Chase Lane Primary School and Nursery

Aspire. Strive. Achieve.

Home Page

Phonics and Reading

We are a Read, Write, Inc School


Here at Chase Lane we follow Read Write Inc (RWI) which is a systematic and dynamic Literacy programme rooted in Phonics. It was developed by Ruth Miskin and is designed to create fluent readers, confident speakers and willing writers. 


The Process


Our children take part in 30 minute RWI sessions at the start of every school day. Children from EYFS, Year 1, 2 and 3 are working from this programme. The children are assessed every 6 weeks to ensure they are working within the correct level group to match their knowledge. This means we are frequently monitoring our children to ensure they are making the progress required to push through the different levelled groups. They continue to learn Phonics until they reach the end of the RWI programme. 


Our Delivery


All Teachers and Teaching Assistants at Chase Lane have attended training workshops, led by the main RWI training team, to ensure high quality teaching of Phonics is delivered to the children at our school. Staff training is regularly provided in school to ensure staff are up to date with developments in the programme so children are always receiving the best quality Phonics provision.

Strategies used through Read, Write, Inc


Simple Sounds


We begin by teaching the children  simple speed sounds. 

As you can see, the programme introduces these sounds through the use of familiar picture clues. Each letter also has a rhyme attached to it to help children with the writing process. Click the link below to learn the rhymes. For example, 's'- slither down the snake.

Complex Sounds


The children then move onto complex sounds. Complex sounds have more than one phoneme and grapheme which are shown in the chart below.

Fred Talk and Fred in Your Head


Children are taught to 'Fred Talk' their words by sounding out and blending to read words. For example, 's, a, t- sat'.


Once the children can sound out a word, we teach them to say the sounds in their heads. We hold up the word card to give the children time to mime the sounds and then push the word card forward as a signal to say the word altogether. 

Fred Fingers


Children are taught to spell by hearing and saying sounds in a word before writing it down. In RWI, this process is called 'Fred Fingers'. 


The children begin by saying the word and they hold up the correct amount of fingers for the sounds on their non-writing hand. For example, the word 'mat' has three sounds, so they would hold up three fingers. Similarly, the word 'fish' has three sounds, 'f, i, sh', so again they would hold up three fingers. Then the children say the sounds as they pinch each sound onto the corresponding finger. Once they have done this, the children can then write the word as they say the sounds again, underlining any 'special friends'. 

Hold a Sentence


Hold a sentence is a process used in RWI to support writing. It teaches children to remember a whole sentence in their head before they write it down with the correct punctuation and spelling. The sentences we ask the children to write include words that they have already been taught how to spell.


Pupils begin by saying a sentence out loud, which has been modelled by the teacher. When they can remember the order of the words and say them out loud confidently, actions for the punctuation can be introduced. They continue to say the sentence out loud, including the actions. The teacher will then model the writing process by regularly re-reading the sentence with the punctuation actions and using spelling strategies already taught. The completed sentence is hidden and the children use the same process to write the same sentence independently. 

How to support your child in Read, Write, Inc


You can use the RWI strategies that are explained above to help your child with their reading and writing at home. This will reinforce your child's learning from school and help to make them more confident. 


Reading book guidance



Children in EYFS and Key Stage One will bring home Read Write Inc. reading books, when they are ready to read, to ensure the children are always reading a book that is matched to their correct Phonics ability. This should enable children to develop their confidence as they should be able to read the books they are given more fluently, without the need to decode as many words using their sound knowledge.


On a Monday, your child’s classroom assistant will change your child’s book bag book, which is a book they haven’t read before but of the same colour level to match their Phonics group. In addition to the fiction book, if your child is in the Yellow, Blue or Grey group, they will also receive a non-fiction book as well to share with you. Please note, non-fiction books are currently not available for the rest of the Read Write Inc. colour groups.


Children who are still learning their Phonics sounds will bring home purple sound blending books where they will be required to say the sounds they see and blend the sounds together to read the complete word. Children who have these reading books will also bring home a story book from the classroom reading area that an adult or sibling can read to them to develop and model a love for reading. These books will be changed in the same way by your child’s classroom assistant.


We ask that your child reads each book at least three times as every time they read it, they develop their sight vocabulary and increase their fluency. Record any reading into their reading record so your child’s class teacher is aware.


On a Friday, your child will take their reading folder to their Phonics group, where their Phonics teacher will give them a copy of the book they have read in class that week. The children will be very familiar with this story and excited to share it with you! Please encourage them to read it again as this is a book they will now be able to read like a storyteller. They shouldn’t need to sound out words but should be able to use some simple expression in their voice to make their reading sound exciting!


If your child reads regularly and requires additional reading material, you can encourage them to read other books and texts you may have at home already including magazines, comics, newspapers, leaflets etc. This reading can also be included into your child’s reading record.


In addition to this, your child will bring home a coloured word sheet titled ‘Storybook words’. Please work with your child to learn these words from sight. They need to be able to read them speedily without having to sound them out. These words will be assessed half termly and this will impact whether they move into a new Phonics group.


When your child completes the Phonics programme, they will then start reading a variety of Bug Club books.


Year One Phonics Screening Check


The phonics screening check is a quick check of your child’s ability to decode words using only his or her phonic knowledge. It helps us to confirm whether your child has met the expected standard for a child at the end of Year 1. The check is a statutory requirement for all children in Year 1 and takes place each year in the summer term. For more information, watch the video below!