Reading and Phonics

Our Vision at Barningham CEVC Primary School

We inspire the children to become life-long learners; to serve the community, to care for the environment and to be curious about the wider world. Through our Christian values, we champion diversity and inclusivity to ensure all children have the opportunity to grow and become confident citizens equipped for the ever-changing world.

At Barningham CEVC Primary School children will learn to read using Read Write Inc Phonics. Read Write Inc. Phonics is a DfE-validated systematic synthetic phonics programme with a whole-school approach to teaching early reading and writing. It teaches children to read accurately, fluently and with understanding, to spell, and to write their own compositions.


Our Promises

At Barningham CEVC Primary, we promise that all children:

  • will leave primary school being confident and resilient readers, able to decode and comprehend a wide range of texts;
  • will be taught to read using a consistent approach by trained reading teachers;
  • are provided with opportunities to read and enjoy books for pleasure, outside of phonics lessons and the reading scheme;
  • will develop a love of books and reading.

Our core values

To be ambitious, to be kind and to give

During phonics lessons, using Read Write Inc Phonics, children will learn to read fluently with confidence. Being able to read confidently enables children to access many other areas of the curriculum. We want children to be exposed to a wide range of books as a way of opening up other worlds and cultures.

Where we grow in faith, grow in learning and grow our future world

At Barningham CEVC Primary School we promote reading for pleasure. Evidence suggests that children who read for enjoyment every day not only perform better in reading tests than those who don’t, but also develop a broader vocabulary, increased general knowledge and a better understanding of other cultures. Reading for pleasure is more likely to determine whether a child does well at school than their social or economic background.

The five key principles that underpin the teaching in all Read Write Inc. sessions:

1) Participation – As they are in small groups, children participate fully in every session. They are able to maintain high levels of concentration and they do not miss key elements of the teaching.

2) Praise – Children work together as partners. They take turns to teach and praise each other. They are motivated by praise from their teachers and teaching assistants.

3) Pace – Sessions are fast paced and lively. This keeps every child fully engaged and on task.

4) Purpose – Every instructor has been trained in Read Write Inc. methods. They know the purpose of each activity, and how it leads into the next.

5) Passion – Instructors, too, become passionate about their teaching as they see the children enjoying the progress they are making.

Reading changes everything

Teach a child to read and keep that child reading and we will change everythng.

And I mean everything

Jeanette Winterson


The children are taught the sounds in 3 sets

Set 1:

Set 1 Sounds are taught in the following order together with rhymes to help children form the letters correctly and instantly recognise sounds ready for blending. Set 1 sounds are taught first.

Set 1
mDown Maisie then over the two mountains. Maisie, mountain, mountain.
aRound the apple, down the leaf.
sSlide around the snake
dRound the dinosaur’s back, up his neck and down to his feet.
tDown the tower, across the tower,
iDown the insects body, dot for the head.
nDown Nobby and over the net.
pDown the plait, up and over the pirates face.
gRound the girls face, down her hair and give her a curl
oAll around the orange
cCurl around the caterpillar
kDown the kangaroos body, tail and leg
uDown and under the umbrella, up to the top and down to the puddle
bDown the laces, over the toe and touch the heel
fDown the stem and draw the leaves
eSlice into the egg, go over the top, then under the egg
lDown the long leg
hDown the horse’s head to the hooves and over his back
shSlither down the snake, then down the horse’s head to the hooves and over his back
rDown the robot’s back, then up and curl
jDown his body, curl and dot
vDown a wing, up a wing
yDown a horn, up a horn and under the yak’s head.
wDown, up, down, up the worm.
thDown the tower, across the tower, then down the horse’s head to the hooves and over his back
zZig-zag-zig, down the zip.
chCurl around the caterpillar, , then down the horse’s head to thehooves and over his back
quRound the queen’s head, up to her crown, down her hair and curl
xCross down the arm and leg and cross the other way
ngA thing on a string
nkI think I stink


Fred Talk

We use pure sounds (‘m’ not’ muh’,’s’ not ‘suh’, etc.) so that your child will be able to blend the sounds into words more easily.

At school we use a mascot called Fred to help the children to decode words, we call it, ‘Fred Talk’. E.g. m-o-p, c-a-t, m-a-n, sh-o-p, b-l-a-ck.

Reading Books

Children will be introduced to ‘Ditty books’ when they successfully begin to read single words. The short vowels should be kept short and sharp:
Children use sound-blending (Fred Talk) to read short ditties. They will bring these home once they have read and discussed the book in class. Children will then be challenged to use their developing phonic knowledge to write short sentences.

Within all the books children will have red and green words to learn to help them to become speedy readers. Red words are words that are not easily decodable and challenge words to extend children’s vocabulary. Green words are linked to the sounds they have been learning and are easily decodable.

Set 2 and 3:

The children are then taught Set 2 Sounds – the long vowels.

When they are very confident with all of set 1 and 2 they are taught Set 3 Sounds.

Long  vowel soundSet 2 Speed Sound cards

Teach these first

Set 3 Speed Sound cards
ayay: may I playa-e: make a cakeai: snail in the rain
eeee: what can you seeea: cup of teae: he me we she be
ighigh: fly highi-e: nice smile
owow: blow the snowo-e: phone homeao: goat in a boat
oooo: poo at the zoou-e: huge bruteew: chew the stew
oooo: look at a book
arar: start the car
oror: shut the dooraw: yawn at dawn
airair: that’s not fairare: share and care
irir: whirl and twirlur: nurse for a purseer: a better letter
ouou: shout it outow: brown cow
oyoy: toy for a boyoi: spoil the boy
ireire: fire fire!
earear: hear with your ear
ureure: sure it’s pure?

Nonsense words (Alien words)

As well as learning to read and blend real words children will have plenty of opportunities to apply their sound recognition skills on reading ‘Nonsense words’. These words will also feature heavily in the Year One Phonics Screening check in the summer term.

Dots and dashes represent the sound each letter makes.

Once your child has been introduced and taught these words in school we will send them home for you to continue practising with your child.

During the RWI session children will read the book three times and at each new reading they will have plenty of opportunities to practise using their developing comprehension skills. You may have heard your child talking about ‘hold or proof read a sentence’.

Hold a sentence is an activity that encourages children to remember a whole sentence while focusing on spelling and punctuation.

Proof read a sentence is an activity that encourages children to spot mistakes in a sentence and work with a partner to correct the errors.


Each day the children are supported to develop their spelling skills (This will only start in Reception when children are ready to write and form their letters). Children will use first use ‘Fred fingers’ to first sound out a word before they write it down. Children learn how to spell rather than just get tested. Furthermore, this way of teaching spellings allows children to use Fred fingers whenever they get stuck with spelling a word. Children pinch each sound on fingers before writing the word.



At the start of the new academic year, each child in Reception and Key Stage 1 is assessed on their letter recognition and reading within the first few weeks. The assessments will be used to assign each child to their own small, exclusive group for daily sessions with a trained RWI teacher. These groups are organised according to the children’s specific needs, and the specific sounds, letters and comprehension skills needed are taught in a secure and engaging way. Direct teaching underpins Read Write Inc. It is the quickest route to ensuring all children learn to read and write. Every day, children learn new sounds, and review previous sounds and words. They apply what they’ve been taught by reading words containing the sounds they know in matched decodable books and other texts, and write these sounds in individual words and, later, sentences.

As children progress through the levels, they are regularly assessed to ensure they are placed in the group that is appropriate for them. If a child is found to be struggling they will receive additional phonics tutoring sessions to catch up. Children may also be ‘fast-tracked’ to a more able group when their progress warrants this.

Click here to find out the order of the books that children will read as they develop through the Read Write Inc programme.