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English: Phonics

When it comes to Early Reading, Gawber Primary School is very successful in ensuring that all children become fluent readers, scoring...

in the Phonics Screening Check in 2022 and 2023. 

Phonics is always prioritized. 


At Gawber, we use Read Write Inc (RWI) - a systematic 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 and is a well known and successful programme that ensures all children are given the tools they need to become confident, fluent readers. 


RWI is taught daily in school to children in FS2 and Year 1 and to any children in Year 2 that are yet to finish the programme. Children are assessed regularly and grouped according to their stage of the programme. 


Fred Talk

We use pure sounds ('m' not 'muh', 's' not 'suh', ect) 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.

Fred talk

Set 1 Sounds


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.



Nonsense words (Alien/monster words)

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'.  These words will also feature heavily in the Year One Phonics Screening check in the summer term.

Decodable Books

  • Our decodable reading books follow Read Write Inc phonics programme.
  • Regular assessments are carried out to ensure your child's reading books match their existing phonic knowledge.
  • Your child's reading book only contains words that your child can read based on their existing phonic knowledge.
  • The books are progressive as your child's phonic knowledge develops.
  • A Read Write Inc decodable book is introduced to your child in school.
  • The book is read 3 times with an adult in school to familiarise your child with the text, practise their decoding skills and reading on sight of tricky words (red words).
  • The book is sent home on Monday and is kept at home for a week.
  • The child reads the book at home with an adult, (ideally daily) to practise their decoding skills, fluency and reading on sight of tricky words.
  • The book is returned the following Monday and a new book is sent home.

TIPS: How to support your child with their decodable book



  • Encourage your child to say the speed sounds at the front of the book.
  • Your child reads the 'Green words' through decoding (breaking them up in to the individual sounds/phonemes).
  • Your child reads the 'Red words' on sight (these are non-decodable and have to be learnt).
  • Encourage your child to read all of these in and out of order.



  • Your child reads the story to you.
  • If they come to a word they are not sure of they decode the word (break the word up in to individual sounds/phonemes).
  • Red words in the text are tricky words that are non decodable and your child should read them on sight, however if they are unsure of any then you can prompt them.
  • As your child will read the story many times they will become more confident and fluent.  When this happens encourage them to read with expression when they see speech marks or speech bubbles.



  • Ask your child the questions at the end of the book to develop their understanding.
  • Encourage them to refer back to the relevant page to find the answer.



  • Your child reads the 'Speed Green Words' on sight.
  • Encourage your child to read these in and out of order.



  • Use lots and lots of praise and support to encourage your child!