Phonics at Laycock Primary School


My name is Antonia Leane and I lead RWI Phonics within our school. Please contact the school office if you have any queries. I am always happy to help!

At Laycock Primary School, we aim for all our children to become fluent, confident readers who are passionate about reading. We believe reading is key for academic success and we aim to have a holistic approach to the teaching of reading. Phonics is an integral component in the development of Early Reading skills, in enabling children to extend their vocabulary and ultimately improve children’s individual outcomes in Reading and Writing at all stages of their educational journey

Through the teaching of phonics, children are taught the essential skills needed for reading and writing. At Laycock Primary School, we follow the Read Write Inc (RWI) Phonics Programme. RWI is a fast-paced, rigorous and structured phonics programme developed by Ruth Miskin. It is a complete literacy programme aimed at 4- 7 year olds, which helps all children learn to read fluently and at speed so they can focus on developing their skills in comprehension, vocabulary and spelling. Our aim is that children do well in the phonics screening check at the end of year 1 and go on to be confident, fluent readers by the end of year 2. Phonics is taught daily to all children in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. The programme is split into Reading and Writing components.



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 and non-fictions books matched to their phonic knowledge
  • work well with partners


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
  • learn to build sentences by practising sentences out loud before they write

As well as group phonics lessons, pupils also have regular reading sessions with an adult to ensure they are practising and applying their phonics skills. Children take home books weekly including phonics books matched to their ability and sound knowledge, as well as books for pleasure.

Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage 1. With decoding taught as the prime approach to reading, pupils will become familiar with this strategy and have the confidence to work out unfamiliar words in any new texts they encounter even when they have come to the end of the RWI programme. Pupils will have the opportunity to develop their fluency and comprehension as they move through the school, accessing a range of texts independently. Attainment in reading is measured using statutory assessments at the end of EYFS, Key Stage 1 and 2 and following the outcomes in the Year 1 Phonics Screening check. Additionally, we track our own reading attainment through the use of RWI half termly.

Five key principles underpin the teaching in all Read Write Inc. sessions: 

Purpose – know the purpose of every activity and share it with the children, so they know the one thing they should be thinking about

Participation – ensure every child participates throughout the lesson. Partnership work is fundamental to learning

Praise – ensure children are praised for effort and learning, not attainment

Pace – teach at an effective pace and devote every moment to teaching and learning

Passion – be passionate about teaching so children can be engaged emotionally.

Useful links for parents

Make the most of the RWI portal by accessing these informative videos to support your child to decode words.


We start teaching the programme in our Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and then continue until pupils have worked their way through the whole reading scheme, usually during Year One or Two.

In EYFS, all children will learn how to ‘read’ and ‘write’ all of the sounds in Set 1 and Set 2 then taught how to blend these into words.  Fred the frog helps the children to blend the sounds together which is then used to help children read.  The teachers will often use the phrase ‘Fred talk’ to sound out words.


We assess all children on the scheme every six weeks, to ensure that they are placed in the correct group for their reading ability.  This also allows us to quickly identify any child who needs some support to access the learning at the level of the group.  If this arises, we provide one-to-one tutoring for the child in accordance with the Read, Write Inc scheme to help individuals make rapid progress and once again be at the level of their group.  Groups are taught by either a teacher or a teaching assistant who has had Read, Write Inc Phonics training.  Sessions in EYFS are 30 minutes long, and then build up to 45 minutes in Key Stage One.


Children begin by learning Set 1 sounds in a specific order.  They also begin learning to blend sounds together to make words after learning the first four sounds, through practising oral blending.  When children can blend independently, they progress to reading green words.


Once children can read green words, they begin to read stories in their Read, Write Inc sessions.  Each storybook is matched to the sounds they can already read, which sets them up for success and helps to build their confidence with reading.  It is through the storybooks that we teach children red words - irregular words that are not phonetically plausible and cannot be sounded out (Fred talked).  Every storybook is taught in the same way: children practise reading the green words in the story as well as the red words before they begin to read the book.  Children will then read the book several times to help build their fluency and comprehension skills.


Years One and Two

Children follow the same format as EYFS but will work on complex sounds (Set 2 and 3 sounds) and read books appropriate to their reading level.  Daily sessions of RWI phonics last for 45 minutes. This includes 15 minutes of writing sentences related to the story.


See below for Progression of what to teach when:

 Learning Links