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Pure sounds

When teaching the speed sounds it is very important that you do not add  ‘uh’ to the end of the consonant sound. They must be pronounced as pure sounds: ‘mmmm’ not ‘muh’, ‘ffffff’ not ‘fuh’ and ‘lllll ‘not ‘luh’. 

TOP TIP: say the sound as quietly as possible. 

 Your child will find it much easier to blend the sounds to make words.

Read Write Inc the phonics programme we have chosen to help teach your child how to read. It involves children learning to read sounds and how to blend them together to read words.

SET 1 Sounds

Reception - Autumn Term 

The children learn 44 sounds (speed sounds). These are the letter sounds and not letter names. The speed sounds are divided into small groups - Set 1, Set 2 and Set 3. Once your child has learnt all of the sounds in one group, they can move on to sound blending the letters in that group to read words.

For example, once your child has learnt to read the first 5 sounds: m a s d t they can then start to read words that include these sounds such as mat, sat, sad, mad, at etc.

Your child will then learn the next five sounds and be able to read words with a combination of the ten sounds. 

Read, write inc runs from the start of Reception and into Year 1 and Year 2.  


Most children will learn set 2 in Recpetion during the Spring Term 


Most children will begin to learn set 3 sounds in the Summer Term of Reception. 


Green Words

Green words are words that your child will be able to sound out and then sound blend together, using the speed sounds they have learnt.

Your child will be able to read a book more easily if they practice reading these words first.

Red/ Tricky Words

Red words are those words which contain spelling patterns that cannot be sounded out. Some of the most frequently used words in the English language have an uncommon spelling pattern and don’t sound like they look, for example, said sounds like ‘sed’. Red words have to be learnt by sight. 

A good way to learn these words is to write them onto card/ paper to create flash cards. When you hold up the word your child should be able to say the word. 


Children are assessed at least each half term

on their phonic progress. This is to see if the

children recognise the new sounds  they

have been taught and if they can blend these

into words. 



 The Phonics Screening Check is a test for children in Year 1. Children take it during June in a one-to-one setting with their class teacher. 

During the Phonics Screening Check, children are asked to read (decode) 40 words. Most of these words are real words but some are pseudo-words. Pseudo-words are included to ensure that children are using their decoding skills and not just relying on their memory of words they’ve read before. Because some children may misread these pseudo-words based on their similarity to words in their existing vocabulary, each pseudo-word is clearly identified with an image of an alien. Most teachers and children, therefore, refer to pseudo-words as alien words.

Children who do not pass the phonics test in Year 1 will be supported to repeat the test in Year 2.

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