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Hillary Primary School

We celebrate diverse completeness - We Thrive in our uniqueness

Hillary Primary School home page

Hillary Primary School

We celebrate diverse completeness - We Thrive in our uniqueness



At Hillary, we believe that children who read regularly or are read to regularly have the opportunity to open the doors to so many different worlds! More importantly, reading will give your child the tools to become independent life-long learners.


 We can achieve this together through:


  • Read Write Inc. (RWI),  a phonics programme to help your child to read at school
  • Encouraging children to develop a love of books by reading to them daily, at home and at school
  • Giving children access to a wide range of books at school and at home


What is Read Write Inc. Phonics (RWI)?


All children’s phonic knowledge is assessed half-termly and this assessment is used to group them with class sizes varying from 4-30 children. RWI lessons are taught on a daily basis for between 30 minutes – 1 hour depending on the age of the child. All groups are taught by teachers and teaching assistants trained to the same level in RWI.  




The children:


  • learn to read the 44 sounds using simple picture prompts
  • 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


RWI focuses on success from the very beginning. Books are closely matched to their developing knowledge of phonics and ‘tricky’/’red’ words (that cannot be sounded out) and, as they re-read stories, their fluency increases.




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 write every day, rehearsing out loud what they want to say, before spelling the words using the graphemes and ‘tricky’ words they know. They frequently practise handwriting: sitting at a table comfortably, then learn correct letter formation and how to join letters speedily and legibly. Children’s composition (ideas, vocabularly and grammar) is developed by drawing on their own experiences and talking about the stories they read.




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


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


When we teach children the sounds needed to be able to read, we use pure sounds (‘m’ not’ muh’,’s’ not ‘suh’, etc.) 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.




Set 1 Sounds are taught in an order together with rhymes to help children form the letters correctly and instantly recognise sounds ready for blending.


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.


Nonsense words (Alien 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.