St Anne's Catholic Primary School

achieving excellence in all our God given talents

Lowe Street, Birmingham, West Midlands, B12 0ER

0121 675 5037


'Every child a reader'

At Saint Anne’s, our aim is to ensure that every child leaves our school as a competent and confident reader and we believe that a strong start is necessary. Therefore we teach early reading in the following ways:

  • Exploring Language: In Reception, children are given opportunities to experiment with the English language through rhyme, song and role play. The emphasis is to get children attuned to the sounds around them and ready to begin developing oral blending and segmenting skills.
  • Teaching children to read words: Every child in Reception and Year 1 have daily, highly structured phonics sessions.
  • Teaching children to understand the words they read: We focus on developing children's understanding of vocabulary in all areas of the curriculum. By enriching the language experience of all our children, we are closing the vocabulary gap while widening access to our engaging curriculum.
  • Promoting a love of reading: All children have access to a wide range of diverse Fiction and Non-fiction books to read from our school library. Events such as World Nursery Rhyme Week and World Book Day provide further opportunities to immerse children in the magic of literature.


JK Rowling new book: Harry Potter author signs £5m deal to write first  novel for adults | Daily Mail Online

“I think it’s the books that you read when you’re young that live with you forever.”

(J.K. Rowling) 

Year R – Skyswood Primary & Nursery School

At Saint Anne's we use Read Write Inc (RWI) as our phonics scheme to help develop early reading. In this programme, children are systematically taught around 40 phonic sounds and the combination of letters used to represent each sound. The programme helps all children learn to read fluently and at speed so they can focus on developing their skills in comprehension, vocabulary, and spelling.

The children are assessed and grouped according to their ability. Small group phonics lessons are taught daily by trained staff and there are consistent expectations across the range of abilities. At the end of each half term, the children are assessed to check on their progress and regrouped.

When using RWI to read the children will:

  • · Learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple prompts
  • · Learn to read words using sound blending (Fred talk).
  • · Read lively stories featuring words they have learnt to sound out.
  • · Show that they comprehend the stories through discussion and written responses.

How to teach blending to children

‘Fred Talk’

Children learn the pure sounds (‘m’ not’ muh’,’s’ not ‘suh’, etc.) so that they are able to blend the sounds into words more easily. We call this ‘Fred Talk’ e.g. m-o-p, c-a-t, m-a-n, sh-o-p, b-l-a-ck.

To expose your child to the idea of blending sounds together to make words, break down the words of the simple vocabulary you often use at home.  For example, “please pass me that c – u – p”, “time for b – e - d”.  This will help your child to practise their own oral blending as they can repeat the sounds back to you and then say the word.

Fred Talk – Blending skills. – Abbots Phonics

the children are taught the sounds in 3 sets.

Set 1 Sounds

Set 1 Sounds are taught in the following order together with rhymes to help children form the letters correctly and instantly recognise sounds ready for blending. Children will also use pictures for each sound to help recognise the sound and then form the shape of the sound.

St Meriadoc CE Nursery and Infant Academy - Read Write Inc

Open the Set 1 Sounds here.
“When we pray we speak to God; but when we read, God speaks to us.”
Saint Jerome
Our Patron Saint | St. Jerome Catholic Church

Set 2 Sounds

The children are then taught Set 2 Sounds – the long vowels. There are 12 Set 2 ‘speed sounds’ that are made up of two or three letters which represent just one sound, e.g. ay as in play, ee as in tree and igh as in high.

Open the Set 2 Sounds here.

Vowel sound Set 2 Speed Sound Rhyme Green words

ay: may I play

day play say may tray today


ee: what can you see?

seen need sleep feel three green


igh: fly high

might light sight night fright


ow: bl

ow the snow

snow flow know show blow


oo: poo at the zoo

mood fool pool stool moon spoon


ar: start the car

bar park smart sharp car spark


or: shut the door

sort short worn horse sport fork


air: that’s not fair

fair stair hair lair chair


ir: whirl and twirl

girl third whirl twirl dirt


ou: shout it out

mouth round found loud shout


oy: toy to enjoy

toy boy enjoy

Writing & Editing on Twitter: "The more you read, the more things you will  know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go. - Dr Seuss #amwriting Learning  is writing." /

Set 3 Sounds

When they are very confident with all of Set 1 and 2 sounds, children are taught Set 3 Sounds.

Open the Set 3 Sounds here.

Set 3 Sounds

a-e: make a cake

shake name same save brave late




oi: spoil the boy

join coin voice choice noise


ea: cup of tea

neat real clean please dream


ai: snail in the rain

paint train rain plain strain


i-e: nice smile

hide shine white nice wide like


e: he me she we be

me she we he


o-e: phone home

hope home rose spoke note those


oa: goat in a boat

toad road oak loaf throat toast


u-e: huge brute

tune rude use June excuse


ew: chew the stew

new knew flew blew crew newt


aw: yawn at dawn

saw raw law straw dawn crawl


er: better letter

over never weather hamster after


ur: nurse with a purse

burn turn hurl burp slurp lurk


ire: fire fire

spire bonfire inspire conspire hire


are: care and share

bare bare spare scare flare square


ear: hear with your ear

fear dear gear spear year


ow: brown cow

howl down brown drown gown


ure: sure it’s pure

picture mixture adventure pure


Please find at table below which highlights some of the keys phrases school uses when teaching RWI.




Fred is a frog puppet we use in sessions. He can only speak in sounds. 

Fred talk 

Sounding out a word, saying each of the sounds before blending

Fred fingers

‘Pinching’ each sound from a word on your fingers to help spell a word

Green words

Decodable words

Red words

Irregular words that cannot be sounded out

Story Green words

Decodable words that will be included in the storybook 

Speedy green words

Decodable words in the storybook that children should be able to read at speed rather than Fred talking first. 

Fred in your Head

Still sounding out a word but doing so in your head rather than out loud, helps build fluency. 

Special friends

Two or three letters working together to make one sound e.g. sh, ch, igh, air, a-e, i-e. 

Obama makes e-books available to low income kids – JJ Amaworo Wilson, author

Reading is important. If you know how to read then the whole world opens up to you.

(Barack Obama)

Green Words (Decodable words) in books

(Click on your child's book band to practise the words)


Red Book Reading Clip Art


Green Book Reading Clip Art at - vector clip art online, royalty  free & public domain


Purple Book Reading Clip Art at - vector clip art online, royalty  free & public domain

 Pink Book Reading Clip Art


Orange Book Reading Clip Art at - vector clip art online, royalty  free & public domain


Yellow Book Reading Clip Art


Blue Book Reading Clip Art at - vector clip art online, royalty  free & public domain


Grey Book Reading Clip Art

Ambition and Access for SEND  

Ambition - We believe that reading opens the door to learning and therefore it is vital that we as educators do everything we possibly can to ensure that every child will learn to read. We are determined to teach every single child to read, regardless of their background, need or abilities. SEND pupils are involved in the RWI lessons, as all pupils work in ability groups and teaching is tailored to the speed of progress of each group. 

Access - The assessment of pupils’ phonics progress is sufficiently frequent and detailed to identify any pupil who is falling behind the programmes pace- targeted support will be given immediately. All teachers are trained in RWI and have ongoing training to ensure that they can adapt their teaching to children’s needs.  


Each week, children will bring home a Book Bag Book linked directly to the sounds they know. This book will be fully decodable which means that the books will be consistent with their phonic knowledge and will not require them to use other strategies to work out words.




You can learn more about Read Write Inc (RWI) Phonics Programme by accessing the following website:

Here you can find lots of free resources to support your child’s learning.