Reading & Phonics

READING AND Phonics at St Joseph’s


Please click here for the Year 1 Phonics Screening Information Presentation 2024


At St Joseph’s we aim for all our children to become fluent, confident readers who are passionate about reading.

Reading is the key to success!

Children who read regularly or are read to regularly have the opportunity to open the doors to so many different worlds!

Reading will give your child the tools to become independent life-long learners.

Most important of all is our desire to instil in our children a love of reading, and we encourage parents to do the same.  Let your child see you read, read them bedtime stories even after they are able to read independently and make room for books in your home.


Together we can achieve this through:

· Encouraging children to develop a love of books by reading to them daily, at home and at school

· A systematic program to teach your child to read using phonics – we use Read Write Inc.

· Giving children access to a wide range of books at school and at home.      


Reading in School

As well as teaching reading through the phonic system we teach reading at other times both in class, group and individual sessions. This is important to develop skills of fluency, expression, inference and comprehension alongside the ability to decode words. Your child’s progress in reading will be monitored by the class teacher.

The school is proud of it's library.  Children have an opportunity to visit the library weekly, with each child having a library card and can take out a book of their choosing. Books are then taken home and shared with parents. Alongside this, children can choose an additional early reading book to take home and share. Sometimes children choose to read the same book more than once.


Our Phonic Programme - Read Write Inc. 



Read, Write, Inc is the phonics scheme we use to teach reading and spelling in Early Years and Key Stage One. We have chosen Read, Write, Inc because we want our children to learn to read as quickly as possible, and then read widely and become lifelong readers.  

This video, taken from the Ruth Miskin website, explains the scheme in more detail: 

We start teaching the programme in Early Years and then continue until they have worked their way through the whole reading scheme, usually this is during Year Two.  

Children begin by learning the Set 1 sounds first. Each sound has a picture and handwriting rhyme to go with it to help children remember the sound and how to write it. 



As children are learning the sounds we teach them to blend sounds together to make words. We call this Fred Talk. Fred is a Frog who can only speak in sounds so the children have to say and read words for him.  

 As children progress through the programme and become more confident at blending they start use ‘Fred in your head’ where they will sound out the word quietly in their head before saying it aloud. This helps to develop more fluent reading. 

When they can orally blend independently, they begin to read green words and once children can read some green words speedily, they begin to read ditties and stories in their Read, Write, Inc sessions. 




Each storybook is matched to the sounds the children can already read, which sets them up for success and helps to build their confidence with reading.  

It is through these storybooks that we teach children red words. These words are irregular words that are not phonetically plausible and cannot be sounded out with Fred Talk. 

Each storybook is taught in the same way, with children practising reading the green words in the story and also the red words, before they begin to read the book. Children will then read the book several times to help build their fluency and comprehension skills.  

Once children have learned how to read this book they will bring it home alongside a ‘book bag’ book which is also matched to the sounds your child has been learning to read in school.  

As children move through the programme they will be introduced to new sounds in Set 2 and 3. Set 3 focuses on sounds the children have heard before but make use of a different spelling choice. Children will continue to practice reading the new sounds in green words and reading books. 



As well as learning to read and blend real words children will have plenty of opportunities to apply their sound recognition skills when reading ‘Nonsense words’. These words are words that don’t make sense so they can only be read by using phonic skills. We teach the children that these words don’t make sense but we can still use Fred Talk to read them. This helps the children to read the words during the Year One Phonics Screening check in the summer term.   



We assess all children on the scheme every half term, to ensure that they are placed in the perfect group for their reading ability. This also allows us to quickly identify any children who may need some extra support.In Key Stage 1 children work in groups based on these assessments meaning children in Year 1 and Year 2 will often work alongside each other.  

If you have any questions about our phonic programme you may talk to our RWI Leader, Miss Tobin or your child’s class teacher. 

Please click on the videos below for further information and support. 


Understanding phonics - for parents and carers  


How to say the sounds  


Sound Blending 


How to find out more about this phonics scheme, including short video clips and useful information:  






See below for additional Phonic information: 

Set 2 Green Word List

Set 3 Green Word List

Additional Ditties for Reading Practise


Please click on the link below for the Read Write Inc Phonics information given out at the Year 1 Phonics Parent Meeting - January 2023:

Year 1 Read Write Inc Phonics Information