Phonics & Spelling

Phonics at St Breock 

Children who read regularly or are read to regularly have the opportunity to open the doors to so many different worlds! More importantly, reading will give your child the tools to become independent life-long learners as reading is the key to many areas of the curriculum.

At St Breock we aim for all our children to become fluent, confident readers who are passionate about reading.

We can achieve this together through:

  •          Read Write Inc, a program to support your child's early reading journey.
  •          Experiencing an environment which is literacy rich, across all subjects.
  •          Encouraging children to develop a love of books by reading to them daily, at home and at           school
At St Breock School we use a carefully tailored programme of synthetic phonics based on the Read Write Inc Phonics scheme (RWI) to give your child the best possible start with their literacy. 

Miss Barker is our phonics lead teacher and Mrs Dennis is our literacy lead teacher.

Please take the time to read the information as it will provide invaluable information as to how you can help and support your child in reading.

You will find our whole-school progression map for reading, phonics and spelling above.

What is Read Write Inc?
Read Write Inc (RWI) is a phonics complete 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, at St Breock we begin phonics teaching in our nursery (Beacons) 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 https://ruthmiskin.com/en/find-out-more/parents/.

How will RWI be taught?
All children are assessed regularly by their RWI teacher so that they work with children at the same level. This allows complete participation in lessons.

Beacons Nursery
When appropriate, children will be introduced to the initial sounds in short RWI sessions. This is the very start of their reading journey with us and is delivered using rhymes and alliteration.  

Reception - Y2

The daily sessions are broken down into 3 sections as detailed below;


The children:

  •          learn sounds and the corresponding letters/letter groups using simple picture prompts – see                 detail 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;
  •          work well with partners;
  •          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  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.


The children work in pairs so that they:

  •          answer every question;
  •          practise every activity with their partner;
  •          take turns in talking and reading to each other;
  •          develop ambitious vocabulary.

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 following video is an example of blending sounds with Fred. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEzfpod5w_Q

The children are taught the sounds in 3 sets.

Step 1:
Set 1 Sounds are taught in the following order together with rhymes to help children form the letters correctly and instantly recognise sounds ready for blending.


Set 1




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


Round the apple, down the leaf.


Slide around the snake


Round the dinosaur's back, up his neck and down to 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 pirates face.


Round the girls face, down her hair and give her a curl


All around the orange


Curl around the caterpillar


Down the kangaroos body, tail and leg


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


Cross down the arm and leg and cross the other way


A thing on a string


I think I stink

Please do not use letter names at this early stage. 

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

Step 2:
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.


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: 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




ire: fire fire!




ear: hear with your ear




ure: sure it’s pure?



Nonsense words (Alien words)         
As well as learning to read and blend real words children will have plenty of opportunities to apply their sound recognition skills on reading ‘Nonsense words’. These words will also feature heavily in the Year One Phonics Screening check in the summer term. 

Step 3:
Children will be introduced to ‘Ditty books’ when they successfully begin to read single words. The short vowels should be kept short and sharp:

Children use sound-blending (Fred Talk) to read short ditties.  Children will then be challenged to use their developing phonic knowledge to write short sentences.

Within all the books children will have red and green 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. Green words are linked to the sounds they have been learning and are easily decodable.

Dots and dashes represent the sound each letter makes.

Once your child has been introduced and taught these words in school we will send them home in their Sound Book, for you to continue practising with your child and refer to when reading. 

During the RWI session children will read their book three times and at each new reading they will have plenty of opportunities to practise using their developing comprehension skills. You may have heard your child talking about ‘hold, edit or build a sentence’.

Hold a sentence is an activity that encourages children to remember a whole sentence while focusing on spelling and punctuation.

Build a sentence is to give children the opportunity to create their own sentence to that shows the meaning of a word and edit a sentence allows the children to critique a sentence using their knowledge of spelling punctuation and grammar. Children complete a longer piece of independent writing, which gives them the opportunity to show off their creativity and to practice their spelling, grammar and punctuation.

Order of Story books: 

Children will follow the order listed below. 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. 


Year Group Expectations

Green Words in Books

Red Ditty 1-10


Click here to help your child

Green 1-10


Click here to help your child

Purple 1-10

Reception/Year One

Click here to help your child

Pink 1-10

Reception/Year One

Click here to help your child

Orange 1-12

Year One

Click here to help your child

Yellow 1-10

Year One

Click here to help your child

Blue 1-10

Year One

Click here to help your child

Grey 1-13

Year One/Year Two

Click here to help your child

 To help at home:

Your child will start to bring reading books home linked to their phonics teaching so they can increase their accuracy, fluency and comprehension using the sounds they know. More information on how to support your child at home is available under the Parents section on our website.

If you have any other questions about RWI, please see your class teacher, Miss Barker or Mrs Dennis.

Phonics Screening Check Year One
What is the Year 1 phonics screening check?
The Year 1 phonics screening check is a short, light-touch assessment to confirm whether individual pupils have learnt phonic decoding to an appropriate standard.  Children will be expected to read 40 simple, decodable words including nonsense words. The results will be reported to parents. 


Through careful monitoring and tracking of daily phonics, teachers are able to identify children who are not making the expected progress and therefore need intervention to stay on track. These children will receive 1-2-1 support in the classroom daily. 

Phonics in KS2

As children move into KS2 the focus will move away from phonics towards higher level reading skills. By using the VIPERS - (Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval, Summarise) acronym.  Children have daily sessions focusing on reading comprehension. For those children who continue to need more support with their phonics they will either continue with daily RWI sessions  or a more tailored intervention to meet their needs.

Every class in KS2 has RWI wall charts and sound mats available for the children to use independently and regular practise of the speed sounds is carried out using the flash cards to ensure phonics understanding is embedded.

Children from Year 2 onward follow Spelling Shed, a scheme which builds in taught spelling strategies to help children embed their knowledge of spelling. See our Spelling Curriculum Map above for details of each year group.

Useful websites for Parents

Please find a list of websites that you may find useful in helping you and your child learn about phonics. Games and fun activity websites are also included.

Ruth Miskin – guidance and support for parents

http://www.phonicsplay.co.uk/ - many games to play

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks1/literacy/phonics/play/ - fun games for the children to play

http://www.ictgames.com/literacy.html  - fun games for the children to play

http://www.starfall.com/  - fun online books and games for the children to play

http://www.firstschoolyears.com/  - fun games for the children to play

http://www.twinkl.co.uk - lots of resources to print off and help you support your child at home

BBC Bitesize - many games to play covering all areas of the curriculum

Oxford Owl – guides and resources for parents


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