Phonics and Reading Scheme


Since November 2021, St Philip’s have taught Phonics using the Read, Write, Inc. (RWI) scheme.  Phonics is how early reading and writing is taught.  Throughout the programme children learn all sounds within the English language.  The children learn how to say the sound and how to write the sound.  Children are taught to segment words orally before moving on to reading and writing words.

RWI is taught from Reception through to Year 2.  Children in Year 1 and 2 are streamed into groups to ensure that children are appropriately challenged whilst able to access the learning.  Children are assessed by the Phonics Lead every 6 weeks and moved into a different group if appropriate.  Year 1 and 2 RWI lessons are 1 hour long as this scheme is a fully inclusive Literacy scheme which incorporates reading and writing.  

Phonics Glossary

  • Phoneme   –   the speech sound associated to a letter or group of letters
  • Grapheme  –  the written letter that identifies the speech sound
  • Segment   –   identifying each individual sound within a word
  • Blend  -  to join together the individual sounds to read and spell words
  • Green words   –   words that can be decoded
  • Red words   –   words that cannot be decoded previously referred to as tricky words

Phonics Screening Check

Children in Year 1 throughout the country take part in a phonics screening check during the same week every June.  Children in Year 2 will also take the check if they do not achieve the required result when in Year 1 or they haven't taken the test before.

The test contains 40 words.  Each child will sit one-to-one with a teacher and read each word aloud.  We try to keep this as informal as possible and don't tell the children they are undertaking an assessment. The test itself takes approximately 10 minutes.  The list of words consists of 20 real words, and 20 pseudo words (nonsense words).  Pseudo words are included because they will be new to all pupils; they do not favour children with a good vocabulary knowledge or visual memory of words.

By the end of the summer term, your child's results will be sent home and will confirm if the child has met the standard threshold or will need to resit the next year.  The results are used to analyse the school's performance and for OFSTED purposes.  

Reading Books

Children who are still working on the RWI scheme are sent home with RWI reading books.  These books contain decodable words and red words that have previously been taught.  These books will have been read by your children in school.  The purpose of them being sent home is to read them using a story teller voice.  These books match your child’s phonics knowledge. 

Children are also sent home with a book banded book.  At St Philip’s we use reading recovery levels and PM bench marking to assess children’s reading level.  Using recovery levels as well as RWI decodable books exposes our children to more authors and helps to create a love of reading.  The reading level books sent home are an instructional level and your child might need some support to decode some words.  However we believe that using the RWI books as well as the recovery level books gives our children a greater breath of reading and develops all reading skills such as inference, prediction and comprehension skills.  


How to Help Your Child at Home

Early reading is important as it unlocks all areas of the curriculum.  Reading with your child each night has a significant impact upon your child’s development.  We know that teaching children to read is a huge task and so to help you at home we have created three videos which clearly show how to say each individual sound.  

Set 1 - Read Write Inc Sounds

Set 2 - Read Write Inc Sounds

Set 3 - Read Write Inc Sounds

If you require any firther guidance on the RWI scheme or how to help your child with reading at home, please click here to visit the Read Write Inc website.