Skip to content ↓


Woodside Phonics Programme

The aim of the Phonics Programme we use at Woodside, is to support the children in becoming confident and successful readers and embracing a love of reading. We do this through the teaching of systematic synthetic phonics. Children are taught to read letters or groups of letters by:

  • Saying the sound(s) they represent,
  • Blending - the skill of joining sounds (phonemes) together to read words. Children are taught to say the separate sounds in a word and to then blend them together to decode the word e.g. c-a-t to say cat.
  • Segmenting - the opposite of blending; separating each sound (phoneme) e.g. saying the word cat and then separating each sound to sound out or write the word c/a/t.
  • Children are taught to segment a word into its separate sounds in order to spell it.
  • Accurate letter formation.
  • Tricky words – these are words which are not decodable  (words the children see and often encounter such as “the” or “I”)


 At Woodside we believe that by doing this we are equipping the children to learn to read and write independently from an early age.


At Woodside we use Read Write Inc PHONICS PROGRAMME (RWI) to teach Phonics

Read Write Inc

RWI was developed by Ruth Miskin and more information on this can be found at

The program is based on 5 key principles outlined below.
Each activity has a clear purpose so that children understand what they are learn and why.
Passion :
Emotional engagement is necessary for children to learn something new. Our teacher are passionate and enthusiastic about teaching Phonics which sets the tone for the lessons.
Key signals are used to ensure pace of the lesson. These are used in every lesson, practise routines until they have become second nature.
Participation :
We want children to be motivated to work together, teach each other, practise together, talk together, give feedback to each other.
Positive Teaching :
Lots of praise and ‘celebration’ throughout the sessions to keep children motivated and on track with their learning

We follow this program for Phonics and Guided Reading from Nursery through to Year 1. RWI is taught in different sets which are streamed across year groups for Reception and Year 1. We also use Read Write Inc to teach the children the letter formation for each letter, these are called the rhymes.

Structure of the lessons:

Set 1:

  • Focus on sound pronunciation
  • Letter formation
  • Speed Write – once children have learnt enough sounds
  • Fred Talk – blending words back together
  • Fred Fingers – sounding words out on their fingers to support with writing the word
  • Word Time – learning to blend sounds to read words and segment words into sounds in order to spell

Set 2 and 3:

  • Introduce new sound
  • Say the sound
  • Read the sound
  • Review the sounds previously taught
  • Read the words based on the focus sound
  • Review the words – Fred in your Head, sounding out in your head to practise fluency when reading
  • Reading assessment – nonsense word focus
  • Fred Fingers - sounding words out on their fingers to support with writing the word
  • Spell Review – using Fred Fingers to write words from previously taught sounds

Set 1 Sounds 

Set 1 Sounds are the first sounds taught, in the following order together with rhymes to help children form the letters correctly and instantly recognise sounds ready for blending.


Set 1




Down Maisie then over the two mountains. Maisie, mountain, mountain.


Round the apple, down the leaf.


Slide around the snake


Round the dinosaur's back, up his neck and down to his feet.


Down the tower, across the tower,


Down the insects body, dot for the head.


Down Nobby and over the net.


Down the plait, up and over the pirates face.


Round the girls face, down her hair and give her a curl


All around the orange


Curl around the caterpillar


Down the kangaroos body, tail and leg


Down and under the umbrella, up to the top and down to the puddle


Down the laces, over the toe and touch the heel


Down the stem and draw the leaves


Slice into the egg, go over the top, then under the egg


Down the long leg


Down the horse's head to the hooves and over his back


Slither down the snake, then down the horse's head to the hooves and over his back


Down the robot's back, then up and curl


Down his body, curl and dot


Down a wing, up a wing


Down a horn, up a horn and under the yak's head.


Down, up, down, up the worm.


Down the tower, across the tower, then down the horse’s head to the hooves and over his back


Zig-zag-zig, down the zip.


Curl around the caterpillar, , then down the horse's head to the hooves and over his back


Round the queen’s head, up to her crown, down her hair and curl


Cross down the arm and leg and cross the other way


A thing on a string


I think I stink


Please do not use letter names at this early stage. Please listen to the videos below to hear how to pronounce sounds correctly.











Children will also use pictures for each sound to help recognise the sound and then form the shape of the sound.

Speed sounds set 1



Set 2 Sounds

The children are then taught Set 2 Sounds - the long vowels and combination of diapgrahs and triagraphs. When they are very confident with all of set 1 and 2 they are then taught Set 3 Sounds.

Long  vowel sound

Set 2 Speed Sound cards

Teach these first

Set 3 Speed Sound cards


ay: may I play

a-e: make a cake

ai: snail in the rain


ee: what can you see

ea: cup of tea

e: he me we she be


igh: fly high

i-e: nice smile


ow: blow the snow

o-e: phone home

ao: goat in a boat


oo: poo at the zoo

u-e: huge brute

ew: chew the stew


oo: look at a book




ar: start the car




or: shut the door

aw: yawn at dawn



air: that’s not fair

are: share and care



ir: whirl and twirl

ur: nurse for a purse

er: a better letter


ou: shout it out

ow: brown cow



oy: toy for a boy

oi: spoil the boy




ire: fire fire!




ear: hear with your ear




ure: sure it’s pure?



Speed sounds set 2 and 3

Order of Story books: 
Children will hopefully follow the order listed below. The expectation is that all children will leave Year One as confident speedy readers, ready to take on the challenges of Year Two. However, some children may need extra support and your teacher will talk to you about this. 


Year Group Expectations

Green Words in Books

Red Ditty 1-10


Click here to help your child

Green 1-10


Click here to help your child

Purple 1-10


Click here to help your child

Pink 1-10

Reception/Year One

Click here to help your child

Orange 1-12

Year One

Click here to help your child

Yellow 1-10

Year One

Click here to help your child

Blue 1-10

Year One

Click here to help your child

Grey 1-13

Year One

Click here to help your child


Nonsense words (Alien words)    


As well as learning to read and blend real words children will have plenty of opportunities to apply their sound recognition skills on reading ‘Nonsense words’. These words will also feature heavily in the Year One Phonics Screening check in the summer term. Click here for further information on the Screening check.

Guided Reading

Children will be introduced to ‘Ditty books’ when they successfully begin to blend words independently to read single words.

Within all the books children will have red and green words to learn to help them to become speedy readers. Red words are words that are not easily decodable and challenge words to extend children’s vocabulary. Green words are linked to the sounds they have been learning and are easily decodable.


Dots and dashes represent the sound each letter makes. A dot represents a single sound and a dash represents a diagraph or triagraph, 2 or 3 letters which make 1 sound.

During the guided reading sessions children will read the book multiple times with a partner and by listening to the teacher. At each new reading they will have plenty of opportunities to practise using their developing comprehension skills. You may have heard your child talking about ‘hold, edit or build a sentence’.

Hold a sentence is an activity that encourages children to remember a whole sentence while focusing on spelling and punctuation.

Build a sentence is to give children the opportunity to create their own sentence to that shows the meaning of a word and edit a sentence allows the children to critique a sentence using their knowledge of spelling punctuation and grammar. Children complete a longer piece of independent writing, which gives them the opportunity to show off their creativity and to practice their spelling, grammar and punctuation.

Woodside Guided Reading Model

Once children have progressed through the phonics programme, they will move on to the model of guided reading that takes place in Year 2 – Year 6. (See the journey of reading overview in the reading tab).


Home reading books

Your child will be given a reading book based on their reading ability. In order to support their reading development, listen to your child read this book or read this book to your child every day and give lots of praise!

Phonics Screening Check Year One

What is the Year 1 phonics screening check?

The Year 1 phonics screening check is a short, light-touch assessment to confirm whether individual pupils have learnt phonic decoding to an appropriate standard.

It will identify the children who need extra help so they are given support by their school to improve their reading skills. They will then be able to retake the check so that schools can track pupils until they are able to decode.

Further information can be found here.


Useful websites for Parents

Please find a list of websites that you may find useful in helping you and your child  learn about phonics. Games and fun activity websites are also included. - Games and information for parents - many games to play - fun games for the children to play  - fun games for the children to play  - fun games for the children to play and information for parents  - fun games for the children to play  - fun games for the children to play  - fun games for the children to play

BBC Bitesize - many games to play covering all areas of the curriculum