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Phonics and Early Reading

Newton Ferrers Phonics Intent


Read Write Inc. Phonics (RWI)

Read, Write, Inc. Phonics is an inclusive literacy programme for all children learning to read. It is aimed at children reading at Level 2a or below and teaches synthetic phonics. Children learn the 44 common sounds in the English language and how to blend them to read and spell. The scheme includes both a reading and a writing focus. Reading is the key that unlocks the whole curriculum so the ability to efficiently decode is essential. The RWI sessions are expected to occur each day with no exceptions, as the continuity and pace of the programme is key to accelerating the progress of children’s reading development.

 · To create an inclusive, inspired and challenging curriculum, which develops children’s knowledge of phonics, enabling them to become successful readers who develop a life-long love of reading.

· To ensure children in KS1 are given the best opportunity to achieve expected progress, or more, in reading.

 · To teach children to: - decode texts effortlessly so all their resources can be used to comprehend what they read - spell effortlessly so that all their resources can be directed towards composing their writing

The RWI scheme advocates that lessons should be delivered using the 5 Ps:

 · Pace – good pace is essential to the lesson

· Praise/Positive Teaching – children learn more effectively in a positive climate

· Purpose – every part of the lesson has a specific purpose

· Participation - a strong feature of RWI lessons is partner work (based on research which states that we learn 70% of what we talk about with our partner)

· Passion – this is a very prescriptive programme. It is the energy, enthusiasm and passion that group leaders put into the lesson that bring the teaching and learning to life!


Delivery of Phonics

· Initial sounds are to be taught in a specific order.

· Sounds taught should be ‘pure’ ie ‘b’, not ‘buh’ as this is central to phonic teaching and ability to recognise sounds in words.

· Pupils are to be taught that the number of graphemes in a word always corresponds to the number of phonemes. This greatly aids spelling.

· Set 2 sounds are to be taught after Set 1 (initial sounds).

· Letter names are to be introduced with Set 3

At Newton Ferrers, phonics is taught across EYFS and KS1 as well as in intervention sessions across KS2, using the RWI programme of study. This is a scheme, developed by Ruth Miskin, which provides a structured and systematic approach to teaching Literacy. We teach in this way because, research shows that, when phonics is taught in a structured way – starting with the easiest sounds and progressing through to the most complex – it is the most effective way of teaching young children to read.

According to the DfE (Department for Eduction), ‘almost all children who receive good teaching of phonics, will learn the skills they need to tackle new words’. They can then go on to read any kind of text fluently and confidently, and to read for enjoyment.

At Newton Ferrers, we realise the importance of phonics as it provides children with the building blocks needed to become successful readers. Through the RWI programme, they are taught how to recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes, identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make – such as ‘sh’ or ‘oo’ and then blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word. Children can then use this knowledge to ‘de-code’ new words they hear or see. Phonics resources are displayed in each classroom across the school, including the RWI sounds and tricky red words. The children are encouraged to use these to support their writing in all lessons across the curriculum.

The children have daily phonics lessons where they start with set 1 sounds in foundation and then learn set 2 and 3 sounds as they move into year 2 and 3. As they progress, children learn different representations of a sound (‘graphemes’), for example ay, a-e, ai. This enables children to become more confident with not only their reading, but also spelling and develops skills, which are transferrable to their Literacy.

In Year 1, there is a greater emphasis on the reading of the sounds, whereas in year 2 this progresses by using the graphemes more in spelling. Children in both Year 1 and 2 are assessed using the RWI assessments test at the end of each term. The test identifies the children's progress so far as well as their targets. Regular assessments enable us to stream children for phonics and RWI, ensuring the teaching they receive is tailored to the level they are at.

RWI across the school:

Foundation Stage: RWI is fully implemented in Foundation but the class will not be split into groups until the initial sounds have been taught. Once the sounds have been taught assessments will take place to determine groupings. The sessions will occur daily for 30 minutes. Within this time a 10 minute speed sounds session will occur with follow up handwriting sessions while pupils access continuous provision, in line with the EYFS.

Key Stage One: RWI groups will be set across Year 1 and Year 2 following assessments carried out by teachers. The sessions will occur daily for 30 minutes. These sessions will include a 15-minute Speed Sounds session followed by Reading session.

Key Stage Two: Children will be assessed and grouped accordingly. The sessions will occur daily for 30 minutes. These sessions will include a 15-minute Speed Sounds session followed by Reading session.



The result of phonics teaching at our school will be that children will have a secure knowledge of phonics, enabling them to become confident readers, making expected progress or more, with a life-long love of reading. Children will be able to apply their phonic knowledge to confidently spell many words either correctly or phonetically using the sounds they have learnt. They will know spelling alternatives for different sounds and be able to apply these consistently.

Set 1 Sounds

Set 2 and 3 Sounds

Parent video: Introduction to Daily Read Write Inc. Phonics Lessons

Watch this video to find out what you need to know about Daily Phonics Lessons.

Parent video: How to say the sounds