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St Robert Bellarmine Catholic Primary School

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At St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Primary School we aim to develop the full potential of all our pupils as confident, literate readers and writers. If children are to develop as competent readers and writers, it is vitally important that they have a secure understanding of the letter sounds and spelling system of the English language. Phonic skills need to be developed in a systematic way, based on a stage approach. To enable this to take place we use Read Write Inc. phonics. This programme teaches children to read accurately and fluently with good comprehension. 


Through Read Write Inc. children learn the English alphabetic code: first they learn one way to read the 40+ sounds and blend these sounds into words, then learn to read the same sounds with alternative graphemes.

They experience success from the very beginning. Lively phonic books are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and ‘tricky’ words and, as children re-read the stories, their fluency increases.

Children are also given prompts for thinking out loud and discussion.


Provision for children in Nursery


Phase 1 - Aspects will continue to be taught from September in Nursery until February each year when many children will be ready to access the Read Write Inc. programme.  Aspects will see the Nursery children develop a 'listening ear,' we feel it is very important that they are able to identify sounds, discover what makes sounds and differentiate between these sounds before embarking on the Read, Write, Inc. journey.


Read, Write, Inc - Reception and Year 1



Children take part in daily Read, Write Inc sessions. Children are grouped so that their needs can be catered for. 


Year 2 -  Phonics and Spelling


By the end of Year 1 the Read, Write, Inc programme will generally have been completed and so the majority Year 2 will move onto Read Write Inc Spelling. Any children not at the standard to do this will receive intervention tailored to their requirements.


Speed sounds and Complex sounds - these are the sounds the children will be covering during their Read, Write, Inc sessions.

Fred Frog - Fred Frog helps the children with their segmenting of sounds, during the phonics sessions he sounds out words but he needs the children to help him blend the sounds as he struggles with his reading.

The children are taught to recognise sounds and say them correctly. They are also taught to say words that begin with those special sounds.

Green words - these words are de-codable words. Initially the children learn to 'Fred talk' them out loud using the dots and dashes underneath each sound to help. They then move onto being able to 'Fred talk' in their heads and then to instantly recognising the words.

Alien words - these are nonsense words that are still de-codeable. The children will be encouraged to 'Fred talk' these words in the same way as they do for Green words.

Red words - these words are not de-codeable and so the children are introduced to these as they require them for the reading books to accompany the programme. The children practice these words so they will have immediate re-call of them when they see them on the cards and in their reading books.

The principles of the Read, Write, Inc programme


At our school we follow this programme from Foundation Stage, through KS1 and into KS2 if appropriate. The programme focuses on securing word recognition skills, essential for children to decode (read) and encode (spell) words accurately and language comprehension.


The programme is carefully structured into developmental phases. The sessions are delivered to ensure participation and engagement resulting in high- quality phonic work on a daily basis to help practitioners and teachers ensure that by the end of Key Stage 1 children develop fluent word reading skills and good foundations in spelling.


Progression and delivery


The pace at which the programme is delivered is rapid but uses a lot of repetition so the children are constantly re-visiting sounds they have previously learnt. Children are grouped according to the stage they are currently working at.


Tracking and Assessment


All pupils are assessed every 6 weeks as they progress. During daily sessions of phonics there are also opportunities for practitioners to regularly assess children’s understanding. Outside the discrete daily phonics sessions there are opportunities to observe the application of phonic skills, e.g. during guided/ shared reading.


Regular monitoring of the assessment outcomes allows teachers and practitioners to ensure that all children are making expected progress, including children in the most vulnerable groups. This information is also used to identify children who are not making expected progress and therefore early intervention can be put in place.


Year 1 Screening Check


Every Year 1 child in the Summer term will take a Phonics Screening Check; this is a phonics based check where children will be expected to read 40 simple,

de-codeable words including nonsense words. This is a progress check to identify those children not at expected level in their reading. The results will be reported to parents as well as on ‘ASP.’ Children will be rechecked in Year 2 if they do not reach the expected level. Any child working below the level of the screen check may be dis-applied, with the acknowledgment of the parent/carer.




Through careful monitoring and tracking practitioners are able to identify children who are not making the expected progress and therefore need intervention to catch up. Depending on the needs of individuals, this may include additional individual or small group tutoring before the lesson or after the main lesson; one to one work with a trained practitioner or extra support for a child or small group of children within a lesson. It is important that children who are struggling to learn to read not only need to catch up with their peers, but also to continue to make progress.


Phonics in KS2


If children in Key Stage 2 experience difficulty in reading and/or writing because they have missed or misunderstood a crucial phase of systematic phonics teaching additional resources can be used to support them.



Special Educational Needs


Our aim at St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Primary school is that every child’s needs are catered for and every child is given the chance to succeed and become competent readers. If children are not attaining as expected, due to other difficulties, then it is our duty to put extra intervention in place, to help close the gap and ensure progress is being made.




Homework is used to support phonics taught in class, through tasks such as:

  • Practising phonic skills in spelling words
  • Reading and activities link to reading


Help at Home

This Read Write Inc video introduces the daily phonics session to you



Ruth Miskin is the author of Read Write inc and her training company is responsible for the delivery of training to teachers. Ruth Miskin Training has a variety of videos on their Youtube channel to support parents. You will find these videos here, 


Oxford publish Read write Inc and also have parent guides to help you on Oxford Owl, you will find these parent guides here.