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What to expect and when in RWI

Children will be taught how to read as follows:

Before you start to teach your child, practise saying the sounds below.These are the sounds we use to speak in English.


Fred Talk


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.

At school we use a puppet called Fred who is an expert on sounding out words! we call it, ‘Fred Talk’. E.g. m-o-p, c-a-t, m-a-n, sh-o-p, b-l-a-ck.

The children are taught the sounds in 3 sets.

Step 1:

Set 1 Sounds are taught in the following order together with rhymes to help children form the letters correctly and instantly recognise sounds ready for blending.  Set 1 sounds are taught in Nursery then continuing into Reception.

These are the Set 1 Speed Sounds written with one letter: 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

These are the sounds written with two letters (your child will call these ‘special friends’): sh  th  ch  qu  ng  nk  ck

Children will learn to look for special friends, fred talk then read the word by blending. 

Step 2

These are the set 2 sounds which have special friends in them. Set 1 sounds are revisited during this step:  ay  ee  igh  ow (as in blow)  oo (as in zoooo (as in look) ar  or  air  ir  ou (as in out)  oy

Step 3

These are set 3 sounds which also have special friends in them including digraphs (two letters that make one sound) and trigraphs (three letters that make one sound). 

ea (as in tea)

oi (as in spoil)

a–e (as in cake)

i–e (as in smile)

o–e (as in home)

u–e (as in huge) 

aw (as in yawn)

are (as in care)

ur (as in nurse)

er  (as in letter)

ow (as in brown)

ai  (as in snail)

oa (as in goat)

ew (as in chew)

ire (as in fire)

ear (as in hear)

ure (as in pure)

There are additional sounds which can be found on the phonics screening page. 

Children will learn the sounds and once they are confident and competent, they will move into the next group. They are assessed frequently and are assessed on their sounds, their blending, their word reading, their knowledge of nonsense words and speedy reading.