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Your child is learning to read with Read Write Inc. Phonics, a very popular and successful literacy programme. This information page shows you how you can get your child off to a quick start.


Your child will learn to read in a very simple way. He or she will learn to:

  1. Read letters by their ‘sounds’
  2. Blend these sounds into words
  3. Read the words in a story


Frequently asked questions


How will my child learn to read at school?


After the first term in the Reception Class children are taught in ability groups according to their reading stage. This continues throughout their time with us. Some children will learn faster than others but we have minimum expectations for progress at each stage and children who are struggling will be given extra one to one tuition.


Stage 1

  • Set 1 Speed Sounds: 

These are sounds written with one letter:     

m a  d  t  i  n  p  g  o  c  k  u  b  f  e  l  h  r  j  v y  w  z  x 

and sounds written with two letters (your child will call these ‘special friends’): 

 sh  th ch qu  ng  nk ck

  • Words containing these sounds, by sounding out and sound-blending (your child will call this Fred Talk)

          e.g. m–a–t mat, c–a–t cat, g–o–t got, f–i–sh fish,
          s–p–o–t  spot, b–e–s–t  best, s–p–l–a–sh splash

  • Blending Books and Red, Green and Purple Storybooks


Stage 2

  •  Set 2 Speed Sounds:      ay ee igh ow oo  oo  ar  or air  ir  ou oy 
  •   Words containing these sounds
  •   Pink, Orange and Yellow Storybooks.


  Stage 3

  • Set 3 Speed Sounds: ea oi a-e i-e o-e u-e  aw are  ur  er  ow  ai  oa  ew  ire  ear ure
  • Words containing these sounds
  • Blue and Grey Storybooks.



Your child will be taught to say the sound for the letter and not the letter name;                    so

‘m’ as in ‘mat’, not ‘em’;

‘s’ as in ‘sun’ not ‘es’


How can I help my child?


We will send home reading books weekly with children once they have been introduced to the first set of letters and sounds and are able to blend words with three sounds to read. We will send reading activities home with children who are not quite ready for independent reading books. Below is some guidance for supporting your child to use these books and get the most out of one to one reading with you. There is also information in the books to help you. Your child will have read the book at least three times in their reading group at school so will be familiar with it.


  • Do not read the book aloud before your child reads it to you.
  • Ask your child to read the sounds and words before he or she reads the story.
  • When your child reads the story, ask him or her to sound out
  • the words that he or she can’t read automatically. Don’t allow your child to struggle too much. Praise your child when he or she succeeds.
  • Read back each sentence or page to keep the plot moving. (Your child’s energy is going into reading the words not the story.)
  • Do not ask your child to guess the word by using the pictures.
  • Do it all with patience and love!


Should I continue reading to my child?


Yes! Reading stories to your child is the best and most valuable learning activity you can do with your child. Reading to your child instills a love of books and stories and models other skills that they need to become successful communicators, readers and writers like reading with expression, widening their vocabulary, learning story language and increasing their knowledge of the world. Reading information books is just as important as reading stories and some children prefer these books.


We will continue to send home a reading for pleasure book weekly for you to read to your child. Please try to make time to read with and to them every day.




Read, Write Inc parent workshop

Information Films

Below you will find some films to help you understand phonics, how to say the sounds and  how to help your child blend sounds to read words.

Parent video: Understanding Phonics

Parent video: How to say the sounds

Parent video: Sound blending