Reading & Phonics

We teach children to read using a phonics program called Read Write Inc.

The Read Write Inc. programme supports every child to become a confident and fluent reader, develops a wide range of vocabulary and encourages a love of stories.

How and what do the children learn?

The children:

  • learn 44 sounds and the matching letters/letter groups using simple picture prompts. (Phonics)
  • learn to read words using sound blending
  • read lively stories featuring words they have learned to sound out
  • show that they comprehend the stories by answering ‘Find It’ and ‘Prove It’ discussion questions
  • Talk a lot about what they have read to show they understand
  • Listen to and discuss other ideas to deepen understanding.
  • They take part in a daily phonics and reading lesson that they are grouped for to ensure is it targeted to their level of development.
  • learn to write the letters/letter groups which represent the 44 sounds using simple handwriting phrases that have formation stories relating to the picture

Pupils have a rich selection of reading books to choose from. They value the reading opportunities available to them and participate enthusiastically in the school’s reading ladder and reading league table schemes. Consequently, pupils read regularly and for pleasure both in school and at home.

Activities to support pupils’ development of reading are a strength and have contributed to the strong outcomes in reading. Sessions are well designed and meet the pupils’ needs. For pupils who are learning to read, interventions are precise and pupils make substantial progress. Pupils enjoy these sessions.


At school we use a frog (called Fred) in our RWI lessons. He can sound talk words beautifully! When we say words in sounds we call it ‘Fred Talk’. We do not use letter names at this stage; we simply focus on the sounds that are used to sound out words. The sounds that letters make are called phonics. Using Phonics is a highly effective way of teaching reading and spelling. If the children come across a word in a book they are unsure of, we ask them to ’Fred Talk, then read the word’, this encourages them to sound talk in order to decode it and then blend to read it.

E.g. d-o-g, dog / sh-o-p, shop

The children are not only taught the ‘sound’ the letter makes, but also how to form the letter, using a rhyme and picture prompt.

Guidance on how to pronounce the sounds in a pure way can be found by clicking the button below.


To help your child read with Phonics you can download our parents booklet and 3 sets of speed sound flash cards by clicking on the links below.

Children are continuously assessed as to their progress in phonics and additional supported may be deployed to support children’s development. Towards the end of  Yr1 the children will be subject to the national phonics screening check.

If you would like to know more about phonic development please come in and talk to your child’s teacher.

Please see the resources you can use at home below.


At Watcombe, reading is hugely important to us. Research from the Institute of Education (2013) shows that reading plays a significant part in children’s learning and that good readers are more likely to make good progress or better in all areas of learning.

  • Children who read for pleasure are likely to do significantly better at school than their peers.
  • Children who are read to regularly at age 5 perform better in tests at age 16 than those who were not.
  • Reading for pleasure has the strongest effect on children’s vocabulary development, but the impact on spelling and maths is also significant.
  • Children who read for pleasure make more progress in Maths, vocabulary and spelling between the ages of 10 and 16 than those who rarely read.

This starts from before the children come to school with adults sharing books and enjoying them together allowing children to develop the understanding that print has meaning and build a love for stories. As the children develop they learn a range of different strategies (such as phonics) to help them read and gain meaning from text.

In order to promote reading we use a range of strategies from inviting parents in for a weekly reading time with their children in the mornings to encouraging reading at home with a weekly challenge for classes to achieve the top number of home reads and be the ‘Reading Champions’ of the week.
To support our pupils in making progress in their reading we have a well stocked library from which children are able to access a wide range of books. These are banded into ability ranges to help the children choose books that are suitable for them.

Within this banded system, spanning a range of published schemes, there are target points that children should reach by certain ages to ensure that they are on track to achieve the necessary attainment levels at the end of each year. Once a child has reached the age appropriate level then there will be a time for them to consolidate and develop their reading skills through a range of challenges. This is really important to ensure that children are able to extend comprehension and higher level skills through experiencing a broad range of books. The children will be presented with certificates as they progress through the different levels and challenges to celebrate their achievements.

Reading at home is hugely important and will benefit the children by allowing them to practice the skills they are learning and be able to become more sustained readers.

Babbel have 10 top tips for helping make reading at home an enjoyable and valuable experience.

Visit Top Marks

At Watcombe we have also produced a booklet for you that we hope will support you in your understanding of how to best support your child in their reading

A Parents Guide to Teaching Early Reading Skills

If you have any questions at all about reading, your child’s progress or would like to come in and help hear readers in school please don’t hesitate to contact your child’s teacher. All help is very well received and really contributes to the children’s progress in reading.

School Reading in KS2

Children in KS2 have a daily ‘whole class’ reading session.  The class have a shared text chosen to meet their interests and challenge their reading level.  Sessions have a focus upon developing vocabulary and involved sustained reading with a partner.  There is then a focus upon answering questions focused upon the strands of word meaning, retrieval of information, summarising, inference, vocabulary & authorial word choice and prediction.  Younger children answer these questions orally and, as the children mature, this moves to deeper written responses.  Sessions end with shared focus about answers and the use of evidence to support these.

Files to Download