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Reading at Gilded Hollins

Early Reading at Gilded Hollins


At Gilded Hollins, we strongly believe that reading is one of the most important skills that children learn at primary school.

To ensure that all children master reading, we use the Read Write Inc (RWI) phonics programme throughout Reception and Key Stage One. This programme  teaches children to read accurately, fluently and with understanding, building a solid base of phonic knowledge to support children with their spelling.


Direct teaching underpins Read Write Inc. Every day, children learn new sounds, and review previous sounds and words. They apply what they’ve been taught by reading words containing the sounds they know in matched decodable books and other texts, and write these sounds in individual words and, later, sentences.

Using RWI, the children learn to read effortlessly so that they can then focus on comprehension. It also allows them to spell competently so that they can put all their energy into composing what they write.

We also use this programme as 1:1 or as a small group intervention for those children in KS2 who need a more targeted approach. 

When using RWI to read the children will:

  • learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple picture prompts
  • learn to read words using Fred Talk    
  • read lively stories competently featuring words they have learned to sound out
  • show that they comprehend the stories by answering questions.


When using RWI to write the children will:

  • learn to write the letters/letter groups which represent 44 sounds, using a helpful handwriting phrase.
  • learn to write words by saying the sounds using 'Fred Fingers'


Order of teaching sounds

In  Read  Write  Inc  phonics,  the  individual  sounds  are  called  ‘speed sounds’  –  because  we  want  your  child  to  read  them effortlessly.  Set 1 sounds are the initial letter sounds. They are taught in the following order.   m, a, s, d, t, i, n, p, g, o, c, k, u, b, f, e, l, h, sh, r, j, v, y, w, th, z, ch, qu, x, ng, nk


There are 12 Set 2 ‘speed sounds’ that are made up of two or three letters which represent just one sound, e.g.  ay as in play, ee as in tree and  igh  as in high. 


When children learn their Set 2 sounds, they will learn:

  • the letters that represent a speed sound e.g. ay
  • a  simple picture prompt linked to the  ‘speed sound’  and  a  short phrase to say e.g. ‘May I play?’

Every  speed  sound  has  a  list  of  green  words  linked  to  it,  so  your child can ‘sound out’ and ‘sound blend’ words containing the new speed sound they have just learnt, for example s-p-r-ay = spray.


When learning their Set 3 speed sounds, children will be taught that there are more ways in which the same sounds are written, e.g. ee as in tree and ea as in tea.

The table below shows the sound, the associated phrase and example green words. 


Vowel sound

Set 2 Speed Sound Rhyme

Green words


ay: may I play

day play say may tray today 


ee: what can you see?

seen need sleep feel three green


igh: fly high

might light sight night fright 


ow: blow the snow

snow flow know show blow


oo: poo at the zoo

mood fool pool stool moon spoon 


oo: look at a book

took shook cook foot


ar: start the car

bar park smart sharp car spark


or: shut the door

sort short worn horse sport fork 


air: that’s not fair

fair stair hair lair chair 


ir: whirl and twirl

girl third whirl twirl dirt


ou: shout it out

mouth round found loud shout


oy: toy for a boy

toy boy enjoy


Set 3 Speed Sound Rhyme



a-e: make a cake

shake name same save brave late


ea: cup of tea

neat real clean please dream 


i-e: nice smile 

hide shine white nice wide like


o-e: phone home

hope home rose spoke note those


u-e: huge brute 

tune rude use June excuse


aw: yawn at dawn

saw raw law straw dawn crawl


are: care and share

bare bare spare scare flare square


ur: nurse with a purse

burn turn hurl burp slurp lurk


ow: brown cow

howl down brown drown gown 


oi: spoil the boy

join coin voice choice noise 


ai: snail in the rain

paint train rain plain strain


e: he me she we

he me she we he 


oa: goat in a boat

toad road oak loaf throat toast


ew: chew the stew

new knew flew blew crew newt 


er: better letter

over never weather hamster after


ire: fire fire

spire bonfire inspire conspire hire


oar: hear with your ear

fear dear gear spear year 


ure: sure it’s pure

picture mixture adventure pure


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.


 What can you do at home? 

We believe that teaching your child to read relies on a good partnership between home and school. When you are reading with your child at home, it is important that the sounds you say are the 'pure sounds.' You may find they tell you off if you don’t!


Click the link below to hear how to pronounce sounds correctly.


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. 


If you would like any further information, the Ruth Miskin Website has a wealth of useful videos and information.

Reading in Key Stage Two


The approach to reading throughout Key Stage 2 may be seen as taking a ‘three-pronged approach’.


1. All children in KS2 are taught specific reading skills each week during their Reading Response lesson. In this English lesson, the children are given questions from all of the content domains. 


2. Each Key Stage 2 each class also does an additional reading lesson 4 times a week. This lesson is a Whole Class Reading session. The children are taught lessons exploring different texts about a linked theme. For example, in Year Six the children will explore texts based on the theme of Pompeii (a non-fiction text, fiction text and a song). Each text is a focus for two days. The Whole Class Reading sessions are structured to have a vocabulary focus at the start, a quick retrieval section and then a series of partnered talk or individual thinking questions which lead to solo work at the end.


3. Each KS2 class has a weekly Book Circle session, lead by an adult,  which is dedicated to foster a passion for stories and the written word. Books are carefully chosen to pique interest, stretch knowledge, or open up a new series of books. Guided by the adult, children join in with each book by reading the text chorally, individually or simply by listening. Talk and a book focused conversation is key to fostering a love of reading in all of our children.


All classes have a ‘class reader’ – a book that is shared together and read by the whole class.


Regardless of year group, it is the expectation that every child in school will read at home at least five times weekly. This is monitored in school through the use of a digital reading record which is posted on Seesaw for staff to keep track of.

Reading in Action