Developing Reading skills through Read, Write Inc at Rose Hill Primary School.

At Rose Hill we aim for all our children to become fluent, confident readers who are passionate about reading.

At Rose Hill Primary we follow the Read Write Inc scheme to support our teaching of Phonics.

 The following information will explain the phonics teaching that your child will receive daily at school in Foundation Stage, Years 1 and 2.

Before your child can start to read, s/he needs to learn to:

  • Say the sound that is represented by each letter or group of letters
  • Sound out the word, e.g. c-a-t, sh-o-p, s-t-r-ee-t 

This is Fred, your child will know this character as a frog who can say the sounds but is unable to put the sounds together to blend. The children help Fred by blending for him.

The following video is an example of blending sounds with Fred.

What are speed sounds?

In Read Write Inc phonics the individual sounds are called ‘speed sounds’ – because we want your child to read them effortlessly.

The speed sounds are grouped into Set 1, Set 2 and Set 3.

Set 1

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

Children will also use pictures for each sound to help recognise the sound and then form the shape of the sound.

Set 2


may I play


what can you see


fly high


blow the snow


poo at the zoo


look at a book


start the car


shut the door


that’s not fair


whirl and twirl


shout it out


toy for a boy

 Set 3


cup of tea


spoil the boy


make a cake


nice smile


phone home


huge brute


yawn at dawn


share and care


purse for a nurse


a better letter


brown cow


snail in the rain


goat in a boat


chew the stew


fire fire!


hear with your ear


sure it’s pure?







he me we she be

It is important that the speed sounds are practised in the correct order. The tables above show you the order of the sounds.

Foundation Stage     

In (Butterflies and Ladybirds) children will be taught Set 1 sounds. They will also be taught how to blend them together to read words e.g. c-a-t = cat

Year 1        

In Foxes, Hedgehogs and Squirrels most children will be taught Set 2 and Set 3 sounds. They will also be taught to ‘sound out’ and ‘sound blend’ words containing the speed sounds they have learnt, e.g. s-p-r-ay = spray.

 Year 2         

In Foxes, Hedgehogs and Squirrels most children will be taught Set 3 ‘speed sounds’ spelling only if they are secure with Set 2 and Set 3 sounds.


Spelling is part of the RWInc programme. Children will use ‘Fred fingers’ to first sound out a word before they write it down.  Children learn how to spell rather than just get tested. Furthermore, this way of teaching spellings allows children to use Fred fingers whenever they get stuck with spelling a word. Children pinch each sound on fingers before writing the word.

Order of Story books: Children will follow the order listed below. The expectation is that all children will leave Year One as confident speedy readers, ready to take on the challenges of Year Two. However, some children may need extra support and your teacher will talk to you about this. 

Books Year Group Expectations
Red Ditty 1-10 Reception
Green 1-10 Reception
Purple 1-10 Reception
Pink 1-10 Reception/Year One
Orange 1-12 Year One
Yellow 1-10 Year One
Blue 1-10 Year One
Grey 1-13 Year One/Year Two

 Year 1 Phonic Screening Check

The phonics screening check will be taken individually by all children in Year 1. Its purpose is to give teachers and parents, information on how your child is progressing in phonics.

 What is the phonics screening check?

The phonic screening check is a 40-word check and it will assess phonics skills and knowledge learnt through Foundation Stage and Year 1. If your child does not reach the threshold score they will re-sit in Year 2.

It will check that your child can:

  • sound out and blend sounds in order to read simple words.
  • read phonically decodable one-syllable and 2 syllable words, e.g. cat, sand, windmill.
  • read a selection of nonsense words which are referred to as alien words.

What are nonsense or alien words and why are they included?

 These are words that are phonically decodable but are not actual words e.g. brip, snorb. Alien words are included in the check to assess whether your child can decode a word using phonics skills and not their memory.

Activities to do at home with your child.

How to practise Set 2 speed sounds

When you practice Set 2 speed sounds with your child, you either have to stretch it or bounce it.

Example of how to practice the stretchy speed sound ay (as in play)

  • Stretch aaaaay
  • Stretch the sound and say the phrase aaaay, may I play?
  • Repeat the phrase ay, may I play?
  • Encourage your child to ‘sound out’ and ‘sound blend’ words containing the speed sound they have just practiced
    e.g. t-r-ay = tray

Example of how to practice the stretchy speed sound oo (as in book)

  • bounce the sound oo-oo-oo
  • bounce the sound and say the phrase oo-oo-oo, look at a book
  • repeat the phrase oo, look at a book
  • Encourage your child to ‘sound out’ and ‘sound blend’ words containing the speed sound they have just practiced
    e.g. c-oo-k = cook

How to practise Set 3 speed sounds


Remember, only practice Set 3 ‘speed sounds’ once your child’s knowledge of the Set 2 ‘speed sounds’ is secure.

Example of how to practice Set 3 ‘speed sounds’

  • Review the similar sound from Set 2
    e.g. ee, what can you see?
  • Show ea, say ea, cup of tea

Some sounds have 3 different spellings e.g. ir in bird, ur in burn and er in fern. It is important you do not introduce all the sounds together for the first time.

Encourage your child to ‘sound out and ‘sound blend’ words containing the speed sound they have just learnt.


Phoneme – A Phoneme is the smallest unit of sound e.g. t-r-ai-n has 4 phonemes.

Digraph – A single phoneme represented by two letters eg:  sh / ee / oo /th.

Trigraph - A single phoneme represented by three letters eg: igh / air/ ear .

Split Vowel Digraph – Two letters that are not next to each other eg: a-e in gate, e-e in complete, i-e in bite, o-e in phone, u-e in cute.

Alien (Nonsense) words – Words used in the Phonics Screening Check that are made up and have no real meaning.

Useful websites for Parents

Please find a list of websites that you may find useful in helping you and your child learn about phonics.

Parents guide to Read Write Inc

Free eBooks


Click here for parent presentation.