Subject Leader: Mrs Younger

Teaching high quality phonics lessons is a priority at Witham St Hughs Academy. We ensure that daily, systematic, discrete phonics teaching is delivered consistently across our academy.  At Witham St Hughs Academy, we teach phonics through the systematic, synthetic phonics programme, ‘Read Write Inc’. We ensure that children make a strong start in Reception and the children are taught a daily phonics lesson right from the start of their time in school which follows the progression for Read Write Inc. Children will be taught the ‘set 1’ sounds initially. These are accompanied by a handwriting rhyme which help them form the letters to write them accurately.

For more information regarding Read Write Inc. and how parents/carers can help to support phonics learning at home, please click on the link below.

Fred Talk

At school we use a puppet called Fred who only speaks in sounds. We call this Fred Talk. For example, Fred would say d-o-g, we would say dog. Your child is taught to hear sounds and blend them together to say words.

As your child learns each sound (phoneme), they are also taught to blend the sounds together to say and read CVC words such as mat, sit, pin.

Fred Fingers

Fred Fingers are used for spelling. Your child is taught to sound out the word they are spelling and put up the correct number of fingers for the sounds they can hear in the word. For example: m-e-t = 3 sounds = 3 fingers. 

Green Words

When your child can orally blend sounds to say words, your child will start to read ‘green’ words.  ‘Green’ words are words which can be sounded out and blended.

Red Words

When children start to read short ditties, your child will be taught to read ‘red’ words. These words are words with ‘tricky letters’ which can’t be sounded out phonetically.  Your child will be taught the red words in a specific order, which will correlate with the books they are reading in lessons.

Decodable Reading Books

Whilst your child is learning their initial sounds in Reception, they will bring home a wordless picture book in their book bag, which will be changed each week. This will give them the opportunity to develop a range of important reading skills. Once your child can blend the sounds they know to read words, they will bring home two Read Write Inc. book bag books which will contain words and sounds that children have been taught. Children should practise reading these books regularly throughout the week so that they can read them confidently, fluently and independently.

Phonics Progression Map