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Reading at home

What's in my child's book bag?


Key Stage 1 

 If your child is accessing the Read Write Inc programme (mainly KS1), you can expect to find at least two books with two different purposes! 



This is a Read Write Inc book that your child will read to you at home. This book will be full of words/sounds that they have been learning at school. Because these are taught words/sounds, your child should be successful when reading this aloud. More information about supporting your child with their RWI book is available further down this page. 





This is a book that you should read aloud to your child. Children love to hear books and when they are listening to a book, they are able to absorb all of the information given to them. Together, you can then discuss this book , discussing the content. 


Key Stage 2

In KS2, children are encouraged to take a book home either from the school library or from their class book shelf. Throughout the week, children should be given the opportunity to read some of their book aloud to an adult. This gives them the opportunity to read with appropriate expression and intonation.


Children could also be given the opportunity to hear a book being read aloud to them. This is a great way for children to learn how books should sound to a reader. It can also become a really enjoyable part of the day.

It also allows them the time to practice reading fluently. Children LOVE to hear books being read aloud! 





1. Encourage your child to read

Reading helps your child’s wellbeing, develops imagination and has educational benefits too. Just a few minutes a day can have a big impact on children of all ages.


2. Read aloud regularly

Try to read to your child every day. It’s a special time to snuggle up and enjoy a story. Stories matter and children love re-reading them and poring over the pictures. Try adding funny voices to bring characters to life.


3. Encourage reading choice

Give children lots of opportunities to read different things in their own time - it doesn’t just have to be books. There’s fiction, non-fiction, poetry, comics, magazines, recipes and much more. Try leaving interesting reading material in different places around the home and see who picks it up.


4. Read together

Choose a favourite time to read together as a family and enjoy it. This might be everyone reading the same book together, reading different things at the same time, or getting your children to read to each other. This time spent reading together can be relaxing for all.


5. Create a comfortable environment

Make a calm, comfortable place for your family to relax and read independently - or together.


6. Make use of your local library

Libraries in England are able to open from 4 July, so visit them when you’re able to and explore all sorts of reading ideas. Local libraries also offer brilliant online materials, including audiobooks and ebooks to borrow. See Libraries Connected for more digital library services and resources.


7. Talk about books

This is a great way to make connections, develop understanding and make reading even more enjoyable. Start by discussing the front cover and talking about what it reveals and suggests the book could be about. Then talk about what you’ve been reading and share ideas. You could discuss something that happened that surprised you, or something new that you found out. You could talk about how the book makes you feel and whether it reminds you of anything.


8. Bring reading to life

You could try cooking a recipe you’ve read together. Would you recommend it to a friend? Alternatively, play a game where you pretend to be the characters in a book, or discuss an interesting article you’ve read.


9. Make reading active

Play games that involve making connections between pictures, objects and words, such as reading about an object and finding similar things in your home. You could organise treasure hunts related to what you’re reading. Try creating your child’s very own book by using photos from your day and adding captions.


10. Engage your child in reading in a way that suits them

You know your child best and you’ll know the best times for your child to read. If they have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) then short, creative activities may be the way to get them most interested. If English is an additional language, encourage reading in a child’s first language, as well as in English. What matters most is that they enjoy it




What is Read Write Inc?

Read Write Inc (RWI) is 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.  RWI was developed by Ruth Miskin and more information on this can be found at


How is Read Write Inc taught?

RWI is taught daily in school to children in FS2 and Year 1 and any children in Year 2 that have not finished the programme. Children are assessed regularly and grouped according to ability.  Sessions last up to 30 minutes.  The group sizes vary according to the age and the needs of the individual children.


Children will be taught how to read as follows:


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.


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


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.


Set 1

Sound                    Rhyme

m                            Down Maisie then over the two mountains.  Maisie, mountain, mountain.

a                             Round the apple, down the leaf.

s                             Slide around the snake.

d                             Round the dinosaur's back, up his neck and down to his feet.

t                             Down the tower, across the tower.

i                              Down the insects body, dot for the head.

n                             Down Nobby and over the net.

p                             Down the plait, up and over the pirates face.

g                             Round the girl's face, down her hair and give her a curl.

o                             All around the orange.

c                             Curl around the caterpillar.

k                             Down the kangaroos body, tail and leg.

u                             Down and under the umbrella, up to the top and down to the puddle.

b                             Down the laces, over the toe and touch the heel.

f                             Down the stem and draw the leaves.

e                             Slice into the egg, go over the top, then under the egg.

l                              Down the long leg.

h                             Down the horse's head to the hooves and over his back.

sh                           Slither down the snake, then down the horse's head to the hooves and over his back.

r                             Down the robot's back, then up and curl.

j                             Down his body, curl and dot.

v                             Down a wing, up a wing.

y                             Down a horn, up a horn and under the yak's head.

w                            Down, up, down, up the worm.

th                           Down the tower, across the tower, then down the horse's head to the hooves and over his back.

z                             Zig-zag-zig, down the zip.

ch                           Curl around the caterpillar, then down the horse's head to the hooves and over his back.

qu                           Round the queen's head, up to her crown, down her hair and curl.

x                            Cross down the arm and leg and cross the other way.

ng                          A thing on a string.

nk                          I think I stink.


Please do not use letter names at this early stage.

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


Set 2 and 3 Sounds

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


Long vowel                     Set 2 Speed Sound

sound                              cards                                                                      Set 3 Speed Sound cards

                                        Teach these first

ay                                     ay: may I play                                                      a-e: make a cake                ai: snail in the rain

ee                                     ee: what can you see                                           ea: cup of tea                     e: he me we she be

igh                                    igh: fly high                                                        i-e: nice smile

ow                                     ow: blow the snow                                              o-e: phone home                  oa: goat in a boat

oo                                      oo: poo at the zoo                                              u-e: huge brute                   ew: chew the stew

oo                                      oo: look at the book

ar                                      ar: start the car

or                                      or: shut the door                                                aw: yawn at dawn

air                                     air: that's not fair                                              are: share and care

ir                                       ir: whirl and twirl                                                ur: purse for a nurse         er: a better letter

ou                                      ou: shout it out                                                   ow: brown cow

oy                                      oy: toy for a boy                                                 oi: spoil the boy

ire                                                                                                                ire: fire fire!

ear                                                                                                               ear: hear with your ear

ure                                                                                                               ure: sure it's pure?



Set 2 and 3 Sounds


The children are then taught Set 2 Sounds - the long vowels.  When they are very confident with all o set 1 and 2 they are taught Set 3 Sounds.


Long vowel            Set 2 Speed Sound

sound                     cards                                                 Set 3 Speed Sound cards

                               Teach these first

ay                           ay: may I play                       a-e: make a cake                     ai: snail in the rain

ee                          ee: what can you see            ea: cup of tea                           e: he me we she be

igh                         igh: fly high                            i-e: nice smile

ow                         ow: blow the snow                 o-e: phone home                      oa: goat in a boat

oo                          oo: poo at the zoo                 u-e: huge brute                         ew: chew the stew

oo                          oo: look at a book

ar                           ar: start the car

or                           or: shut the door                   aw: yawn at dawn

air                          air: that's not fair                   are: share and care

ir                            ir: whirl and twirl                    ur: purse for a nurse                er: a better letter

ou                          ou: shout it out                      ow: brown cow

oy                          oy: toy for a boy                     oi: spoil the boy

ire                          ire: fire fire!

ear                         ear: hear with your ear

ure                         ure: sure it's pure?


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.


    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!


    Please note:

    • All steps don't need to be completed every reading session but can be completed in any order over several sessions.
    • Children in FS2/Class 0 may be sent home with a sheet rather than a book initially until they have learnt enough sounds/phonemes to access the books.  The sheets are to be completed in the same way using the steps.


    Develop the Love of Reading!

    • We want to develop your child's 'Love of Reading' through immersing them in a wide range of high quality texts. (Link to recommended reads)
    • To encourage this, in addition to your child's decodable Read Write Inc reading book they will bring home a library book of their choice to share with you at home.
    • Please help your child through looking at the book together and reading it to them.  Discuss the content and ask them questions about it.
    • Encourage this further by looking at and reading stories of their own at home.  Try to model reading with expression and emphasis!
    • Visiting the local library and borrowing books.
    • Taking part in the 'Summer Reading Challenge' at the library.
    • Encourage adults at home to be seen reading.  Allowing children to see adults as readers really does help create a culture of reading and promote that reading is fun and pleasurable and must continue into later life!


    Phonics Screening Check Year One


    What is the Year 1 phonics screening check?

    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. Click here for further information on the Screening check.




    Please find a list of websites that you may find useful in helping you and your child learn about phonics.  Games and fun activity websites are also included.

  - many games to play - fun games for the children to play useful information about RWI include how to pronounce all the sounds/phonemes.




    For information about books we recommend, please visit the year group page of your child or the READING page on the website. Follow the links below.