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We value the importance of early reading and writing and provide a rigorous and systematic approach to the teaching of phonics.  We aim for every child to believe that they can read. The main aim is that the children will develop a mastery of phonics, using and applying their phonic knowledge in their everyday reading and spelling.

At Holy Rood School we show fidelity to the Read Write Inc programme.

With Read Write Inc. Phonics all children:


  • reach the expected standard of the phonics screening check
  • develop reading fluency and read with comprehension
  • develop co-operative behaviour and articulate their ideas and understanding
  • spell and write with confidence.


All teachers and support staff at Holy Rood have been trained in Read Write Inc so that they can deliver high quality phonics teaching across the school.


Our Phonics Leader is Mrs L Artley. If you have any queries or concerns, please see her for more information or visit the RWI Website.


How we implement our Phonics teaching

Early phonic awareness begins with the development of listening and attention; enjoyment of stories and information texts; and early exploration of words and sounds. We want the children to begin to identify sounds within words, and to link sounds to letters. The children are taught single letter sounds first. They are taught to recognise the letter shape and associate this with the relevant spoken sound. We have picture clues to help the children remember these letters.

Each letter shape also has a handwriting phrase to help the children form the letters correctly for writing.

We practice letter formation daily within our Foundation Stage, encouraging the children to begin and end the letters in the appropriate place and use the correct directionality. Lower case letters are taught before upper case letters as they are more common.

As the children begin to recognise these letters and sound them correctly, we move on to begin to blend sounds together to read simple words. We use ‘green words’ to practice this skill.

We also look at breaking words down into sounds for writing. We pinch the sounds on our fingers to help use identify how many sounds are in a word and what order we can hear them in.

When we can read and write simple words using these sounds we move on to learn more complex sounds. These are sounds that are made up of more than one letter. Each of these sounds has a simple phrase to accompany it and a visual clue to help the children remember the sound and pronounce it correctly.

We then teach alternate spellings of familiar sounds.

It is important that we pronounce the sounds correctly. We use pure sounds e.g. “mmmm” instead of “muh” and “ssss instead of “suh”. This video is excellent for demonstrating how to pronounce each sound.

Watch here


Alongside our phonics we also teach words that cannot be decoded. These are words that we learn to recognise on sight. We call these ‘red’ words. They are the tricky ones because they do not follow the phonetic code and so we cannot sound them out.

Progression through school


Read Write Inc lessons begin on day one in reception. 

Through this rigorous and systematic approach to phonics, we aim for every child to be able to read and write independently by the end of the Foundation Stage.


As children move into Year 1 they will focus on the more complex Set 2 and Set 3 sounds. The children will also take part in the Phonics Screening Check.

This assessment requires the children to apply the phonic knowledge they have gained throughout the Foundation Stage and Year 1 to read 40 words. There are real and non-sense words, also known as ‘Alien’ words; made up of the 44 sounds taught.

You can find out more information about the Phonics Screening Check here: