Phonics and Spelling

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At Christleton Primary School, early reading is taught using synthetic phonics as the main approach through the Read Write Inc scheme.

From an early age, children at Christleton Primary School will learn to read with accuracy and confidence and develop a love of reading. Through a lively and systematic approach, children will learn to recognise the 44 common graphemes in the English language and how to sound-blend words for reading (decoding) at the same time as developing handwriting skills and spelling (encoding). As their confidence in decoding develops they will be taught to comprehend and compose ideas for their own writing. Storybooks will be exciting and matched to their phonic ability to ensure early success in reading. 

What is Read Write Inc? 

Read Write Inc (RWI) is a consistent, rigorous and dynamic literacy programme to teach EVERY child to read by the age of six. Using synthetic phonics, children quickly learn to blend letter sounds together following a fun and effective programme. Find out more about RWI using the following link: 

Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 access Read Write Inc lessons. In Year 2, children transition to 'Pathways to Read' when they have completed the programme.

Why are we using RWI?
The RWI programme has been proven to be a very successful method of teaching every child to read and write using phonics. Evidence of this can be found in the Ofsted Report,  Reading by six: how the best schools do it. 

Who will be following the programme?

All children in Key Stage Once and EYFS are regularly assessed and put into groups at the appropriate level for them. On completion of the RWI programme, some children will then progress into our normal literacy lessons. 

How often will my child read with a teacher? 

Children will read their RWI books every morning with a trained member of staff (for example, the class teacher, teaching assistant, or other support staff). These books will be kept in school. Your child will still bring home a RWI 'Book Bag Book' that is closely matched to their phonic knowledge and it is still important that you listen to your child read every day.

How is my child assessed?

Children are assessed every half term (approximately six weeks) using the Read Write Inc online assessment tool. Children are then placed in an appropriate Phonics group according to their level. This may be reviewed within this six week period if a child is making accelerated progress to ensure they are being effectively challenged.

What are RWI 'Book Bag Books'?                                                                                                     

RWI Phonics 'Book Bag Books' are uniquely matched to the RWI Phonics Storybooks and Phonics programme that children are using in their classroom phonics lessons. These engaging fiction and non-fiction Book Bag Books reinforce children's phonic learning at the appropriate level, helping them to read independently through extra practice. Parents, carers and young readers are supported with inside cover notes for making the most of reading time, including pre-reading activities, a vocabulary check and comprehension questions. More information can be found in the following video:

What other books will my child take home?

In addition to the book bag book, each week children will take home:

  1. A library book of their choice (to promote reading for pleasure)
  2. Word grids (these include common exception 'red' words and story 'green' words for children to learn to read and spell at home according to the storybook they are learning in school
  3. Read Write Inc book (this is the identical text the child has been reading in class. This is sent home at the end of the teaching week to reinforce fluency). 

What is the Phonics Screening Check?

The PSC is a paper that every Year 1 child in the UK sits each year in June. The paper consists of 40 words split into pseudo ('alien') words and real words to check your child can apply their sounds in different contexts. This is carried out in a quiet, separate classroom with a familiar adult. Your child's results will be shared with you via letter. If your child did not meet the required pass rate (usually approximately 32/40), interventions will be put in place for your child in Year 2 to support their Phonics and they will retake this the following June. Your child's class teacher will provide you with further information and practice materials. A Phonics presentation and workshop also takes place to support parents to understand the screening check and how best to support your child.


How can I help my child?

Many parents wish to help their child at home to learn to read.  When children are learning to read and write, it is much easier to say the sounds in a pure way.  This also helps children to segment words in order to be able to spell them.  

In order for you to help your child we recommend that you watch the 'Phonemes pronunciation guide DVD' which can be found at: 






During our Read Write Inc sessions, children learn to spell common exception words (red words) and story green words (words from the story) through activities such as 'hold a sentence' and 'proof read'. This enables children to apply their spelling knowledge from their sessions independently. Red words and green words are sent home each week to practice. In addition, children check their spellings of common exception words in their writing using word walls and correct these using blue pencil. 

From Year 2 onwards, we use Pathways to Spell. This is an innovative and engaging programme to fascinate pupils about words. It is a research-based series of lessons following a Review, Explain, Practise, Apply and Reflect model. Through this programme, we aim to develop a school of spellers who use a series of strategies in lessons and in their independent writing. Unlike other spelling programmes, there is a cycle of review objectives covering the whole curriculum to ensure gaps in learning are constantly revisited. 

Key elements of Pathways to Spell:

  • Covers the whole national curriculum.
  • Pedagogically sound and evidence-based.
  • Multi-sensory approach.
  • Fully resourced to support within lessons and beyond.
  • Builds phonemic, orthographic, morphological and etymological knowledge.
  • Builds teacher and pupil confidence
  • Develops a range of independent spelling strategies to apply beyond spelling lessons.
  • Fully resourced to support within the lesson and beyond.
  • Develops a school of spellers.

How can I help my child at home?

Alongside Pathways to Spell, pupils also have access to Spelling Shed which is an app available on internet ready devices. 







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Christleton Primary School

Quarry Ln, Christleton, Chester CH3 7AY
Our school is a place of learning where everyone is valued and positively encouraged to achieve their full potential in a safe and caring environment.
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Telephone 01244 455288
Contact Tina Harwood, Taryn Croft and Jane Hughes
Bursar and School Admin Assistants
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