Reading at TSP

At Trinity St. Peter's we are committed to providing rich and exciting learning opportunities which engage, challenge, and meet the needs of all children. In Reading, we aim for all pupils to have a love for reading so that they become confident linguists reading with fluency and passion. Children who read regularly or are read to frequently are constantly transported to new and exciting worlds, opening the doors to different adventures and experiences! Reading with, and to, children gives them the tools to become independent life-long learners. 

The National Curriculum programmes of study for reading are based on the simple view of reading.  This model shows that reading consists of two dimensions: language comprehension and word reading.  In all our classrooms, from Nursery to Year 6, we prioritise reading to and with our children because we know that listening to and talking about stories develops children’s vocabulary. Click here for more information on The Reading Framework 2021

Phonics is an important part of every child's education, helping children hear, identify, and use different sounds that distinguish one word from another in the English Language. Phonics teaches children that the letters on the page represent the sounds in spoken words. By teaching children the sounds of these individual letters and how those letters sound when combined, helps children decode words as they read and tackle more complex words. It is this understanding of phonics which will help children know which letters to use when writing words. The Government recommends the use of a verified Systematic Synthetic Phonics programme when teaching early literacy skills to children, which put simply, is a programme which gives children the ability to convert a letter, or group of letters, into sounds. 

Our SSP Programme 

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At Trinity St. Peter's, in order to achieve very high standards in reading, each child in the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1  participate in a daily discrete phonic session following the Read Write Inc Phonics scheme - click the link to find out more information and access additional resources. This is a structured literacy programme for 4- to 7-year-olds and also for 7- and 8-year-olds who need to catch up quickly through targeted interventions. The programme is designed to ensure all children learn to read accurately and fluently. 

Please watch What is Read Write Inc Phonics? to help you with understanding what RWI phonics is.

Learning never stops even for educators, and it is for this reason that we are committed to working closely with our consultant from Ruth Miskin's team, to ensure staff development and our own fidelity when delivering the programme remains a priority. 


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How Read Write Inc is Taught

All children are regularly assessed by our Read Write Inc. lead teacher ensuring that they are working with children at the same level and that they are working comfortably whilst being continually challenged. This allows complete and full engagement from all children during their discreet phonics lesson. 

Phonics lessons take place each morning in small bespoke groups made up of children of the same or similar ability, grouped based on their half termly assessment results. Lessons can last between 20 to 60 minutes depending on the year and group level. The programme incorporates a range of elements, including a short Speed Sound sessions at the start of each lesson, teaching them all 44 sounds and their corresponding letters/letter groups using simple picture prompts, see below. They are then taught how to decode and read 'green words', using fiction and non-fiction books of increasing difficulty before applying this knowledge to their writing. 


In Nursery, children are introduced to the letter formation rhymes, almost immediately, when joining the Nursery. Children are exposed to Fred Talk with the help of our special puppet friend, Fred who can only speak in sounds, not whole words. Children are taught to hear sounds and blend them. In the Summer term, children due to move up to Reception, in the Autumn term, will be introduced to the initial sounds. The children will take part in daily five-minute sessions.

Click here to see snippets of Fred Talk!


In Reception, all children will continue to learn how to read the 44 sounds and recognise their corresponding letters/letter groups using simple picture prompts and how these sounds can be written down. Initially, children are taught using the whole class method, before being grouped by our Reading Lead after week 5, based on their ability to ensure rapid progress and full participation. Those who are ready, will begin to read and write simple words within books and begin to take books home, linked to their reading level ability. Children will take part in fun RWI lessons between 20-60 minutes a day depending on the time of the year or the group they are working in. The lessons comprise of the teaching of a new sound, decoding, blending, and writing words and eventually moving on to reading short story books and completing a writing activity linked to their chosen book.

To support this, and as their phonetical awareness develops, children are taught to use sound buttons which are circle or spots that can be written underneath a sound to support reading. Children are taught to say the sound out aloud as they touch the sound button. If reading a diagraph (two letters making one sound) or trigraph (three letters making one sound), your child will know that this sound is represented by a dash underneath the letters which make the sound. 

They will then be taught to Fred in your Head, the skill by which the child says a word without Fred Talking it first. This is a skill that is taught over a period of time starting with the child miming the sounds on the decodable green cards, before saying the whole word when the teacher pushes the card forward. This is repeated over a period of time, until the child can say the word straight away. Children tend to start off by initially mouthing the sounds silently and then saying the whole word straight away.

Using the 'Get Writing!'  aspect of the programme children are taught to use their Fred Fingers to spell given words, by which they are taught to sound out the words using the correct corresponding fingers for the sounds they can hear in the word. For example m-ee-t = 3 sounds = 3 fingers.  As well as learning to build and hold sentences by practising sentences out loud before they write. 

Year 1 and KS1

Children follow the same format as Reception but will work on more complex sounds. Daily sessions of RWI phonics last for the whole hour and replace our usual literacy lesson. Children will continue to develop their writing skills through this programme and will complete their Phonics Screen Check in Year 1. If children do not pass, which can be expected at times, they will resit this assessment in Year 2 after completing targeted, bespoke phonics intervention.  

By Spring Term of Year 2, most children will have progressed off the RWI programme ad will begin English lessons based around high-quality texts, following 'Pathways to Write'. 

Speed Sounds

Children are taught the 44 sounds composing of individual letter sounds, diagraphs, known as special friends and split diagraphs. Please see below. Please watch the video to help with pronouncing the sounds correctly. 

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Home Learning

Each week, children will take home their core Read Write Inc. Phonics storybooks, which the children will have already read three times in school that week before reading it again at home to build their confidence and fluency. Children will also receive an additional 'Book Bag Book' which is a supplementary book for children to practise sound-blending which corresponds with their school book with a similar theme and the same graphemes. For example, the Book Bag Book Red Hat Rob builds on the core storybook, Black Hat Bob.

Children in KS1, will start by receiving 6 spellings each week linked to their phonics group and ability. These spellings will be uploaded to Tapestry each week and the children will be tested every Thursday. 

Phonics Levels 

Children progress rapidly through the programme and are continually assessed and moved accordingly. However, children are expected to reach certain levels throughout the Foundation State and KS1, this is fluid, and can see children progress more rapidly than first expected. 

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What happens after they finish Read Write Inc?

At the start of Spring Term, children in Year 2 move off the Read Write Inc scheme in their English lesson, moving onto the Pathways to Write and Read schemes of learning during their English and Guided Reading lessons. In additon to this, children in Year 2 will begin the Read Write Inc Spelling Scheme, which teaches them different strategies to spell more complex words with spellig strategies. However, it is important to note that during Guided Reading Lessons, those children who are not yet ready to move of the Read Write Inc Scheme, will recieve additonal Phonics lessons in addition to 1:1 intervention throughout the week until they are ready to progress. 

How does this affect their Reading Books? 

Once the children have finished the Read Write Inc Scheme, they will continue their reading journey using the Oxford Reading Tree Books. Prior to this, staff will listen to children read and assess what colour band they will start on, reading with children in school once a week to ensure children fluency and understanding continues. Children will remain on this scheme until they reach book band 12, after which they will become a 'free reader' which enables them to choose their own books and explore a range of genres using books from home and the school library. 

Children progress rapidly through the Oxford Reading Scheme, and are continually assessed and moved accordingly. Please see below for more information. 

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