Reading and Phonics

Reading is at the heart of the curriculum and central to every child’s development. Learning to read is one of the most important things your child will learn at our school. Everything else depends on it, so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible. We want children to love reading and to want to read for themselves. This is why we work hard to make sure children develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read - starting with the Early Years!

Read, Write, Inc. Phonics Scheme.

At The Olive Tree Primary School we use a scheme called 'Read Write Inc. Phonics (RWI)' to give your child the best possible start with their literacy.

Miss M Patel and Mrs N. Khan are our Read Write Inc lead teachers and they are supported by a team of dedicated RWI trained support staff.

Read Write Inc Phonics

What is Read Write Inc?

Read Write Inc (RWI) is a phonics complete literacy 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. Whilst we mainly use the RWI programme with this age group, we will continue teaching RWI to children beyond the age of 7 if they still need support in their reading.

How will RWI be taught?

All children are assessed regularly by our RWI lead teachers so they can group children together accordingly. This allows complete participation in lessons and also enables us to tailor the support we provide.


In Reception all children will learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down.

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 'Find It' and 'Prove It' discussion questions

Girl smiling in class
Class using iPads in lesson

The children also:

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

The aims of these sessions are for children to work in pairs so that they can:

answer every question

practise every activity with their partner

take turns in talking and reading to each other

develop ambitious vocabulary

Years 1 and 2.

Children follow the same format as Reception but will work on more complex sounds and read books appropriate to their reading level. Daily sessions of RWI phonics last for approximately forty minutes.

Book Bag Books.

To support our home reading, we have RWI 'Book Bag Books'. These books match closely to our phonics knowledge so that we can practise sounds we have been taught in our Read, Write, Inc groups. This means children cannot fail! Children love to share these stories at home.

Read, Write, Inc.

Look at our Read, Write, Inc teaching in action videos! We have highly effective phonics teaching which takes place everyday! Children work with their partners to practise saying sounds speedily. Children love getting immersed in the stories which match closely to phonic ability. This results in every child succeeding!

To Help at Home.

Your child will start to bring books home when they are confident readers. Please help them to read and give lots of praise! If you have any other questions about RWI, please see your class teacher or see Miss M Patel.

What is the Year 1 phonics screening check?

The Year 1 phonics screening check (PSC) is a short, light-touch assessment to confirm whether individual pupils have learnt phonic decoding to an appropriate standard. The Phonics Screening Check will takes place during the month of June. Please ensure your child is at school during this period. Year 1 teachers will give out more information nearer the time.

The PSC will identify the children who need extra help so they are given support by their school to improve their reading skills. They will then be able to retake the check so that we can can track and support pupils until they are able to read the sounds fluently.

Useful Websites for Parents.

Please find a list of websites that you may find useful in helping you and your child learn about phonics. Games and fun activity websites are also included.

Jolly Learning.

View Resource >

Phonics Play.

View Resource >

ICT Games.

View Resource >


View Resource >

First School Years.

View Resource >

BBC Bitesize.

View Resource >

Instructional Tutorials.

How Is Reading Taught at the Olive Tree Primary School?

At the Olive Tree Primary, we encourage a love of books and reading. We provide children opportunities to enjoy and share books with others. The school provides the children with a language rich environment enabling them to access reading of different types on a daily basis. Each classroom has an inviting reading area with a wide range of reading materials to support all reading abilities. We use the Phonics Bug reading scheme, which are phonetically decodable reading books, that help the children to practise their phonic skills whilst they are learning to read. All of the books are colour banded and your child will be given a colour band to choose their home reading book from, which will help to ensure that they book they select is at the right level for them.

Class concentrating on activity

Guided Reading.

Each child has a guided reading session at least once a week. This is where an adult teaches the class as a whole about specific reading skills. It may be how to decode words by segmenting and blending, or it may be how to read for meaning and answer questions based on the text.

For more information about our teaching of reading please contact our English lead: Mrs Z. Patel, or speak to your child's class teacher who will be happy to help.