Phonics and Early Reading


Intent – Why do we teach what we teach?

At Sprites Primary Academy we use the Read Write Inc Phonics Programme (RWI) to teach early reading skills.


Our intent:

is to support children in mastering phonics, which will aid reading and spelling as they move through our school,

is to equip children with a framework which helps them tackle unfamiliar words as they read,

is to broaden vocabulary through reading books that are matched to a child’s reading ability,

is to teach children how to read fluently and at speed so they can focus on developing their skills in comprehension,

is to help children to read confidently for meaning,

is to be taught fidelity to the Read Write Inc Phonics programme through daily lessons.


Implementation – How do we teach what we teach?



The children:

learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letters/letter groups using simple picture prompts,

learn to read words using ‘Fred talk’ and sound blending,

read from a range of storybooks 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 which represent the 44 sounds with the help of fun phrases,

learn to write words by using ‘Fred Talk’ (sounding words out).



The children work in pairs so that they:

answer every comprehension question (located at the back of the reading books),

practise every activity with their partner,

take turns in talking and reading to each other,

develop ambitious vocabulary.


The children are taught the sounds in 3 sets:


Set 1: The children are taught the first set of sounds, which consists of 25 single sounds and 6 special friends (2 letters, 1 sound). Children will also use pictures for each sound to help children hear the initial sounds in words and then form the shape of the sound through writing.

m a s d t i n p g o c k u b f e l h r j v w y z x

Special friends: sh ch qu th ng nk


Set 2: The children are then taught Set 2 special friends (2 or 3 letters, 1 sound), These are called the long vowels.

Special friends: ay ee igh ow oo oo ar or air ir ou oy


Set 3: When the children are very confident with all Set 1 and 2 sounds, they are taught Set 3 Sounds (2 or 3 letters, 1 sound) , which are alternative ways of writing these sounds above.

Special friends: ea oi a-e i-e o-e u-e aw are ur er ow ai oa ew ire ear ure


Additional special friends: ie au e-e wh ph kn ue



How do we assess phonic knowledge?


A half termly assessment is conducted for those who access the RWI curriculum. This helps to inform future teaching and facilitates staff with identify children who have gaps in their phonic knowledge and need additional practice. Children are then grouped according to ‘stage, not age.’

Staff quickly identify any children who are in danger of falling behind and provide the appropriate daily extra support sessions.

Children who do not pass the Phonics Screening Check in Year 1, will re-sit this in Year 2.

In KS2 children who continue to access RWI, follow a personalised RWI programme to support their reading development further.


Impact – What is the impact of what we teach?


Through the teaching of systematic phonics, we encourage our children to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One. In KS2 children can then focus on developing their fluency and comprehension through following our reading curriculum. Our ultimate goal is for all children to become independent readers, children who can easily process information, fully engage in all learning and be well prepared for the next stage of their education.


Further Information

Further information can be found at the bottom of this page.