Phonics and Read Write Inc


Phonics at St George's Primary School



At St George's we are committed to teaching all children to read well by ensuring that every teacher is a reading champion. We believe our key to success can be attributed to the following:

  • clarity and constant purpose
  • teachers have an excellent knowledge and understanding of the processes that help children learn to read
  • as a school we have a rigorous program of systematic phonics work as the prime approach to decoding print
  • consistent teaching of the highest quality, together with effective assessment of children's progress and help for those who encounter difficulty in reading


How phonics works

Phonics focuses on sounds rather than, for example, having children try to recognise whole words.

In analytic phonics, words are broken down into their beginning and end parts, such as 'str-' and 'eet', with an emphasis on 'seeing' the words and analogy with other words.

In synthetic phonics, children start by sequencing the individual sounds in words – for example, 's-t-r-ee-t', with an emphasis on blending them together.

Once they have learned all these, they progress to reading books.

The 'synthetic' part comes from the word 'synthesise', meaning to assemble or blend together.

Children who learn using synthetic phonics are able to have a go at new words working from sound alone, whereas those using analytic phonics are more dependent on having prior knowledge of families of words.


Read Write inc

Read Write Inc.

At St George's our children have daily Read Write Inc lessons to teach reading and writing through a systematic approach. This programme was developed by a head teacher called Ruth Miskin and is now used by many primary schools. Since introducing Read Write Inc into our school in 2012 we have seen a rise in our reading standards.

How and what do the children learn?

READING The children: learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letters/letter groups using simple picture prompts,learn to read words using sound blending, read lively stories featuring words they have learned to sound out, show that they comprehend the stories by answering 'Find It' and 'Prove It' discussion questions
WRITING The children: learn to write the letters/letter groups which represent the 44 sounds, learn to write words by saying the sounds and graphemes, write simple sentences,compose stories based on picture strips, compose a range of texts using discussion prompts
TALKING The children work in pairs so that they: answer every question, practise every activity with their partner, take turns in talking to each other


How Does Read Write Inc Work at St George's?

Children in Foundation, Year 1 and Year 2 are assessed every half term and grouped by their phonic ability. The children split into small groups every day for their Read Write Inc lesson. Children will learn the sounds in order beginning with set 1, set 2 and finally set 3. As they increase their phonic knowledge the books become more challenging. 

Set 1 Sounds


It is very important that the children learn how to say the 'pure' sounds as this supports the children with their reading. Here is a very useful video to explain this. 



Set 2 and 3 Sounds




All of our teachers and teaching assistants have had full Read Write Inc training and have regular update training sessions. 

Click on the link below to find out more:



Phonics Screening Check


What is the Phonics Screening Check?

Children in Year 1 throughout the country take part in a phonics screening check during the same week in June. Children in Year 2 will also take the check if they did not achieve the required result when in Year 1 or they have not taken the test before. The phonics screening check is designed to confirm whether individual children have learnt phonic decoding and blending skills to an appropriate standard.

What Happens During the Screening?

The test contains 40 words. Each child will sit one-to-one and read each word aloud to their teacher. The test will take approximately 10 minutes per child, although all children are different and will complete the check at their own pace. The list of words the children read is a combination of 20 real words and 20 pseudo words (nonsense words).  The pseudo words will be shown to your child with a picture of an alien. This provides the children with a context for the pseudo word which is independent from any existing vocabulary they may have. Pseudo words are included because they will be new to all pupils; they do not favour children with a good vocabulary knowledge or visual memory of words. We prepare children by introducing them to 'alien' words throughout their daily lessons using sounds that they have learnt.


Reporting to Parents

At the end of the summer term parents will receive a report to let them know their child's result. They
will also confirm if the child has met the standard threshold. Children who do not achieve the expected level will retake the test when they are in year 2. They will also continue to have phonic lessons to address any gaps in their knowledge.

At St George's we have an excellent record of children passing the phonics screening check in Year 1.

  2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
% of children at the expected standard 64% 67% 89% 87% 94% 92% 98% 98%



Supporting Phonics at Home

Many parents ask us how they can help their child with phonics at home. Parents can access lots of videos on the Ruth Miskin website. These videos go through lots of different ways that parents can support. We encourage children to use pure sounds as this supports with blending the sounds together to read the word.


There are videos and ideas that can be found using the following link:

We like to keep learning fun with the children. There are some ideas for games attached to this web page (scroll to the bottom).

Children also love to play the games on Phonics Play. Here they can practice and consolidate learning from school in a fun way.

There are also lots of free downloadable resources online which can be used to support your child at home: 


At the bottom of this page there is a document that you can download with a list of 'Fred' games. Fred is a Frog who can only speak in sounds. We use him to help our children learn to read. Here is a tutorial for parents to watch if they would like to use the Fred games at home with their children:

Oxford Owl Oxford Owl is an award winning website to help support your children's learning, both at home and school.

Files to Download

Nurturing our community to thrive through opportunities, innovation and love

Newsletter Signup