Skip to content ↓


Early Reading, Phonics and Reading Schemes

At St Joseph's Catholic Primary School, children use key skills to help them work out what new words say when they learn to read.   This is called decoding.  Working out what words mean is like cracking the code to reading. Phonics and learning sight words are key skills for decoding.  At St Joseph's Catholic Primary School we use ‘Read Write Inc’.  'Read, Write, Inc' is our phonics scheme.  We combine systematic synthetic phonics with explicit instruction to ensure our pupils gain the knowledge and skills required for reading,  spelling and writing. We want all our pupils to begin their journey to read with confidence and to develop a lifetime love of reading.

What is Read Write Inc?

Read Write Inc (RWI) is a systematic synthetic phonics programme which helps all children learn to read fluently and at speed so they can focus on developing their skills in comprehension, vocabulary and spelling.  In RWI phonics the individual sounds are called ‘speed sounds’. Set 1 sounds are the initial letter sounds e.g. m, a, s, d, t. Set 2 and 3 sounds are made up of two or three letters which represent one sound, e.g. ee as in seen and igh as in light. Children will also be taught that there are more ways in which the same sounds are written, e.g. ay as in day and a-e as in make.  The speed sounds are taught in the following order together with rhymes to help children form the letters correctly and instantly recognise sounds ready for blending and segmenting. Every speed sound has a list of green words linked to it, so your child can ‘sound out’ and ‘sound blend’ words containing the new speed sound they have just learnt, for example, s-p-r-ay = spray. 

Phonics teaching begins in a fun and playful way in Reception. We introduce phonics through a variety of games, songs and rhymes which encourages careful listening. As children become more confident, they begin to notice and discuss written print and letters in their environment taking opportunities to talk about letters and sounds they may recognise such as the letters in their name. When children are ready we teach set 1 sounds to fully prepare children for their Reception phonics learning. 
Phonics is taught to all children in Reception, Year 1 and those in Year 2 who have not passed the phonics screening check in Year 1. We teach phonics for 30 minutes every day. Children are taught in small ability-based groups.  

Aspects of the phonics curriculum are embedded in learning within the provision of SEND learning to ensure that all children have access to a broad and balanced curriculum.

Children learn to:

  •  Decode letter-sound correspondences quickly and effortlessly, using their phonic knowledge and skills
  •  Read common exception words (red words) on sight
  •  Understand what they read
  •  Read aloud with fluency and expression
  •  Spell quickly and easily by segmenting the sounds in words
  •  Learn letter formation and handwriting skills 

Children are assessed regularly (at least half-termly) to ensure they are making expected progress and being taught in the most appropriate ability group. Groups follow the same plans and routines, so children can transition to different groups smoothly. Progress is carefully monitored by teachers and those children not making expected progress are identified and 1:1 phonics interventions are put in place to help them catch up. New arrivals to the school also receive tailored and age-appropriate phonics instruction if needed.

Read Write Inc. Phonics

Follow this link to find a series of information and tutorial videos explaining the basics of Read Write Inc Phonics. These videos will help you support your child at home. 

Supporting phonics at home

Interactive Phonic Games to play at home

Free E-Books to download to support early reading at home