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At Buckingham Park Primary, we teach phonics using a programme called Read Write Inc. (RWI)



We welcome your help, as we know children progress much more quickly with support from home. 

Don’t worry if you are not a phonics expert! There are lots of resources to help you, here…


Stages of teaching

From the start of Reception, children learn 5 Set 1 Speed Sounds each week. We also provide rich and varied indoor and outdoor activities and games to embed phonics skills. Children also practice writing the day’s focus letter and use magnetic letters to build words daily.

Set 1 Speed Sounds

These sounds are written with just one letter. They are taught in this order:

m  a  s  d  t  i  n   p   g   o   c   k   u   b   f   e   l   h   r   j   v   w   x

Later, we will teach sounds written with two letters. We call these ‘special friends’, because they like to sit next to each other in words.

sh   th   ch  qu  ng   nk   ck    special friends = 2 letters that make just 1 sound

How to say the sounds

Many children start school knowing the names of letters, e.g. m – “em”.

To teach them to read, we need them to know the sounds.


Sound Blending or Fred Talk              

Fred is a small, cuddly frog. He can only say the sounds in individual words. We call this ‘Fred Talk’, e.g. c-a-t /cat;         f-i-sh / fish;    s-p-l-a-sh / splash.

The children help him to read by blending the sounds to make a whole word.   When your child starts learning to blend, this sound blending video may help you to help them.


Streamed teaching

Once all the Set 1 Speed Sounds are taught, the children are assessed by their class teacher. They are organised into streamed groups so that we can focus on their next steps in learning.  If they are able to blend with the sounds they have been taught they will bring home a RWI Sound Blending ‘Book Bag Book’ to continue their learning with you.

When they can blend single words effectively, they progress through a series of colour banded books that match their current phonics skills. You can access online versions of these books in the free eBook library on Oxford Owl.

blending 1

You can access online versions of these books in the free eBook library on Oxford Owl.



If your child is unable to blend or recall all the Set 1 Speed Sounds, they will receive additional 1:1 Fast Track support in class. Your class teacher will also give you advice on how best to help.  

Year 1 

phonics screening check

RWI continues throughout Year 1. In the summer term, all children take the Phonics Screening statutory assessment. They are required to read both real and alien/nonsense words.  


Year 2

Children will continue to access RWI until they become confident early readers with increasing levels of accuracy and fluency.                             

book bands(1)

Resources you may wish to purchase

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