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RWI phonics

At Thatcham Park, we take a systematic approach to phonics teaching for decoding and encoding, both in discrete sessions, following the Read, Write Inc programme, and across the curriculum, encouraging further application of developing phonics learning. As children become emerging and fluent readers, we focus on reading in greater depth as critical readers, discussing, appreciating and exploring texts across the curriculum and to inform development in writing throughout all curriculum areas.

speed sound simple

Phonics is a highly effective way of teaching reading and spelling. It is based on the link between sounds and the way we write them down (graphemes).

i-n contains 2 sounds and 2 graphemes

c-a-t contains 3 sounds and 3 graphemes

ch-a-t contains 3 sounds and 3 graphemes

l-igh-t contains 3 sounds and 3 graphemes

c-r-a-sh contains 4 sounds and 4 graphemes

s-t-r-ee-t contains 5 sounds and 5 graphemes

Each word always contains the same number of sounds and graphemes. Graphemes can have 1, 2, 3 or 4 letters. There are 44 sounds in our language. Children are taught to read and write them.

The first sounds they are taught are found in the Simple Speed Sounds chart; in each sound box there is only one grapheme. These graphemes are referred to as Speed Sounds Set 1 and Speed Sounds Set 2.

Speed Sounds Set 1: m a s d t i n p g o c k u b f e l h r j v y w z x sh th ch qu ng nk

Speed Sounds Set 2: ay ee igh ow oo oo ar or air ir ou oy

Speed Sounds Set 3, use the Complex Speed Sounds chart; the sound boxes often contain more than one grapheme.

Speed Sounds Set 3: ea oi a-e i-e o-e u-e aw are ur er ow ai oa ew ire ear ure


rwi books
complex speed sounds chart

Green and Red words are introduced in the Storybooks. Green words are words made up of graphemes from these charts. They are called Green because once children have learned these graphemes, they can read and go! Children can read the sounds by sound-blending. Red words are common words that contain graphemes that are not found in the charts, e.g. said, want, rough, through, would. They are called Red because children may have to stop and think about these words, because they cannot easily read the words by sound-blending.

What does this look like at Thatcham Park?

At Thatcham Park we are committed to every child learning to read as quickly as possible with the strongest start to reading in the Foundation Stage. We follow Ruth Miskin's 'Read Write Inc Phonics' programme daily and follow this programme rigorously. In the last year all staff have had refresher training. 

Read Write Inc sessions take place every morning for all Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 children with no exceptions, as the pace and consistency of the programme is a key element to developing reading skills for all children. This is integral to allowing our children to effectively learn the rest of the school curriculum using their knowledge and skill in reading. This continues at KS2 for those children who need more time to consolidate. Some KS2 pupils are taking part in the Fresh Start program. We prioritise reading over other aspects of curriculum provision.

The children learn and apply sound blending skills and to segment words in order to be able to create skilled and confident readers. Children also learn to read and spell words that do not conform to regular phonetic patterns (High Frequency Words) and decode both fiction and non-fiction texts through discussion, performance and teacher led activities. 

Children will recieve a fully decodable Read Write Inc 'book bag' book to allow them to apply their phonetic knowledge and practise reading at home with parents. These books contain only the sounds that your child has been taught so far, leaving no words for them to guess at. This means that all pupils experience success with their reading.

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