English Curriculum Leader: Mr Curtis

Read Write Inc. Phonics

The school uses Read Write Inc. Speed Sounds scheme of work for teaching phonics. This starts as early as in Nursery and carries through to Year 2, whereby we would expect pupils to be fluent at decoding and reading words that use all of the sounds taught. Read Write Inc – Speed Sounds is a government approved and validated phonics scheme. These schemes have met the government’s core criteria (2021) for delivering effective phonics teaching. It will remain validated until 2022.

The scheme for teaching phonics in school is called ‘Speed Sounds’ and all members of staff (including teaching assistants) have had training in this approach. We regularly hold whole school staff CPD for refreshers in effective delivery of Speed Sound lessons.


It is expected that within this year group pupils are taught and will have mastered Set 1 sounds and by term three will have learnt a great deal of the Set 2 sounds. Pupils in this year group will also be expected to read a range of CVC words and take home reading books from ‘Dandelion Readers’ to support this process. Pupils use associated Read Write Inc Ditty Books in class to support their reading of CVC words also.

Year 1

It is expected that within this year group pupils are practising and securing their knowledge of Set 2 sounds in Autumn term. They should be moving on to Set 3 as soon as possible or at least within the Spring term. Pupils will have a phonics sheet every week to practise alongside their weekly homework. This will also be uploaded to their Seesaw account. In Year 1, pupils are baselined again on entry from Reception to ensure teaching groups are accurate and then assessed at least every half term. This ensure that they can move through the Speed Sounds programme as quickly as possible on their journey to readers.

Once pupils are in the correct teaching group for phonics they are assigned a Read Write Inc. Speed Sounds guided reading book which is read a group with a teacher or teaching assistant. We have a complete set and scheme of Read Write Inc guided reading books carefully matched to pupils’ decoding ability.

Year 1 Phonics Screening Test

The Phonics Screening Test is a government mandated test that is carried out usually in June. The purpose of the test is to ensure that all pupils are reading at the correct level by the end of Year 1. This means that they can decode words accurately. In the test they will see a mixture of real words and ‘alien’ words like ‘squilp.’ The pupils are expected to be able to decode and read the word even if it doesn’t make sense. In preparation for this in Spring 2, pupils will start to take home weekly phonics screening sheets as opposed to individual sounds to help them master the skills needed.

If pupils do not meet the expected pass mark for the phonics test, they will resit the test in Year 2 the following year.

Year 2

Pupils in this year group who have not passed the screening test will continue to have daily phonics lessons to ensure that they meet the correct standard. These pupils’ reading lessons will still be a mixture of Read Write Inc. decodable texts and then moving onto whole class reading.


Beyond Year 2 and Read Write Inc Interventions

As per the school’s reading intervention flowchart, some pupils may still need further Read Write Inc. instruction as they move through from Year 3 to year 6. We currently use the following interventions to help secure pupil’s reading skills:

  • Read Write Inc Phonics – One to one tuition
  • Read Write Phonics – Fresh Start (Y5 and Y6)
  • Oxford – Project Code X (Year 2 to Year 6)

Parents Guide to Phonics in Year 1 and Year 2