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At Lydeard St Lawrence Community Primary School we use the phonics scheme Read, Write Inc. 

What is Read, Write Inc. Phonics?

Read Write Inc. Phonics is a whole-school approach to teaching literacy for 4 to 9-year olds that creates fluent readers, confident speakers and willing writers. It integrates phonics with comprehension, writing, grammar, spelling and handwriting using engaging partner work and drama. 

Parent video: What is Read Write Inc. Phonics?

Why teach phonics?

It is estimated that there are at least 228 132 words in the English language. So, we have a choice when it comes to teaching reading: rely on a person’s ability to remember and recall or teach phonics.

When we use phonics, we provide a reading foundation for each child that is based on the letters and sounds of the alphabet. Once a child learns the 26 letters with their 44 sounds and 70 common spellings, they have the tools they need to read words-- any words -- whether they have ever seen them or not.

Phonics Screening Check - Year One

What is the Year 1 phonics screening check?

The phonics screening check is taken individually by all children in Year 1 in England, and is usually taken in June. It is designed to give teachers and parents information on how your child is progressing in phonics. It will help to identify whether your child needs additional support at this stage so that they do not fall behind in this vital early reading skill.  They will then be able to retake the check so that schools can track pupils until they are able to decode.

There are two sections in this 40-word check and it assesses phonics skills and knowledge learned through Reception and Year 1. Your child will read up to four words per page for their teacher and are a mixture of real and nonsense words.


Please click the link below for an example of the Phonics Screening Check;

Read Write Inc. Programme progression:

All children are assessed half termly by our RWI lead teacher so they work at an appropriate level suited to their sound needs.


In the Foundation Stage all children:

  • Learn to say, read and write Set 1 sounds.
  • Write sounds using correct letter formation - we do not use letter names at this stage.
  • Begin to read and write simple, decodable words.
  • Begin to read and write ‘red’ words.
  • Begin to read and write simple sentences.


In Year 1 all children:

  • Learn to say, read and write Set 2 and Set 3 sounds.
  • Write sounds using correct letter formation - we introduce letter names in Set 3.
  • Begin to spell using known sounds.
  • Write confidently by practising what they want to write out loud first.
  • Listen to and talk about a range of quality texts read by the teacher.
  • Begin to read with fluency and expression.
  • Read books which are closely matched to their developing phonic knowledge.

By the end of Year 2 we aim for all children to become accurate and fluent readers.


Here is a breakdown of which reading stage children should be working at by the end of each term:

Reading - 'Fred Talk'                                                                           


Fred the Frog plays an important role in our Read Write Inc lessons. Fred is only able to speak in pure sounds, not whole words. We call this Fred Talk.  For example, Fred would say m - a – t and we would say mat.


Fred talk helps children read unfamiliar words by pronouncing each sound in the word one at a time. Children can start blending sounds into words as soon as they know a small group of letters well. During lessons children are taught to hear sounds and blend them together in sequence to make a word. We start with blending oral sounds, then progress to reading the letters and blending them together to read the word.

Phonics: How to pronounce pure sounds

Learn how to pronounce all 44 phonics sounds, or phonemes used in Read Write Inc. Phonics

Blending Sounds

Watch this video to learn how to blend sounds with your child.

Read Write Inc Sets, Sounds and Rhymes

Special Friends are a combination of two or three letters representing one sound.  When we also learn a special friend we learn a rhyme to help us remember it.  

Here are the Special Friends we learn for each set and the rhyme we say;

Red Words

Within all the books children will have red words to learn to help them to become speedy readers.  Red words are words that are not easily decodable and challenge words to extend children’s vocabulary.

Here are the red words we learn to read;

How can I support my child at home?

It is evidenced in neuro-science that the more a person practises a new skill the stronger the neuronal pathways become proving that 'Practise makes permanent'.


You can support your child at home by:

  • Listening to them read daily.
  • Practising saying the sounds and their rhymes (try making it fun for you and your child by using different voices).
  • Spotting 'Special Friends' in words (you could do this when shopping or visiting somewhere).
  • Using 'Fred Talk' when learning a new word.
  • Blending sounds together when reading.


Click on the link below to view video tutorials and find out more about:

  • Saying sounds correctly
  • Linking sounds to letters
  • Two letters, one sound
  • Putting sounds together to read simple words
  • Tricky words
  • Reading books
  • Using pictures
  • Writing letters.

Reading Books / Reading at home

In Key Stage 1, children are given a reading book linked to their RWI reading level.  Children are expected to read 5 times a week.  There are questions in the back of the book to ask children to check their comprehension of what they have read.