efficiently – sounding and blending words quickly and accurately.  Fluency at each level is a strong focus.  Through direct teaching, all children participate by listening and responding, and by practising and applying what they are learning.  Teachers make sure that children practise using the knowledge they have been taught in previous lessons until they can use it automatically, thus freeing up their capacity to learn new knowledge.  Children also become increasingly familiar with the structures and features of narrative texts.


Assessment is used to determine next steps clearly, including identifying children who might need immediate extra support.  Additional support is given to those children who need to catch up with their reading through a variety of intervention teaching.  Children within Upper Key Stage Two, who still need phonics support, access the Fresh Start Phonics Program which contains appropriate material for their age and is delivered daily. 


Weekly, children take home a decodable RWI book to re-read and practise their fluency alongside a RWI 'Book Bag Book' which reinforces the sounds taught in class. Children can practise their increasing knowledge of phonics and their blending skills in meaningful contexts at home, making them feel successful from the very start of their reading journey.  Learning assistants support a wide range of reading activities to ensure that children have more frequent opportunities to read with adults.






What is Read Write Inc?

Read Write Inc (RWI) is a phonics and literacy programme which helps all children learn to read fluently and at speed so they can focus on developing their skills in comprehension, vocabulary and spelling.  The programme is designed for children aged 4-7. However, we will continue teaching RWI to children beyond the age of 7 if they still need support in their reading.



The children:

  • learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letters/letter groups using simple picture prompts – see below
  • learn to read words using Fred talk and sound blending
  • read from a range of storybooks and non-fictions books matched to their phonic knowledge
  • develop comprehension skills in stories by answering ‘Find It’ and ‘Prove It’ discussion questions



The children:

  • learn to write and form the letters/letter groups which represent the 44 sounds with the help of fun phrases
  • learn to write words by using Fred Talk
  • learn to build sentences by practising sentences out loud before they write


Fred Talk

We use pure sounds (‘m’ not’ muh’,’s’ not ‘suh’, etc.) so that your child will be able to blend the sounds into words more easily.

At school we use a puppet called Fred who is an expert on sounding out words! we call it, ‘Fred Talk’. E.g. m-o-p, c-a-t, m-a-n, sh-o-p, b-l-a-ck.



The children are taught the sounds in 3 sets.

Set 1 Sounds are taught in a specific order together with rhymes to help children instantly recognise sounds ready for blending.


Set 1




down Maisie then over the two mountains. Maisie, mountain, mountain


round the apple, down the leaf


slither down the snake


round the dinosaur’s back, up his neck and down his feet


down the tower, across the tower


down the insects body, dot for the head


down Nobby and over the net


down the plait, up and over the pirate’s face


round the girl’s face, down her hair and give her a curl


all around the orange


curl around the caterpillar


down the kangaroo’s body, tail and leg


down and under the umbrella, up to the top and down the puddle


down the laces, over the toe and touch the heel


down the stem and draw the leaves


slice into the egg, go over the top, then under the egg


down the long leg


down the horse’s head to the hooves and over his back


slither down the snake, then down the horse’s head to the hooves and over his back


down the robot’s back, then up and curl


down his body, curl and dot


down a wing, up a wing


down a horn, up a horn and under the yak’s head.


down, up, down, up the worm.


down the tower, across the tower, then down the horse’s head to the hooves and over his back


zig-zag-zig, down the zip.


curl around the caterpillar, , then down the horse’s head to the hooves and over his back


round the queen’s head, up to her crown, down her hair and curl


A thing on a string


I think I stink


Children will also use pictures for each sound to help recognise the sound and then form the shape of the sound.


The children are then taught Set 2 Sounds – the long vowels. When they are very confident with all of set 1 and 2 they are taught Set 3 Sounds.


Set 2 and 3

Long  vowel sound

Set 2 Speed Sound cards

Set 3 Speed Sound cards



ay: may I play

a-e: make a cake

ai: snail in the rain


ee: what can you see

ea: cup of tea

e: he me we she be


igh: fly high

i-e: nice smile



ow: blow the snow

o-e: phone home

ao: a goat in a boat


oo: poo at the zoo

u-e: huge brute

ew: chew the stew


oo: look at a book




ar: start the car




or: shut the door

aw: yawn at dawn



air: that’s not fair

are: share and care



ir: whirl and twirl

ur: nurse for a purse

er: a better letter.


ou: shout it out

ow: brown cow



oy: toy for a boy

oi: spoil the boy



ay: may I play

ire: fire fire!




Order of Story Books

Children will follow the order listed below. Children will be introduced to ‘Ditty books’ when they successfully begin to read single words. The expectation is that all children will leave Year One as confident speedy readers, ready to take on the challenges of Year Two. However, some children may need extra support and your teacher will talk to you about this.

Red Ditty 1-10

Green 1-10

Purple 1-10

Pink 1-10

Orange 1-12

Yellow 1-10

Blue 1-10

Grey 1-13

For more information on how to support your child's phonics learning at home, please visit our Reading at Home page below or watch Reception's home learning videos which show examples of staff decoding and blending.