Burford Primary School
Burford Primary School
Burford Primary School
The Curriculum
Early Reading and Phonics
Read Write Inc

At Burford Primary School we teach phonics and early reading using Read Write Inc. A typical phonics lesson will include learning a new sound, recapping old sounds, reading green and red words, writing words and later in the year, reading a short story with a partner. Each phonic sound is linked to a picture and a rhyme to help children remember each sound. The sounds can be found on the sound mats download.

The teaching of phonics is split into the following three sets:

Set 1 - all single sounds and simple special friends (special friends are sounds made from 2 or more letters e.g. sh, ch).

Set 2 - simple vowel special friends. The children encounter more special friends as part of Set 2 e.g. ee as in tree, ow as in snow, ay as in play.

Set 3 - more complex and additional special friends. This is where we cover the same sound but with different spellings e.g. ea as in tea, or ow as in cow. The children then need to work out which is the correct special friend to use.

Until your child has begun to bring a Read Write Inc book home they will bring home a sharing story. All of our children stay on the Read, Write Inc scheme until they complete it (grey level).

Below is some of the terminology that we use as part of our phonics lessons which you can use at home to support your child with their reading and writing.

Fred talk
Fred is our phonics friend. He is a frog that can only speak in sounds and so we have to help him learn to say words by blending sounds together. For example, Fred would say c-a-t or b-l-ow. As part of our daily lessons, we learn to read green words using Fred Talk. If you are reading with your child, you can encourage them to ‘Fred Talk’ a word which means ‘sound it out’.

Green words and Fred in your head

Green words are phonetically decodable words that the children learn to read. When we learn a new sound in our lesson, we will spend time reading green words that include the new sound. If you are reading with your child and they encounter a green word, they will be able to sound this out phonetically e.g. c-a-t, c-ar. As we move through the year, we encourage the children to read some green words by sight and to ‘Fred in your head’. This is where children blend the sounds in their head and then say the whole word. Eventually, the children will just be able to read these by sight without using ‘Fred in your head’ and this will be the start of their journey to becoming a fluent reader.

Red words

These are words that children need to learn by sight because they contain parts that are not decodable. As the children move through the phonics programme into Year 1 they will explore why words are red words and which parts of them can be decoded and learn particular spelling rules. We teach the children ‘you can’t Fred a red!’ which means you cannot sound it out. You can say this to your child if they try to sound out a red word when you are reading with them.

Fred Fingers
When we are writing words in our phonics lessons, we pinch the sounds of a word on our fingers to help children segment the whole word into its individual sounds. We call this using our ‘Fred fingers’. For example, if we were writing the word fish, we would say the whole word first – fish, and then we would pinch the sounds f-i-sh and then count the sounds. We then finish by sweeping our free hand over our Fred fingers to blend the word back together. We would then use our sound mat to record the sounds.

Special friends
These are the phonics sounds that are made up of more than one letter. Children often find these tricky to spot in words when they first encounter them in books, and you may find they sound them out as single sounds. You can support them by telling them there is a special friend in the word and if they need further support, point this out to them.

Burford Primary School
Priory Lane
OX18 4SG
CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre)