Early Reading and Phonics


Early Reading

At Stanley we pride ourselves in fostering a love of reading among all pupils.  Children are encouraged to read for pleasure and we have two award schemes to encourage children to develop a love and stamina for reading.

Reading at Stanley Primary

At Stanley Primary School we aim for our children to become fluent, confident readers who are passionate about reading. We fully believe that reading confidently opens the doors to lifelong learning.  We want your child to develop an authentic love of reading for pleasure.  In our school children have access to a diverse range of reading material.    We purchase books from a selection of providers to ensure children have access to a broad and balanced reading curriculum. We operate using ‘book bands’ in line with the Oxford Reading Tree.  We have a wide range of Read Write Inc. reading materials which support children’s phonological development to master early reading skills.  Our books are colour coded, dependent on the level of the child’s ability.  High quality texts are also selected for the children to read throughout our delivery of our broad and balanced curriculum.  Children are provided with a wealth of opportunities to read each week and teachers read regularly to our children.  We also expect that parents hear their child read regularly and support their reading development at home.slider1-new-1200x800.jpg


At Stanley Primary School we use the Read Write Inc programme to teach early reading and phonics across the school.

What is Read, Write, Inc?

Read Write Inc (RWI) Phonics is a highly successful phonics programme, the training and support for the programme in schools has been rated outstanding by the Department of Education. It is used by more than a quarter of the UK’s primary schools – used to create confident and fluent readers.

How will RWI be taught? 

All pupils are assessed regularly so they work with pupils at the same level. This allows complete participation in lessons.

Phonics lessons are taught from reception. This means that pupils learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down. This is essential for reading, but it also helps pupils learn to spell. We teach pupils simple ways of remembering these sounds and letters. As children practise the text that matches the phonics and ‘tricky’ words they know, they become more confident.

Click here to see videos for parents on how we teach Read Write Inc phonics

Children will be taught how to read as follows:

Children learn how to say each sound. These are the sounds we use to speak in English. Children initially begin using pictures for each sound, this will help children recognise the sound and then form the shape of the sound. These are the Set 1 sounds. Letter names are not used at this stage.


Fred Talk

This is Fred


 We meet Fred in Reception.  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.  In addition to this, the children learn to spell using ‘Fred fingers’ from the beginning of the programme.

Set 2 and 3 sounds

When children are confident with Set 1 sounds they are then taught Set 2 sounds which are the long vowels. This is then followed when the children are confident in set 1 and set 2 sounds by set 3 sounds.  Set 3 teaches the children different spellings of the same sounds, for example, they learn that the sound ‘ay’, is written ‘a-e and a-I the sound ‘ee’ is written ee, e and ea.  We use phrases to help them remember each sound for example, ay, may I play, a-e make a cake.  Once children are confident with all three sets of sounds they will use letter banes for spellings.


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.  


How do we ensure children can read every book?

Within all the RWI sessions and books children will be exposed to red and green words to learn to help them to become speedy readers. Red words are words that are not easily decodable and challenge words to extend children’s vocabulary. Green words are linked to the sounds they have been learning and are easily decodable.



Dots and dashes represent the sound each letter makes.

During the RWI session children will read the book three times and at each new reading they will have plenty of opportunities to practise using their developing comprehension skills. You may have heard your child talking about ‘hold, edit or build a sentence’.

Hold a sentence is an activity that encourages children to remember a whole sentence while focusing on spelling and punctuation.

Build a sentence is to give children the opportunity to create their own sentence to that shows the meaning of a word and edit a sentence allows the children to critique a sentence using their knowledge of spelling punctuation and grammar. Children complete a longer piece of independent writing, which gives them the opportunity to show off their creativity and to practice their spelling, grammar and punctuation.

To help at home:

Your child will start to bring books home when they are confident readers, relating to their reading stage. You will find they will bring home a phonics-based book, this will aid application, speed and fluency- developing speedy reading!  Following on from this, they will bring a comprehension-based book which will begin to enrich their reading, which will require decoding skills.  We also encourage you as parents to share as many books with your child as you are able to – this stimulates their imagination and expands their understanding of the world.  It helps them develop language and listening skills in addition to providing comfort and reassurance.