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Ordsall Primary School




Children are taught to read by breaking down words into separate sounds or ‘phonemes’. They are then taught how to blend these sounds together to read the whole word.

In school, we follow the Read Write Inc programme. This is a phonics resource published by Oxford University Press. This programme aims to help children to learn the phonemes (Sounds) needed to becomes fluent reader and spellers as quickly as possible so they can they apply these skills throughout their wider learning

Children across foundation stage and Key Stage 1, children have a phonics lesson each day and they are encouraged to use these strategies to read and write in other lessons.

In Foundation stage 1, children learn about hearing and making sounds. They do this by exploring:

  • A1 – Environmental sounds
  • A2 – Instrumental sounds
  • A3 – Body Percussion
  • A4 – Rhythm and rhyme
  • A5 – Alliteration
  • A6 – Voice sounds
  • A7 – Oral blending and segmenting

By the end of FS1 we want children to be confident within all these aspects and this is when they are introduced to the picture cards from Read write inc set 1.

In Foundation Stage 2, children are introduced fully to the set 1 phonemes. They learn to say these, write these and begin to blend them to read words.

Each phoneme within read write inc is given a rhyme to help the children remember the sound that it makes and what it looks like.

These are shown below, but can also be found within your child’s planner.

Picture 1

Towards the end of Foundation Stage 2 children learn the phonemes contained within Set 2. These phonemes are known as special friends as they contain 2 letters which make one sound when they are together within a word.

By the end of Foundation stage 2, the majority of children will have learnt all set 1 and set 2 sounds.

Set 3 phonemes are taught within Year 1 following a revision of set 2 within the Autumn term. Below are set 2 and 3 sounds.

Picture 1
Picture 1
Picture 1
Picture 1

By Easter in Year 1 the majority of children will have learnt all sets of sounds and be able to segment and blend these for reading in preparation for the phonics screening assessment.

Pure pronunciation of the sounds is very important in phonics. The link below gives examples of each of the pure sounds.


Phonics terminology

(Read Write inc specific terms included in brackets)


Phoneme – the sound made by a letter or group of letters.


Graphemes – the written form of the sound.


Segmenting – splitting the word into its sounds e.g.


Blending – reading all the sounds together quickly to say the word. e.g.


Digraph (Special friends) – 2 letters that make one sound e.g. ‘ea’


Trigraph (special friends) – 3 letters that make one sound e.g. ‘igh’


Split digraph (chatty friends) – 2 letters that make a sound but are separated by another letter e.g. a_e in ate.


In Read Write Inc we use Fred the Frog to help us. Fred is a puppet who says, reads and spells words in pure sounds. He never says the whole word so the children do this for him.


Fred talk – This is speaking in sounds without saying the whole word.

Fred fingers – Using our fingers to identify the sounds in a word ready to spell it.

Fred in your head – Splitting the word into its sounds in your head.

Sound buttons/ Dots and dashes – These are used to show the sounds within words. Dots represent single graphemes and dashes represent special friends. A rainbow is used to show chatty friends. e.g.


Alien words – These are words which are not real, do not make sense but help the children to apply their phonics knowledge to read.



In their phonics and across the curriculum children will also learn RED words. These are common words with uncommon spellings e.g. the, said, would. These words cannot be sounded out using phonic strategies and just needs to be learnt. These can be found within your child’s planner.

In KS2 the children move onto orange words which also have unusual spelling patterns.



Some great games to help your child practice their sounds can be found on.

  e.g.                      Obb and Bob                                                                 Buried Treasure



Choose –Phase 3 for set 1 and 2 sounds

Choose - Phase 5 for set 1, 2 and 3 sounds