Welcome to our Phonics and Early Reading Curriculum Page

Learning to read is the most important thing your child will learn at school. Everything else depends on it, so we strive to do all we can to ensure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible.

We want your child to love reading and to want to read for themselves. At Lovers’ Lane Primary, we want children to develop a love of books as well as simply learning how to read.

We use the highly successful Read Write Inc. phonics programme to teach our children to read, write and spell. Read Write Inc. Phonics, Spelling and Reading are highly successful literacy programmes created by Ruth Miskin and published by Oxford University Press. We suggest you start by watching this short film for parents.

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 years.  However at Lovers’ Lane we begin the programme in Nursery and will continue teaching RWI to children beyond 7 years old if they still need support in reading. 

How will RWI be taught?

RWI is taught daily in classes or in smaller groups by a Teacher or Teaching Assistant.  All children are assessed regularly to ensure progress is being made and sounds are revisited that are not yet understood.

Year Group Phonics Expectations at Lovers’ Lane

Below you can see Lovers’ Lane Phonics and Reading expectations for Foundation Stage and KS1 in each year groups progression tables. 


Read Write Inc Terminology

Your child may begin to use terminology that you are unfamiliar with – this glossary of terms may help!

Green words

Green words are words that can be broken down into sounds, and blended together to read.

Red words

Red words are words that cannot be broken down. These are taught explicitly, and are words that children need to read by sight.

Fred talk

Your child will be encouraged to sound out words that they cannot read. We call this “Fred Talk”. Fred is a frog that joins the children in every session and he can only talk in sounds!

t-i-n = tin

ch-o-p= chop 

l-igh-t= light                                                                          

Fred Fingers

Fred Fingers are used for spelling. Children hold up the hand that they do not write with. They sound out the word they are spelling and put up the correct number of fingers for the word.

For example: k-ee-p = 3 sounds = 3 fingers.

  • Ask your child how many sounds they can hear in the word “keep”
  • Ask your child to put up their Fred Fingers (there should be three)
  • Using the hand that your child writes with, they pinch the first finger and say the first sound in the word ‘k’
  • Pinch the middle finger and say ‘ee’
  • Pinch the last finger and say ‘p’
  • Fingers are pinched left to right, as we would read.

The following video is an example of blending sounds with Fred.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEzfpod5w_Q

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. 


What do we do to support pupils needing to secure phonics and reading skills in Key Stage 2?

When pupils move into Key Stage 2, we are careful to continue to assess their phonics needs and provide tailored intervention to support them in securing these essential skills for learning. Some pupils may not have passed the phonics screening by the end of Key Stage 1 and need this support to catch up. In Year 5 and 6, pupils also have intervention using the ‘Freshstart’ Read Write Inc materials to close phonics gaps. 

Pupils in Key Stage 2 also have their reading books matched to phonics levels where this is appropriate based on need and where they are in the catch-up programme. A supply of Read Write Inc Bookbag books are available in our Key Stage 2 library, which staff can allocate for pupils according to need. Once pupils have secured their reading ability, they can move through book bands onto free reading books. 


Phonics Key Documents