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Vine Tree Primary School

Learn, Included, Respect, Enjoy, Treated Fairly




Reading and Phonics

At Vine Tree Primary School we teach reading many different ways, but our main focus is synthetic phonics. Phonics is an approach to teaching reading and spelling that enables a child to identify, blend and segment the individual 'phonemes' or sounds that combine to form words.

The term synthetic phonics refers to the direct, systematic and usually swift teaching of the phonic code; blending for reading and segmenting for spelling. The materials and resources that we use to do this are from the phonics programme Read, Write Inc. The children learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letters/letter groups using simple picture prompts and rhymes. These sounds enable children to initially blend the sounds together to read. They do this by reading lively stories featuring words they have learned to sound out. After meaningful discussion led by an adult children show that they comprehend the stories by answering questions. This is usually done in weekly guided reading sessions.

In Read, Write Inc. 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 character called Fred who can do this beautifully! When we say words in sounds we call it ‘Fred Talk’, e.g. d-o-g, c-a-t.

Children are grouped across Reception and Key Stage One into Read, Write Inc. groups of similar ability. They have a Read, Write Inc. session every day for 20 minutes, practicing recall of sounds, learning new sounds and applying this learning to reading and spelling.

In Year One children will complete a National Reading Test. This is a statutory test set by the government and delivered to all children across the UK in the same week by a qualified teacher. Children are given 20 words and 20 pseudo-words (nonsense) made up of the 44 sounds children learn within Read, Write Inc. The results of these tests are published nationally and highlighted to parents at the end of the academic year.

The reading scheme that has been developed at Vine Tree Primary School contains a range of books, including Read, Write Inc. phonics books developed within the Oxford

reading tree scheme. These books utilise the characters Biff, Chip, Kipper and Floppy to encourage the development of children’s reading. However, in order to extend the range of children’s reading books there are many other published schemes and texts within it. The books are closely matched to ensure that children’s reading progresses at a steady rate. Your child’s teacher will assess your child’s reading and match their reading books in accordance to this.

We ask all children across the school to read at home. In the infants we require children to read three times per week, and in Key Stage two children should read at least twice a week with an adult.

The reading presentation on this page has lots of tips and ideas for you to help develop your child’s reading at home. The weblinks also provide more information about Read, Write Inc. as well as providing links to games and activities that you can try at home.

If you have any questions about your child’s reading please do not hesitate to speak to their class teacher.


An example of good practice when reading with your child:

Listen to the phoneme sounds....

Documents from our Reading Evening have lots of ideas to help support your child's reading at home.