Reading at Sandringham Primary School

At Sandringham we aim for all our children to become fluent, confident readers who are passionate about reading. Children who read regularly or are read to regularly have the opportunity to open the doors to so many different worlds!  More importantly, reading will give your child the tools to become independent life-long learners.

We can achieve this together by:

  • Using a systematic programme to teach children at the early stages of reading 
  • Encouraging children to develop a love of books by reading to them daily, at home and at school
  • Giving children access to a wide range of books at school and at home.


Our reading programme

At Sandringham Primary School we use Read Write Inc Phonics (RWI) to give your child the best possible start with their reading development.  Mrs Stringfellow is our Read Write Inc lead teacher, so if you have questions about RWI, please don’t hesitate to contact her via the school office.  Additionally, the following video explains a little about what the programme looks like:

What is Read, Write, Inc?


What is Read Write Inc?

Read Write Inc (RWI) is a phonics programme which helps all children learn to read fluently and at speed so they can focus on developing their skills in comprehension, vocabulary and spelling.  The programme is designed for children aged 4-7. However, at Sandringham we begin to expose children in Nursery to skills that will help them access the programme that will be taught in Reception. We continue teaching RWI to children beyond the age of 7, if they are not yet a fluent and competent reader, as we use a stage not age approach.

We delivery daily RWI lessons as soon as children start in school so that they can learn to read as quickly as possible.  More information about how daily sessions are run is explained in the video below:

Introduction to daily Read, Write, Inc


How will my child be taught to read?

We start by teaching phonics to the children in the Reception class. This means that they learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down. This is essential for reading, but it also helps children learn to spell well. We teach the children simple ways of remembering these sounds and letters.



The children:

  • learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letters/letter groups using simple picture prompts – see below
  • 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
  • work well with partners
  • develop comprehension skills in stories by answering different questions using ‘fastest finger’ and ‘think about’.

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.

How to say the sounds



The children learn to:

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


Year 1 Phonics Screening Check

The statutory Year 1 Phonics Screening Check takes place in June.  The check is a list of 40 words which children will read one-to-one with a class teacher. It will assess phonics skills and knowledge learned through Reception and Year 1.

It will check that your child can:

  • sound out and blend graphemes in order to read simple words, e.g. n-igh-t
  • read phonically decodable one-syllable and two-syllable words, e.g. cat, sand, windmill
  • read a selection of nonsense words which are referred to as ‘pseudo words’.

Parent information sessions on Phonics and the screening check will be held in the Autumn and Spring terms.  These sessions are run by the phonics leader and Year 1 teachers.


Useful Links

EYFS Reading Record

Top 10 tops

RWI Parent meeting video - Reception children

RWI Parent meeting video - Year 1 and Year 2


Early Reading and Phonics Policy

Further information can be found in our Early Reading and Phonics Policy with the policy section of our website.