St Patrick's Primary School, Liverpool


In St. Patrick’s, our phonic teaching aims to ensure all children are fluent readers. By our children being able to confidently and fluently read we know that this will unlock our whole curriculum.

Read, Write, Inc. Phonics is an inclusive programme for all children learning to read. Children learn the 44 common sounds in the English language and how to blend them to read and spell. The use of pictures and memorable phrases is used to aid children’s retention and recall of phonemes for reading and spelling. The R.W.I sessions occur each day with no exceptions, as the continuity and pace of the programme is key to accelerating the progress of children’s reading development. .

Aims and Objectives

To teach children to:

  • apply the skill of blending phonemes in order to read words.
  • segment words into their constituent phonemes in order to spell words.
  • learn that blending and segmenting words are reversible processes.
  • read high frequency words that do not conform to regular phonic patterns.
  • read texts and words that are within their phonic capabilities as early as possible.
  • decode texts effortlessly so all their resources can be used to comprehend what they read.

The Read Write Inc. programme is for primary school children learning to read. At St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School the children will begin the programme in their last term of Nursery class and will remain on the programme until they are reading fluently with a good level of comprehension and speed. Our aim is for the majority of children to be off the scheme by the end of Year 1, however some children will remain on the scheme in Years 3 and 4, if appropriate. 

How does it work?

Nursery Class:

In the summer term before starting Reception class the children will be introduced to the characters associated with the RWI programme. 

Reception Class

Children are first taught the pure ‘set 1 sounds’ so that they will be able to blend the sounds into words more easily. In School we call this ‘Fred Talk’. We do not use letter names at this stage; we simply focus on the sounds. 

They are taught one sound a day and will be assessed regularly.  Once the children are fluent in recognising and blending the first set of sounds the children will start to read a levelled reading book

Years 1 and beyond

The children will continue to learn and consolidate Set 2 & 3 sounds while reading the related story books. 

The children will complete reading and writing activities for 45mins each day, grouped according to their reading level.

Children will be grouped according to their stage not their age, so classes will be mixed and taught by different teachers/teaching assistants. 

Pupils work within ability groups which are defined by their performance on R.W.I. phonic assessments. 

Delivery of Phonics

  • Initial sounds are taught in a specific order.
  • Sounds taught should be ‘pure’ ie ‘b’, not ‘buh’ as this is central to phonic teaching and ability to recognise sounds in words.
  • Children are to be taught that the number of graphemes in a word always corresponds to the number of phonemes. This greatly aids spelling.
  • Set 2 sounds are to be taught after Set 1 (initial sounds)
  • Letter names are to be introduced with Set 3.

Assessment and Recording

Children are assessed throughout every lesson. Every time partner work is used the teacher assesses the progress of the children. The teacher assesses how children:

  • read the grapheme chart
  • read the green and red word lists
  • decode the ditty/story
  • comprehend the story.

Formal assessment is carried out each half term by the phonics lead to ensure consistency using the R.W.I. phonic checks.

Monitoring and Review

The R.W.I. lead

  • organises the assessment of all pupils accessing phonics and designates pupils to the correct groups
  • assigns leaders to groups
  • ‘drops in’ on R.W.I. groups to give advice and to informally check that pupils are in the correct groups
  • where necessary models lessons
  • attends up-date meetings when they occur and reports back to the R.W.I. group leaders
  • speaks with the head teacher regarding groupings, teaching spaces and other pertinent matters
  • is responsible for reporting to the governors about the quality of the implementation of R.W.I. and the impact on standards.


Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One. This way, children can focus on developing their fluency and comprehension as they move through the school. Attainment in phonics is measured by the Phonics Screening Test at the end of Year 1.

Children who are new to their English reading journey on entry to our school will begin their phonics journey with initial sounds.

Parent Films to support phonics

Ruth Miskin – Phonics for families