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Woodingdean Primary School


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At Woodingdean Primary School,
we are committed to nurturing and developing inspired,
curious, independent and well-rounded children
with the self-belief to fulfil their potential.

How we teach phonics at Woodingdean

At Woodingdean Primary School we follow the Read Write Inc (RWI) programme to get children off to a flying start with their English. RWI is a method of learning centred round letter sounds and phonics and we use it to aid children in their reading and writing.

We believe that reading opens the door to learning. A child who reads a lot will become a good reader. A good reader will be able to read more challenging material. A child who reads challenging material is a child who will learn. The more a child learns, the more he or she will want to find out.

We can achieve this together through:

  • Read Write Inc, a program to help to your child read at school
  • Encouraging children to develop a love of books by reading to them daily, at home and at school
  • Giving children access to a wide range of books at school and at home

How Does it Work? 


The children:

  • Learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letters/letter groups using simple picture prompts – see below
  • Learn to read words using Fred talk and sound blending
  • Read from a range of storybooks and non-fictions books matched to their phonic knowledge
  • Work well with partners
  • Develop comprehension skills in stories by answering ‘Find It’ and ‘Prove It’ discussion questions


The children:

  • Learn to write and form the letters/letter groups which represent the 44 sounds with the help of fun phrases
  • Learn to write words by using Fred Talk


The children

  • They work in pairs so that they:
  • Answer every question
  • Practise every activity with their partner
  • Take turns in talking and reading to each other
  • Develop ambitious vocabulary

Progressing through the stages

Five key principles underpin the teaching in all Read Write Inc. sessions:  

Purpose – know the purpose of every activity and share it with the children, so they know the one thing they should be thinking about

Participation – ensure every child participates throughout the lesson. Partnership work is fundamental to learning

Praise – ensure children are praised for effort and learning, not ability

Pace – teach at an effective pace and devote every moment to teaching and learning

Passion – be passionate about teaching so children can be engaged emotionally.

Children will be taught how to read as follows:

Children initially begin using pictures for each sound. This will help children recognise the sound and then form the shape of the sound. When teaching children to read, 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, E.g. m-o-p,  c-a-t,  m-a-n,  sh-o-p,  b-l-a-ck.

Every half term each child will be reassessed and moved into the group appropriate for them. Some children take longer to move through the groups so please do not worry if your child stays where they are for a little longer. It is important for them to consolidate their learning before moving on.

Below you will find more information about each of the coloured groups and the sounds each child works on within that group.

Sound Blending Group A

Sound Blending Group B

Sound Blending Group C










Once children complete the Read Write Inc programme, they are benchmarked and moved onto the appropriate Book Banded book colour which they then follow until they become a free reader. We begin to encourage our children to be free readers and independently choose appropriate books from around the brown book band depending on which year group they are in. The book banded book colours are:


Supporting your Child at Home

Every three days every child will bring home a new Read Write Inc Storybook and a Read Write Inc Book Bag Book. They also have the option to independently choose and bring home a book of their choice to share with a grown up. Please make sure book bags are in school every days. The storybook your child brings home they will be familiar with and will have spent the week working hard to read it with expression and fluency. Please encourage your child to share this success with you to nurture their love for reading. 

So that you are able to support your child's learning at home, please take some time to explore the links below to see videos and examples of how RWI is taught.

Read Write Inc. E-Books

Fred the Frog games  

Extra resources

Parent support videos

Frequently asked questions

Our Read Write Inc Lead Teacher in school is Mrs Stillwell.  If you have any queries or would like to discuss our phonics programme further, please do not hesitate to contact her or your child's class teacher.