What is phonics?
Phonics is the beginning of reading. It is the systematic teaching of sounds. The aim is to teach children two main skills - blending and segmenting. Blending is when you put sounds together in order to read simple words. Segmenting is the opposite process and used to break a word back down into sounds for spelling. Phonemes are the sounds that letters make and Graphemes are what the letters actually looks like.
Please click on the link below to take you to the Oxford Owl website for a useful video providing an overview of Phonics for Parents from Ruth Miskin. (The video was also used in our Phonics presentation for parents - see Support for Parents section below)
How is phonics taught?
At Hawridge and Cholesbury we teach phonics using Ruth Miskin's Read Write Inc Phonics programme. This teaching programme is proven to develop: confident speakers, fluent and enthusiast readers and keen writers.
Through the Read, Write Inc Phonics programme children:
  • Learn to read and write letter sound correspondences quickly
  • Decode and blend effortlessly
  • Spell and handwrite easily
  • Read with fluency and expression
  • Write confidently using oral rehearsal
  • Work effectively with a partner to articulate their learning


What is Fred Talk?

In Windmills class, we introduce your child to a toy frog called Fred. Fred the frog helps the children to distinguish the sounds in a word.

Fred can only say the sounds in a word and needs the children to help him say or read the word. Fred will say the sounds and the children will work out the word.  For example, Fred will say the sounds c-a-t , and the children will say the word cat.  The children play Fred games in phonics sessions to help the children tune in to listening to the sounds in words.

When children start to recognise letters, we practise reading words by 'Fred talking' the sounds and then blending them together to read the word.  

Once children have gained confidence with blending, they will be asked to 'Fred in your head'.  Children will then read each sound in their head before saying the word aloud.

Set 1 Sounds
Children learn the Set 1 sounds first using the RWI sound cards and rhymes.
Set 1 sounds are learnt in the following order:
m a s t d i p o g o c k u b f e l h r j v y w z x
Once children have learnt the first group of Set 1 sounds, they then start to read words containing these sounds. We call these 'green words'.
Children will also be introduced to 'special friends' which are words with two or three letters making one sound.  
sh  ch  th  qu  ng nk 
Once they have become confident with using 'Fred Talk' to read some words, the children then start to read short 'ditties' and sentences.
They also learn to read some 'red words'. These are tricky words that can't be read using 'Fred talk'.
Children in Windmills class will receive a 'My Set 1 Speed Sound' book to support them with practising reading and writing these sounds at home.  The handwriting phrase for each letter can be found in the document below. There is also a video from Read Write Inc which is designed to support parents with practising Set 1 sounds with their child.
Set 2 Sounds