Early Reading in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1

At St. Gerard's, children begin their reading journey by learning phonic sounds. As they progress through KS1 they begin to read at length, showing greater fluency, comprehension and (most importantly) a love of reading.

READ / WRITE INC - Phonics at St. Gerard's

Read Write Inc. Phonics is a literacy programme developed by Ruth Miskin and published by Oxford University Press. It is taught in over 5000 schools in the United Kingdom.

In the programme children learn sounds and the letters that represent them, and how to form the letters. Then, they read books written using only the letters they have learnt (and a small number of separately taught 'tricky words'). This gives the children plenty of early success and builds up their reading confidence. 


Reception and Year 1

At St Gerard's, children begin RWI when they start in Reception and will continue through Key Stage One. All children are screened in Phonics to determine the group they will be working in. Children from Class 1 and 2 are mixed depending on abilities. This is to ensure that all children are working at a level which is most suited to their needs.

RWI lessons take place on 4 days each week in school. 

Children begin each lesson learning a new phonic sound and recapping on sounds previously learnt. They will read a different story each week and develop reading with fluency and comprehension skills. Children will also complete daily writing tasks and a longer piece of writing at the end of the week.

Teaching in lessons is briskly paced, with strong visual elements that help to engage all learners. Children at St. Gerard's  make great progress when they start the program and feedback from the children themselves has been very positive. 


The Read Write Inc. Phonics approach teaches children to read sets of sounds and then blend them to read words. The books that they read at school will only contain the sounds they’ve already learned, so children learn quickly and confidently.



First your child will learn to read:


  • Set 1 Speed Sounds (sounds written with one letter): m a s d t i n p g o c k u b f e l h r j v y w z x and sounds written with two letters (your child will call these ‘special friends’): sh th ch qu ng nk ck
  • Words containing these sounds, by sound-blending, e.g. m–a–t mat, c–a–t cat, g–o–t got, f–i–sh fish, s–p–o–t spot, b–e–s–t best, s–p–l–a–sh splash
  • At school, they will read Read Write Inc. PhonicsSound Blending Books and Red, Green and Purple Storybooks.


Whilst they are practising reading stories with words made up of Set 1 Speed Sounds, your child will also learn to read:


  • Set 2 Speed Sounds: ay ee igh ow oo oo ar or air ir ou oy
  • Words containing these sounds
  • At school, they will read Read Write Inc. Phonics Pink, Orange and Yellow Storybooks.


Whilst they are practising reading stories with words made up of Set 1 and Set 2 Speed Sounds, your child will also learn to read:


  • Set 3 Speed Sounds: ea oi a–e i–e o–e u–e aw are ur er ow ai oa er ire ear ure
  • Words containing these sounds
  • At school, they will read Read Write Inc. Phonics Blue and Grey Storybooks.

Reading at Home


Each week, children working in Foundation and Year 1 will bring home a Read, Write, Inc book. This will be the book they have been working on throughout the week and they should be able to read it quite easily. Children should work for about 10 minutes each night on the reading activities and then return the book to school the following week to get a new one. 

Activities in the book:

Speed sounds 

  • Children will recap on sounds from the sound chart especially focussing on circled sounds which will be a focus in the book.

Green and Red words 

  • The green words are words that can be segmented and blended together. 
  • Red words are tricky words that cannot be segmented. Children will just learn the whole word. 


  • Introduction- Using the questions parent/child will discuss what the story may be about and talk about their own experiences. 
  • Reading the story- Children may still need to segment and blend words or read the whole word. Children will begin to use expression and read fluently. 

Speed words

  • This is a fun game seeing how many words children can read in a certain amount of time. This will build confidence in reading all the words from the main story. 

In addition to this reading book children in Year 1 are encouraged to also take home a book banded reading book to share with parents to ensure that they experience a variety of texst and to help them develop an interest in all books. 

Year 2

When children reach year 2 they will begin reading a range of texts in class linked to our "Literacy and Language" lessons. 

These texts include: fiction, non-fiction, poetry and play scripts. We also link many texts to our termly topics which are read as a whole-class story time.

Book Banded reading

Children will be assessed by their teacher and given a colour book banded book to read at home. Each week children will read with an adult in school to check they are at the correct level.

Reading Challenge

In addition to book banded books, children in Year 2 will also take part in a "Reading Challenge". Children will be given a list of texts to choose from to read at home including picture books and also chapter books. 

To pass the Year 2 reading challenge, children will need to read at least 10 of the books throughout the year. When children have read one of the texts they will write a book review and recommend it to a friend before getting a new one. This will lead-in directly to the Key Stage 2 Reading Challenge.

Image description
Image description


Headteacher: Mrs. B. Baxter

Deputy: Mrs. D. Hudson 


St. Gerard's Catholic Primary School, Park Nook, Doncaster Road, Thrybergh, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, S65 4AE

Telephone: 01709 850568

Email: office@stgerardsprimary.org

Twitter: @StGerards1928

 © St. Gerard's Primary MMXXII