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Phonics At Midfield

Learning to read

No doubt you will come across the word ‘Phonics’ as soon as your child starts school. Phonics is a method of learning to read words that is taught right from the start of Reception/Nursery.

Children are taught to read letters or groups of letters by saying the sound(s) they represent – so, they are taught that the letter / sounds. Children can then start to read words by blending the sounds together to make a word. This is a very exciting time as the more accurate and fluent your child becomes the more they are likely to enjoy reading. There is strong evidence linking reading for pleasure and educational outcomes, but the benefits go beyond this and stretch throughout a person’s life.


Phonics is taught using Read, Write Inc, a highly structured programme of daily lessons across EYFS and KS1. Children start learning phonic knowledge and skills early in reception, and provide a structured route for most children to meet or exceed the expected standard in the year one Phonics Screening Check and all national curriculum expectations for words reading through decoding by the end of Key Stage 1.

Each Read, Write Inc session gives an opportunity for children to revisit their previous session, be taught new skills, practise together and apply what they have learnt. Daily sessions teach the main grapheme-phoneme correspondences of English in a clearly defined, incremental sequence. This enables the children to read and spell many words from early on in their schooling. There is a clear progression from simple to more complex phonic knowledge introduced to the children at the most appropriate time in their learning journey.



The main focus in Nursery is being a 'talk-a-lot, read-a-lot' setting. Reading stories, singing and rhymes are incorporated throughout the day and help to develop language. Quality talk is prioritised and a communication-friendly environment enables children to develop important communication and language skills. 


Children in Reception begin with Read, Write Inc - Making a Strong Start as soon as they start school in September. They also enjoy range of listening activities through play, in order to develop their listening skills. Progress is tracked through an ongoing teacher assessment and more formally at the end of each term. 

Year 1 and above

Children follow the same format as Reception but will work on complex sounds and read books appropriate to their reading level. 

Phonics Assessment

Children’s progress is continually reviewed to allow planning for gaps and interventions and to ensure that there is sufficient challenge available for more confident learners.

The national Phonics screening check is performed in June of Year 1. Prior to this, the Year 1 phonics workshop gives parents information about how they can support their children at home with phonics. The purpose of the screening check is to confirm that all children have learned phonic decoding to an age-appropriate standard. The children who do not meet the required standard for the check in year 1 enter again in year 2. Additional support is put in place.

At Midfield Primary School we:

  • Teach children that phonics helps us to read and write.
  • Follow a specific Read, Write Inc lesson structure and teaching sequence, which promotes independence, resilience, and success in all our learners.
  • Demonstrate full fidelity to our programme.
  • Ensure consistency of resources and approaches across the school.
  • Provide early ‘catch up’ interventions where needed.
  • Ensure that all phonics teaching is delivered with pace and passion.
  • Ensure that children take home books closely matched to their phonic ability.
  • Invite all parents to attend phonics, reading, and writing workshops to support their children with the development of their child’s phonics skills.


Children make rapid progress from their starting points in reading and writing. 


Read Write Inc - about the programme

Read Write Inc. Phonics, Literacy & Language, Fresh Start and Spelling are highly successful literacy programmes for 4-13 year-olds created by Ruth Miskin and published by Oxford University Press. The training and support from Ruth Miskin Training, rated Outstanding by the Department for Education, ensure the programmes have the best chance of success in schools.

The four Read Write Inc. programmes are carefully matched to the new curriculum, aimed at developing a love for reading and giving your children the best chance of success in the national tests. They show teachers, teaching assistants and parents step-by-step how to teach all children to become fluent readers, confident speakers and willing writers.

Our school uses:

  • Read Write Inc. Phonics. This programme is used by over a quarter of the UK’s primary schools. It is a comprehensive literacy programme, weaving decoding, comprehension, writing and spelling together seamlessly. Ruth Miskin developed the programme during her time as a headteacher in Tower Hamlets. Rigorous assessment, tracking and one-to-one tutoring ensure that schools guarantee progress for every child.

  • For information and tutorials on how to support your child learning to read go to:

RWI in Practice 

Regular assessments help to identify children who are making consistent progress and they are placed in a group where the books may be a bit more challenging.  On the other hand, regular assessments also help identify children who may need extra help.  This is provided on a 1:1 basis, at least three times a week.

A considerable amount of time and money has been invested in the training of teacher and teaching assistants alike.  The training is ongoing and led by Ms Moyle, Assistant Head. 

Five key principles underpin the teaching in all Read Write Inc. sessions as taken from the Teacher Handbook:  

  1. Participation – As they are in small groups, children participate fully in every session. They are able to maintain high levels of concentration and they do not miss key elements of the teaching.
  2. Praise - Children work together as partners. They take turns to teach and praise each other. They are motivated by praise from their teachers and teaching assistants.
  3. Pace - Sessions never drag. The lively pace keeps every child fully engaged and on task.
  4. Purpose - Every instructor has been trained in Read Write Inc. methods. They know the purpose of each activity, and how it leads into the next.
  5. Passion - Instructors, too, become passionate about their teaching as they see the children enjoying the progress they are making.

At Midfield we have also added a sixth: Preparation - Resources are well prepared as this enables the instructor to identify gaps or extend each group as needed whilst keeping the pace up.


Through the Read, Write Inc programme children are taught to recognise sounds and then to ‘sound-blend’ them into words for reading.

Set 1 Sounds

Click here: for the pronunciation of the set 1 sounds.

Set 2 Sounds

Click here: for the pronunciation of the set 2 sounds

Set 3 Sounds

Click here: for the pronunciation of the set 3 sounds