St Michael And All Angels Catholic Primary School

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St Michael And All Angels Catholic Primary School

Phonics and Early Reading

Phonics and Early Reading

- St Michael and All Angels -


At St Michael’s and All Angels, we foster a joy of reading in each of our children through our literacy curriculum. We use the Read, Write Inc. systematic synthetic phonics programme to enable children to become readers. Our wider curriculum engages children in different books and texts to broaden their reading experiences. 

Read, Write Inc. 


At St Michaels and All Angels we follow the approved SSP Read, Write Inc. RWI lessons are taught as part of our daily literacy session. We begin our phonics journey in Foundation Stage 2, where children learn to blend and learn their single letter sounds. Our class teachers in Class 1 and Class 2 also run an afternoon speed sound lesson. This is a 10 minute speedy phonics sessions aimed at the whole class. Throughout the day, children are given 'pinny time', a quick-fire round of sounds they have previously learnt or their new sound for that day. 


For children who need additional support to ensure they keep up in their phonics lessons, we offer them the RWI Fast Track Tutoring to ensure they stay on track. 

Fred Talk - Learning to blend

Fred the Frog is our character in phonics lessons who helps us learn how to blend. Fred talks in Fred Talk - he says the sounds in words and children have to blend the sounds together to work out what word Fred is saying. Fred Talk is also known as oral blending and takes lots of practice! It is very important that children learn to orally blend using pure sounds. Watch the video below to find out more about pure sounds and learning to blend.

For more videos, you can visit the Ruth Miskin website where there are lots of free videos for parents. Click here


Read Write Inc. Set Sounds

Read Write Inc. is divided into three sets of sounds: Set 1, Set 2 and Set 3. Our Foundation Stage 2 children begin learning single letter sounds in Set 1 as well as learning to orally blend through Fred Talk. Children are assessed on their phonic knowledge every half term. As they learn sounds, begin to blend and read words, they move into the next group. 

Set 1 Sounds

In Set 1 children are taught single letter sounds first: 


m a s d t i n p g o c k u b f e l h r j v y w z x 


Then they are taught 6 special friends: 


sh  th  ch  qu  ng  nk


Children learn to read words using Fred Talk, read the word. Children will say the sounds in a word and then blend them together to read the word: c-a-t - cat, s-i-t - sit. 

Set 2 Sounds

Children in Set 2 begin to learn more special friends. In Set 2 they will learn the special friends below: 


ay    ee    igh    ow     oo    oo

ar    or      air     ir      ou      oy


Children will also be reading words with 4 or 5 sounds in them. For example: hand, gran, pram, stand, stamp. 

Set 3 Sounds

In Set 3 children continue to learn more special friends. This is also includes split diagraph sounds, which are vowel sounds that have another sound in-between them. See below: 


ea    oi   a-e    i-e    o-e   u-e   aw   are   ur   er   ow   ai    oa   

ew   ire   ear    ure 


An example of words with split diagraphs in them are: make, smile, home, brute. 


Children in Set 3 will continue to read words with these sounds in them. They will be challenged to read multisyllabic words as well as working on building up their pace for reading fluently. 

Reading Routine


Our children are taught a clear reading routine whenever they read with an adult. All children are taught: 


Special Friends, Fred Talk, read the word. 


What does this mean? 

Special Friends - children are prompted to check a word for special friends before they read the word. 


Fred Talk - children are prompted to remember to Fred Talk the word out loud so that they hear the sounds in the word. 


Read the word - children then read the whole word clearly. 


How does the reading routine support reading? 


Our reading routine supports children to read unfamiliar words accurately, therefore supporting their comprehension as they read. 


One family, growing together in love and faith, flourishing in an ever-changing world. We love, we believe, we shine, we achieve.