Reading is one of the most important skills a child must master at school.

Children learn to read at a quicker pace when they are taught systematically and intensively using synthetic phonics. Synthetic phonics is simply the ability to convert a letter or letter group into sounds that are then blended together to make a word.

As the core of our phonics teaching we use the programme “Read Write Inc.” This is an inclusive literacy programme for all children learning to read and write. The children learn 44 “speed sounds” and the corresponding letters/letter groups using simple picture prompts.

These are taught over a short period of time in short, intensive and, importantly, fun lessons.  The children then use these “speed sounds” to sound out or “Fred talk” words which helps them with all their writing. They also learn “red words” which are the words that can’t be sounded out.

Phonics at Robert Le Kyng

During phonics at Robert Le Kyng, we discuss the following terminology:

Phoneme: the smallest unit of sound in speech

Grapheme: how a phoneme is written down

Digraph: these are two letters that make a single sound e.g. ar, ee, ou, oy

Trigraphs: these are three letters that make a single sound e.g. igh, str

Segmenting: where you break each word into its separate phoneme, for example ‘chop’ has 3 phonemes, ch/o/p.

Blending: putting sounds back together to form a word

Some words in the English language cannot be broken down into separate phonemes. These words are known as tricky words and we teach the children to be able to read and know the whole word, for example, ‘said’ or ‘what’.

To help parents to support their children at home we have been given permission to use the brilliant ‘Mr Thorne Does Phonics’ videos. These support the development of phonics and early reading skills.

Another helpful website to support phonics is: