Red Hall Primary

Red Hall

Primary School

Header Image

Believe and Achieve


Phonics at Red Hall

“The whole world opened up to me when I learned to read” ~ Mary McCleod Bethune

What is the intent of our Phonics curriculum?

Phonics is a vital skill that enables children to read and write, quickly and fluently. Children learn to ‘decode’ words they hear or see. This is the first step in learning to read. At Red Hall, we aim to develop the full potential of all of our pupils as confident readers and writers through Phonics. 

How do we implement our Phonics curriculum?

Our school uses Read, Write Inc. for the systematic teaching of phonics. Daily sessions are taught in Early Years and Key Stage One, and in Key Stage Two if needed. Each session gives an opportunity for children to revisit their prior learning, be taught new skills and practise and apply what they have learned.In Early Years we focus on Phase 1 Phonics, then in Key Stage One (and Key Stage Two if needed) we follow Read, Write, Inc. Phase 1 Phonics concentrates on developing children’s speaking and listening skills and lays the foundations for the phonic work. The emphasis during Phase 1 is to get children attuned to the sounds around them and ready to begin developing oral blending and segmenting skills.

Teaching phonics phase 1 Letters and Sounds activities are broken into seven different aspects:

  • Aspect 1 – Environmental Sound Discrimination
  • Aspect 2 – Instrumental Sound Discrimination
  • Aspect 3 – Body Percussion Sound Discrimination
  • Aspect 4 – Rhythm and Rhyme
  • Aspect 5 – Alliteration
  • Aspect 6 – Voice Sounds
  • Aspect 7 – Oral Blending and Segmenting

The purpose of these different aspects is to develop students’ language abilities in the following ways:

  • Learning to listen attentively
  • Enlarging their vocabulary
  • Speaking confidently to adults and other children
  • Discriminating between different phonemes
  • Reproducing audibly the phonemes they hear
  • Using sound-talk to segment words into phonemes

What is the impact of our Phonics curriculum?

What experiences will the children receive in Phonics?

By the end of their time at Red Hall, what will all our children have taken from Phonics?

Key Information for Parents & Carers:

What is Phonics?

Read, Write, Inc. Phonics:


The following video is an example of blending sounds with Fred:


The children are taught the sounds in 3 sets. Here is a video on how to pronounce all of the sounds:



Key Websites:

Click download to view our Phonics vision for Red Hall.



The children:

  • learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letters/letter groups using simple picture prompts 
  • learn to read words using Fred talk and sound blending
  • read from a range of storybooks and non-fictions books matched to their phonic knowledge
  • develop comprehension skills in stories by answering ‘Find It’ and ‘Prove It’ discussion questions


The children:

  • learn to write and form the letters/letter groups which represent the 44 sounds with the help of fun phrases
  • learn to write words by using Fred Talk
  • learn to build sentences by practising sentences out loud before they write 

Children follow the same format as Reception but will work on complex sounds and read books appropriate to their reading level. Daily sessions of RWI phonics last for 30 minutes.  Once children become fluent speedy readers and can use and apply Set 1, 2 and 3 sounds confidently they focus on spelling, grammar and punctuation sessions in Year 2.

Fred Talk

We use pure sounds (‘m’ not’ muh’,’s’ not ‘suh’, etc.) so that your child will be able to blend the sounds into words more easily.

At school we use a puppet called Fred who is an expert on sounding out words! we call it, ‘Fred Talk’. E.g. m-o-p, c-a-t, m-a-n, sh-o-p, b-l-a-ck.



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

Set 1
Sound Rhyme
m Down Maisie then over the two mountains. Maisie, mountain, mountain.
a Round the apple, down the leaf.
s Slide around the snake
d Round the dinosaur’s back, up his neck and down to his feet.
t Down the tower, across the tower,
i Down the insects body, dot for the head.
n Down Nobby and over the net.
p Down the plait, up and over the pirates face.
g Round the girls face, down her hair and give her a curl
o All around the orange
c Curl around the caterpillar
k Down the kangaroos body, tail and leg
u Down and under the umbrella, up to the top and down to the puddle
b Down the laces, over the toe and touch the heel
f Down the stem and draw the leaves
e Slice into the egg, go over the top, then under the egg
l Down the long leg
h Down the horse’s head to the hooves and over his back
sh Slither down the snake, then down the horse’s head to the hooves and over his back
r Down the robot’s back, then up and curl
j Down his body, curl and dot
v Down a wing, up a wing
y Down a horn, up a horn and under the yak’s head.
w Down, up, down, up the worm.
th Down the tower, across the tower, then down the horse’s head to the hooves and over his back
z Zig-zag-zig, down the zip.
ch Curl around the caterpillar, , then down the horse’s head to thehooves and over his back
qu Round the queen’s head, up to her crown, down her hair and curl
x Cross down the arm and leg and cross the other way
ng A thing on a string
nk I think I stink

Please do not use letter names at this early stage.

The children are then taught Set 2 Sounds.


And finally, Set 3 Sounds.

Some Phonic sounds can be spelled in different ways, the children are taught this in set 3. such as:

Long  vowel sound Set 2 Speed Sound cardsTeach these first Set 3 Speed Sound cards
ay ay: may I play a-e: make a cake ai: snail in the rain
ee ee: what can you see ea: cup of tea e: he me we she be
igh igh: fly high i-e: nice smile
ow ow: blow the snow o-e: phone home ao: goat in a boat
oo oo: poo at the zoo u-e: huge brute ew: chew the stew
or or: shut the door aw: yawn at dawn  
air air: that’s not fair are: share and care  
ir ir: whirl and twirl ur: nurse for a purse er: a better letter
ou ou: shout it out ow: brown cow  
oy oy: toy for a boy oi: spoil the boy  



Children will be introduced to ‘Ditty books’ when they successfully begin to read single words. The short vowels should be kept short and sharp:

Children use sound-blending (Fred Talk) to read short ditties. They will bring these home once they have read and discussed the book in class. Children will then be challenged to use their developing phonic knowledge to write short sentences.

Within all the books children will have red and green words to learn to help them to become speedy readers. Red words are words that are not easily decodable and challenge words to extend children’s vocabulary. Green words are linked to the sounds they have been learning and are easily decodable.

Dots and dashes represent the sound each letter makes.


Nonsense words (Alien words)      


As well as learning to read and blend real words children will have plenty of opportunities to apply their sound recognition skills on reading ‘Nonsense words’. These words will also feature heavily in the Year One Phonics Screening check in the Summer Term. 


Year One Screening Check

Every Year one child in Summer term will take a phonics screening check. In this test, the children are expected to read 40 decodable words including some nonsense words. This progress check identifies children who may need additional support in their reading. Any child who does not achieve the pass mark in this test will be retested in Year Two.

How you can help at home

  • Reading every night at home with your child

Every week each child will be sent home a phonics decodable book at their reading level. Read these with your child and ask them questions about the story.

  • Practise reading and writing tricky words

If children know these they are more likely to gain speed and fluency in their reading. 

  • Complete homework

Every week each child will be sent home targeted phonics homework at their level. Practise saying, reading and writing the sounds.

  • Phonics Games