At Highfield, we aim for all our children to become fluent, confident readers who are passionate about reading.Sr seuss


At Highfield Infants we use Read Write Inc Phonics (RWI) to give your child the best possible start with their reading and writing.

Read Write Inc (RWI) is a synthetic phonics programme which helps all children learn to read fluently and at speed so they can focus on developing their skills in comprehension, vocabulary and spelling.  The programme is designed for children aged 4-7.


 In Reception all children will learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how 

 those sounds can be written down.


The children:

  • learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letters/letter groups using simple picture prompts – see below
  • learn to read words using ‘Fred talk’ and sound blending
  • read from a range of storybooks and non-fictions books matched to their phonic knowledge
  • work well with partners
  • develop comprehension skills in stories by answering 'Find It' and 'Prove It' discussion questions


The children:

  • learn to write and form the letters/letter groups which represent the 44 sounds with the help of fun phrases
  • learn to write words by using ‘Fred Talk’
  • learn to build sentences by practising sentences out loud before they write 


The children work in pairs so that they:

  • answer every question
  • practise every activity with their partner
  • take turns in talking and reading to each other
  • develop ambitious vocabulary

Year 1-2

Children follow the same format as Reception but will work on complex sounds and read books appropriate to their reading level. Regular sessions of RWI phonics last for approximately 45 minutes. In Year 2, once children become fluent speedy readers, they progress onto the VIPERS reading and comprehension taught model.

Years 3-6

In years 3-4, interventions continue for those children with low fluency and less confidence with recognition of sounds, in the form of the Read Write Inc speed sound lessons.

In years 5-6, we deliver the Read Write Inc ‘Fresh Starts’ program.  This is an intervention scheme which builds upon the original RWI program with more age-appropriate resources.

Five key principles underpin the teaching in all Read Write Inc. sessions:  

Purpose – know the purpose of every activity and share it with the children, so they know the one thing they should be thinking about

Participation – ensure every child participates throughout the lesson. Partnership work is fundamental to learning

Praise – ensure children are praised for effort and learning, not ability

Pace – teach at an effective pace and devote every moment to teaching and learning

Passion – be passionate about teaching so children can be engaged emotionally

Fred Talk


For younger children, when segmenting and blending words, teachers use ‘Fred Talk’. Fred is a green frog puppet who can only segment and sound out the sounds initially on the sound buttons before blending them.  When spelling words, Fred likes us to pinch our fingers for each of the sounds before we blend them into the word.  During shared writing and independent activities, staff model and encourage children to use ‘Fred Talk’ across all curriculum areas, therefore modelling the transference of reading and writing skills from RWI to the wider curriculum. In years 5 and 6 within the Fresh Starts program, we also encourage this, however it involves the pinching of the sounds on the fingers.

The children are taught the sounds in 3 sets.

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.

(See Set 1 Sounds below)

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

Speed sounds set 1 image

The children are then taught Set 2 Sounds - the long vowels (see below). When they are very confident with all of Set 1 and 2 they are taught Set 3 Sounds (see below).

Nonsense words (Alien words)

Poz and roz

As well as learning to read and blend real words children will have plenty of opportunities to apply their sound recognition skills on reading ‘Nonsense words’, referred to as Alien words during our RWI lessons. These words will also feature heavily in the Year One Phonics Screening check in the summer term.

Ditty Books

Children will be introduced to ‘Ditty books’ when they successfully begin to read single words. The short vowels should be kept short and sharp. Children use sound-blending (Fred Talk) to read short ditties. They will also be challenged to use their developing phonic knowledge to write short sentences and answer questions about what they have read, to begin to develop early comprehension skills.

Within all the books children will have red and green words to learn to help them to become speedy readers. Red words are words that are non-decodable and challenge words to extend children’s vocabulary. Green words are linked to the sounds they have been learning and are easily decodable.

Phonics dots and dashes

Dots and dashes represent the sound each letter makes.

Children bring ‘Ditty books’ home once they have read and discussed the book in class over the course of a week. This enables children to read aloud, further developing their confidence, fluency and expression. To supplement these books and develop a love of reading for pleasure, children also regularly choose from a wide selection of other books carefully matched to their Read Write Inc phonetic level.

Phonics Screening Check Year One

The Year 1 phonics screening check is a short, light-touch assessment to confirm whether individual pupils have learnt phonic decoding to an appropriate standard.

It will identify the children who need extra help so they are given support by their school to improve their reading skills. They will then be able to retake the check so that schools can track pupils until they are able to decode. 


Children make rapid progress from their starting points in reading and writing. Our phonics check results are higher than that of Bromley and the national average. In turn, this enables children to develop a love of reading and access to the wider curriculum.

Phonics Presentation

Set 1 Sounds

 Set 1




Maisie, mountain, mountain.


Round the apple, down the leaf.


Slither around the snake


Round his bottom, up his tall neck and down to his feet.


Down the tower, across the tower,


Down the body, dot for the head.


Down Nobby and over the net.


Down the plait and over the pirates face.


Round her face, down her hair and give her a curl


All around the orange


Curl around the caterpillar


Down the kangaroos body, tail and leg


Down and under, up to the top and draw the puddle


Down the laces to the heel and round the toe


Down the stem and draw the leaves


Lift off the top and scoop out the egg


Down the long leg


Down the head to the hooves and over his back


Slither down the snake, then down the head to the hooves and over his back


Down his back and then curl over his arm


Down his body, curl and dot


Down a wing, up a wing


Down a horn, up a horn and under his head.


Down, up, down, up


Down the tower, across the tower, then down the head to the hooves and over his back

Set 2 & 3 Sounds

 Long  vowel sound

Set 2 Speed Sound cards

Teach these first

Set 3 Speed Sound cards


ay: may I play

a-e: make a cake

ai: snail in the rain


ee: what can you see

ea: cup of tea

e: he me we she be


igh: fly high

i-e: nice smile


ow: blow the snow

o-e: phone home

ao: goat in a boat


oo: poo at the zoo

u-e: huge brute

ew: chew the stew


oo: look at a book




ar: start the car




or: shut the door

aw: yawn at dawn



air: that’s not fair

are: share and care



ir: whirl and twirl

ur: nurse for a purse

er: a better letter


ou: shout it out

ow: brown cow



oy: toy for a boy

oi: spoil the boy




ire: fire fire!




ear: hear with your ear




ure: sure it’s pure?